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Are IT People Starting to Look Like Regular Employees?

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Some recent employment-related data suggest that IT professionals have similar employment experience as other members of the working class. In fact, some IT professionals are actually reporting directly to business unit managers. Is this scary or does this offer opportunities?

Hiring Flat, Participation Down

As reported in Insurance Networking News, analysis by Janco & Associates find that hiring for IT jobs has come to a ‘standstill’ due in large part to the uncertain economic climate.  Moreover, some job seekers have actually left the job market.  INN quotes Janco CEO, M.V. Janulaitis, “The true unemployment rate would be over 11 percent,” if it included those people who have dropped out of the labor market.

Raises and Bonuses Normalizing, Outsourcing Cited

In conducting its 16th annual salary survey of IT professionals, Information Week found that “compensation for staffers is flat compared with last year and up only 3% for managers.”

Moreover, there are decreases in related benefits, including training.  Information Week comments:  ” And people are our most important asset?”

One of the main causes for the downward pressure is the use of outsourcing.  The fact is that IT people are getting accustomed to the use of outsourcing as part of the normal environment.  Information Week notes that the level of outsourcing has remained the same since 2004 and “IT pros aren’t quite as discouraged about outsourcing’s impacts as they were a decade ago.”

Situation Normal, With a Twist

For most workers,  low participation and downward pressure on wages is nothing new.  This might be the case of IT professionals joining the rest of the population.  And that might be a good thing.

One unique result is the movement of IT professionals into business units.  Information Week found that “One-third of the IT managers in our survey report to someone outside of the IT organization for at least half of their time, and one in five IT staffers do.”

This synergy has the benefit of exposing IT to the real world of business as well as offering the business benefits of the IT professionals.   And it helps the employee personally.  Information Week concludes, “For anyone looking for a spot as a highly valued, well-paid IT pro, combining a deep understanding of the customer with sharp technical skills is a strong place to start.”

What Do You Think?

Do you see IT moving towards the business environment more?  If so, is this a good thing?

Employee your talents, and let us know.

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