11% Growth in IT Jobs

According to a recent analysis by the Financial Times, nearly 720,000 people were working in computing roles in March 2013 – a rise of 11% from a year earlier.

silicon roundaboutThis implies that strong indigenous growth in areas such as London’s “Silicon Roundabout” is outweighing the long-term trend to offshoring of routine IT tasks.  This balance of opportunity and threat is of huge importance to those developing their careers in IT – or for those thinking of entering the IT sector.

A report from advisory firm Hackett Group suggests that “by 2017 half of all jobs will depend entirely on knowledge bases”. At the same time they estimate that by 2017 almost half of all corporate IT jobs in companies that existed in Europe in 2002 will have ceased to exist.

The Financial Times analysis is based on data from the Office for National Statistics so should be very reliable. They note that for the first time since 2001 the percentage rise in IT jobs reached double digits for two successive quarters. More jobs in computer programming, consultancy and related services have been added in the past year than in the six years to December 2007.

Focus on Training is heavily involved in developing the skills of IT professionals.  Focus MD Steve Twine says:

“IT is becoming integral to most modern businesses. Data centres and some development may be globally sourced but we are seeing strong investment in skills such as Business Analysis, Enterprise Architecture, Agile Project Management and Software Testing. These are becoming core competencies for many UK organisations.” 

The process of globalisation has not been one way. Tata Consultancy Services, the largest Indian outsourcing specialist, now employs more than 9,000 people in the UK (twice as amany as it did in 2006).

The figures confirm that IT remains a male dominated sector with men claiming 72% of full time jobs in the sector.

A report from the TUC notes that in Computing the average rate of pay is £18.40 per hour. This compares favourably to the rate paid in many other sectors where there has been growth over the past 2 years.  A rate of £7.95 or less is quite typical. 

The growth in employment within IT and Computing is stimulating more training through universities and apprenticeships but significant skills gaps are apparent. The area most regularly highlighted is information security where for many leading organisations the probability and implications of IT security breaches become increasingly apparent.

Chief Technology Officer at Dell SecureWorks, Jon Ramsey, was recently reported by Computing magazine:

“It’s become increasingly apparent that there is a cyber-security skills crisis.  With the continued rise in cyber-crime of all types, there needs to be a corresponding rise in skilled employees to tackle this epidemic.”

“All organisations need to increase efforts in training and recruiting workers to ensure we are closing the skills gap that exists today.”

 Read the full Financial Times report