Hiring in Information Technology may once again be on the rise. The second quarter was good, and the third quarter may be even better.
"Things are picking up again" in the information technology job market, according to Kirk Walton, senior recruiter for Twin Cities-based consulting firm Hollstadt & Associates, Inc. (www.hollstadt.com). Placement of consultants increased in April, May and June, the first consecutive three-month increase since late 2008. In addition, the latest Robert Half Technology IT Hiring Index and Skills Report shows that 83 percent of chief technology officers were "very confident" of their growth prospects for third quarter of 2010.
According to Walton, object-oriented developers continue to be in demand. For the Java platform, Walton says, the open-source programming language Groovy and the open source web application platform Grails are "very hot right now." In Microsoft, it's "Silverlight, the web and mobile application platform, and business intelligence application, Sharepoint. The more cutting edge, the hotter it is."
Business analysis a good move
In addition, Walton says, the business analyst (BA) role is gaining momentum. "The BA sits between IT and the business and makes sure that IT is capturing business needs," Walton says. "For someone who's technically savvy but looking to grow their career while feeling a need for more interaction and making more of an impact on the business," the BA role can be a good career move, according to Walton.
A BA can also be someone with a deep understanding of business process. "One of our best consultants came out of nursing," Walton says. "She has a detailed knowledge of how the information flows through healthcare systems and how it impacts different roles."
The relatively new International Institute of Business Analysts (IIBA) provides education and certification for the BA role. For more information, go to www.theiiba.org.
Info security: Always busy
Information security, Walton says, is "one area that's always going to be busy." Jobs exist both in building security into applications and in creating systems and processes for secure networks. The role takes "natural inquisitiveness" and a desire to "catch the bad guys," Walton says. In the Twin Cities area, both Century College (www.century.edu) and Inver Hills Community College (www.inverhills.edu) offer training in information security.
Walton also notes that Benchmark Learning, with offices in Edina and Bloomington, offers training in IT applications and processes. For someone looking to start or re-kindle an IT career, he says: "It's about training and certifications, not about going back for another degree."