The IT Market’s Hot: What’s in it for You?

By Marc J. Schiller

I see a lot of signs these days that the IT market is hot. I see many people moving to bigger and more challenging positions. I’m being asked to help find senior people more than ever before. I see nice signing bonuses for new employees and promotions for internal people. And, most of all, I see lots of new IT initiatives being green-lit that would never have been considered a few years ago.

This isn’t quite scientific research, but I’m out there with you and hearing your stories about what is happening with IT. This economic recovery is real and IT is starting to feel it.

So, it seems prudent to ask the obvious question: What’s in it for you as an IT professional and manager?

Money, Position and Power

A broad range of IT skills are in short supply and that means it’s more of a seller’s market than usual. And when demand rises, so do prices—and we are starting to see salary increases in the IT job market. So, if you have been considering the move to new professional opportunities, now is a good time for making that move. You will probably find it easier to get a new job, and you’re also likely to earn more money for doing pretty much the same thing you currently do.

But the truth is many IT professionals are happy where they are and aren’t seriously considering a change in employment. Mostly, they just want to put their skills to work and contribute to something meaningful and realize the greatest economic opportunity possible.

If that’s your situation, then the changes in the IT job market are especially important for you because the forces driving the demand for IT skills aren’t IT specific. They come from an overall increase in business investment across a wide range of industries. Big business is strong again and investing money, especially in the U.S. And these changes are likely to have a positive impact on your organization as well.

As the larger economy has recovered from the recession of 2008, the business community has starting investing again. And these days, there’s no such thing as a non-tech investment. Almost every business initiative has a substantial IT component.

IT is embedded in every business process. From supply chains to marketing, every aspect of the operational value chain is systematized. IT no longer supports the other functions of the enterprise; IT is woven deep into the fabric of each and every business function. And any money the top brass of an organization lets loose for a new initiative will likely create opportunities for IT. In fact, it’s likely there are some new business initiatives that are bubbling up in your company right now with a possible impact on IT. You just may not know about them yet.

It’s a somewhat unfortunate truism that IT systems are often the first thing business people turn to when addressing a new initiative. That’s a big reason why the demand for IT skills is up. And while it may not always be the most effective course of action, it’s working for us. (By the way, that’s why the demand for IT jobs has become a bit of a canary-in-the-coal-mine indicator for business investment.)

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