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Career Watch [Job outlook for recent college graduates in information technology]
Computerworld ^ | September 13, 2004 | Julia King

Posted on 09/15/2004 10:04:47 AM PDT by Mini-14

Q&A: Joe Rich

Title: Executive vice president

Company: Clark Consulting, Marlboro, Mass.

What he does: Having just surveyed 37 U.S. IT companies about their college recruiting plans, Rich is lukewarm at best in his optimism about new IT graduates' job prospects in the U.S. high-tech sector. The main reason: Graduate hiring by U.S. high-tech companies this year increased by a mere 1.6% over 2003. What's more, although the total number of new college graduates has increased, most U.S. high-tech companies hired fewer college graduates this year than in 2003.

What is the near-term IT employment forecast for recent university graduates? Hiring is modestly up but remains relatively low. In 2004, we saw only about 3,600 or so college hires in a sample of 37 companies. The interesting thing is that among the companies that increased rather than decreased staff, the hiring was significant in that they increased college hiring by 83%. Those companies tend to be in networking and telecommunications and software and services. The companies less likely to be hiring are in the semiconductor and hardware space.

What kind of degrees do new hires have? The strongest growth in college hiring is among computer science degrees with an IS emphasis. Overall, the number of hires for bachelor's degrees increased 68%. There was a 141% increase for master's degrees and a 100% increase for Ph.D.s.

Joe Rich, executive vice president at Clark Consulting
Joe Rich, executive vice president at Clark Consulting
How does today's college hiring compare with the pre-dot-com-bust days? In 1999 and 2000, we were seeing closer to 10,000 new college graduates hired in a year.

Given the current employment picture, would you encourage your own children to pursue a degree and/or a career in IT? IT is a less secure degree and career than it was 10 years ago. One reason is that we now have a hole in the bucket. When we do hire employees, they can come from places other than the U.S.—China, for example. As demand increases among U.S. technology firms, for the first time they have the option to go and get those employees somewhere other than the U.S. If I were advising youngsters about what to do about their degrees, I'd tell them to follow their passion.

In Brief

Keep Your Politics To Yourself

That's the advice of Liz Ryan, a workplace expert and founder and leader of the WorldWIT, an online discussion forum for women in business and technology ( "Over the last six to eight months, the country has split like the San Andreas fault. Now, with this hot, hot election coming up, talking about politics at work can negatively impact your career," Ryan says.

"Your boss or someone else in power may hold a different opinion than yours, so the best thing is to stay out of the political fray and keep the discussion innocuous. They don't need to know if you're a Kerry or Bush supporter. It won't help you professionally to tell them," Ryan says. Should your manager or someone else at work press you on the issue, there are gracious ways to wiggle out of the conversation, she adds. Ryan's personal favorite is to agree that the political rhetoric this year indeed seems more heated than ever before. Then say, "But I've made a commitment not to get derailed by the political situation and let it distract me from my work or anything else."

Say Bye-Bye

Over the next four years, more than 140,000 domestic call center jobs—and the IT infrastructure, network and computer support jobs that go with them—will disappear as companies move to cut costs by outsourcing the work to Canada and other countries with lower labor costs, according to a study released late last month by New York-based researcher Datamonitor PLC.

Datamonitor predicts that the number of U.S. call centers will decline by 6% from 50,600 today to 47,500 in 2008. At the same time, 800 new call centers will set up shop in Canada, creating 93,000 call center agent jobs north of the border.

It's All About The Money

For experienced IT pros, that is. By 2006/2007, IT salaries will again escalate as the economy improves, putting labor costs at 55% to 60% or more of the IT budget, according to Meta Group Inc. As the economy continues to improve through the end of this year and into 2005, key IT employees will start scanning the horizon for better employment opportunities, Meta predicts. To prevent the exodus of top employees, CIOs should pay closer attention to human capital management programs, including management development, employee welfare/morale, and recruitment and retention programs, as well as performance-based incentives. CIOs should work closely with human resources staff and line-of-business managers to address workforce hiring trends and projected IT staffing requirements, Meta says. They should also focus on selection of proper outsourcing strategies and try to keep annual employee turnover rates in the range of 4% to 6%.

Numbers Watch
9% of all CIOs will expand IT staff
3% of all CIOs will decrease IT staff
80% report they need Microsoft Windows (NT/2000/XP) administration skills
51% need Cisco network administration and Check Point firewall administration skills
Base: 1,400 U.S. CIOs at companies with more than 100 employees

Source: Robert Half Technology, Menlo Park, Calif., August 2004

A = Companies that hire staff to monitor outbound e-mail content
B= Companies that perform regular audits of outbound e-mail
22% 24% Goods manufacturing
25% 30% Retail/wholesale
45.5% 36% Business services, transportation, construction, engineering
39% 44% Finance and insurance
28% 36% Public service/nonprofit
40% 40% Other (includes media, entertainment, telecom and utilities)
Base: 140 companies with more than 1,000 employees

Source: Study conducted by Forrester Research Inc. for Proofpoint Inc., Cupertino, Calif., June 2004

TOPICS: Business/Economy
KEYWORDS: careers; college; employment; h1b; hiring; jobmarket; l1; unemployment

1 posted on 09/15/2004 10:04:48 AM PDT by Mini-14
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To: Mini-14
Keep Your Politics To Yourself

Yeah, that's real easy to do when company policy dictates that you have to "accept" and "respect" the "gay lifestyle."

This should have read: "Keep your politics to yourself...unless you're Liberal."

2 posted on 09/15/2004 10:21:51 AM PDT by Prime Choice (The Religion of Peace ISN'T.)
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To: Mini-14

This would be the graduating crop that went into college in 2000 just as the IT people in Silicon Valley were getting 6 figure offers with Porsches for a signing bonus during the dot com boom.

3 posted on 09/15/2004 12:02:25 PM PDT by Yo-Yo
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To: Mini-14

Document Restoration and Enhanced Gain Seminar(s) (DREGS) ought to big next semester.

4 posted on 09/15/2004 12:10:28 PM PDT by Old Professer (The world awaits the day when the ranks of the unemployed are all retired warriors.)
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