Despite the slow economy, there is no better time to be in the IT sector than now. In fact, demand for IT jobs in Western Canada is showing an 8% increase over the past 12 months.
According to Sapphire Technologies–a leading staffing service–Canadian organizations are expected to spend more than $40 billion on IT in 2009. The numbers are also positive when it comes to the unemployment rate in the IT sector. It’s 3.5%, which is less than half the general unemployment rate of 7.7%. In addition, traditional IT positions are shifting to hybrid roles requiring a broad range of qualifications, such as business and communications skills, so there is definitely room for growth.
According to Terry Power, Managing Director of Randstad Canada and Sapphire Technologies, some of the top IT positions in Western Canada are for networking specialists and senior IT professionals – especially Project Managers and Architects. In fact says Power,
…in these areas, we are still hearing some organizations complain that they can’t find qualified people.
As for salaries, junior and intermediate positions have seen some downward pressure, but it varies across the country and depends on the industry. For senior positions, salaries and rates steady.
So how can workers keep their IT skills up-to-date? Power says,
The role of IT has evolved and IT professionals need to evolve too. IT is still something companies rely on to create a competitive business advantage, so I would advise that first make sure that your technical skills are up to date. Then, make sure that you can also offer business and communication skills. Those who will do well in the new economy will be those with a broad range of technical and soft skills as well as a good understanding of business.