Last week news got out that Google was looking to hire 6,000 new employees. What happened next? More than 75,000 applications flooded in within days. That’s a record, says a Google spokesman, who reiterated the company’s plans to develop more mobile services, display advertising and Internet applications.
The future is looking less bright for long-time online audio powerhouse RealNetworks, which is eliminating 130 jobs, about 10 percent of its workforce. It’s part of a restructuring designed to reorient the company toward software as a service, social gaming, and emerging products.
Looking at the macro view, a number of reports presented a semi-sunny outlook for IT employment. According to a monthly index of IT jobs developed and published by TechServe Alliance, employment continued its pattern of month-over-month growth by adding more than 6,000 jobs in January. Total IT employment is inching back to the pre-bust level of 4 million jobs and is up 4.5 percent year over year. That compares to 0.8 percent for overall employment.
Another measure, this one from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, finds an even better net increase of 11,800 IT-related jobs in January, marking the eighth consecutive month of gains. Deeper in the numbers, however, are hints that some sectors are doing better than others. Telecommunications, for example, is lagging, while computer systems design is growing faster than average. The BLS also found that that the increasing use of outsourced hosted computer services is “rapidly” taking its toll on full-time IT staffs.
Meanwhile, recruiting firm Modis has declared “Hiring Freeze Over as Information Technology Industry Rebounds.” It notes
increased demand for front end developers for both .Net and Java, business and data analysts, and project managers.
But at the risk of ending on a down note, leave it to former Sun Microsystems CEO Scott McNealy to cast a pall over Silicon Valley with a provocative and pessimistic interview in which he says, “I see a migration from the early days of the Valley. We aren’t doing manufacturing; we aren’t doing design; we aren’t doing computers. It’s all moving to Asia and other places where there are lots of technical engineers who are willing to work at a more reasonable salary because they don’t have to spend $3.5 million on a home and pay half of it to taxes. I think every new transition has created less job opportunity as technology has become very leveraged. I don’t think our education system, our regulations, our government policies have kept pace with the changes that technology is driving.”
Upcoming Tech Events
February 16-17 – Washington, D.C.
Sustainability professionals gather to learn about the latest trends, make connections, and bring home new ideas. Partners include The Sustainability Consortium, Cleantech Open, Global Reporting Initiative, American Sustainable Business Council, and more, to develop a curriculum of new methodologies, reporting practices, standards, and technologies.
February 17, 8:00 a.m.- New York City
Learn how cloud computing has the potential to disrupt IT operations, ROI, and sourcing strategies by changing the way business needs are provisioned, priced, and delivered. Find out how IT and business leaders need to reinvent governance and restructure IT purchasing and sourcing approaches.
Feb 17-18 – San Francisco
Through keynotes and four tracks of sessions, the EA Forum provides an integrated understanding of business, information, and technology architecture – and the benefits possible when these domains are harnessed together. Topics include connecting business processes and architecture, creating business-driven technology strategies, key technology trends EAs should watch, and learning best practices from the EA Award winners.
February 23 – Santa Clara, Calif.
This full-day conference, which includes 24 sessions plus roundtable discussions, will help you learn in-the-trenches tactics to deal with the top data center and infrastructure challenges affecting your facilities. Learn about the latest technology trends affecting your facility’s infrastructure, and exchange ideas and best practices with other IT, facilities, and data center professionals.
February 27 – March 1 – Palm Desert, CA
This prestigious annual event brings together the best new products and concepts of the year, the people who back them, and the analysts who cover them. If it’s new and hot, it’s here.
– Don Willmott