Report Says Fewer IT Pros Needed This Year Than Last

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Jul 10, 2018

A new study conducted by Computer Economics found that 46 percent of IT organizations plan to increase headcount. This is down slightly from 49 percent in the 2017 study. Thirty-eight percent plan no change in hiring for IT talent.

However, the study does not foresee widespread layoffs of IT personnel in the near future. Whereas 16 percent expect layoffs this year, that’s down from last year’s 20 percent.

The full report, IT Spending and Staffing Benchmarks 2018/2019, can be downloaded via the organization’s web site. The executive summary can be downloaded for free. Separate chapters can be purchased for $1,295 each. The entire study will run you $29,995.

Perusing the executive summary reveals a few of the following highlights:

  • IT personnel are becoming more productive, keeping staffing levels in check
  • Software as a service, cloud infrastructure, virtualization, and increased automation are drivers of the increased productivity
  • Hiring is slowing for lower-level skills such as tech support positions
  • Hiring continues to increase for higher-level skills, such as project managers, data analysts and IT security professionals

As far as position breakdown, the largest portion of IT staffing is dedicated to application development, which accounts for 15.7 percent. Interestingly, this number has dropped from last year’s 16.8 percent. The report says this is largely due to the continued rise of SaaS in the applications portfolio of many organizations.

The next largest segment is in IT management at 12 percent, which is up from 11.6 percent last year. Help desk workers follow at 9.7 percent, followed by desktop support at 9.6 percent. Support positions around infrastructure, such as server and network support, show a declining percentage.

“IT is becoming more ‘white collar’ instead of ‘ironic T-shirt,’” said Computer Economics’ VP of research, David Wagner. “Modern IT professionals need skills that allow them to work with the business to solve problems, not simply to maintain infrastructure.”

The study is based on a survey of 205 IT organizations in the U.S. and Canada. It was conducted in the first half of 2018. Computer Economics has been publishing its annual research since 1990.

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