Conflicting reports on IT hiring

I am sure getting mixed messages on the outlook for tech jobs this year.

From Network World’s “Recruiters: IT job prospects are better than you think“, they mention a recent survey of CIOs conducted by Society for Information Management (SIM) which found that offshore outsourcing is expected to increase from 5% of IT budgets in 2010 to 7% of IT budgets this year. Management consulting firm Janco Associates asserts IT hiring remains sluggish because of outsourcing and offshoring. Janco CEO Victor Janulaitis says “It is a jobless recovery for IT because of two things. IT organizations are not in a hiring mode…and we have companies outsourcing a lot of lower-level and entry-level jobs. ” He says technical skills for running data centers and networks are not in demand. “It’s the grimmest of the grim for telecom and network infrastructure specialists. This is an area that people have outsourced or eliminated in a lot of organizations.”

Yet outplacement leader Challenger, Gray & Christmas CEO John Challenger is optimistic about tech in 2011 and says “Tech is doing better than the rest of the economy”. Michael Winwood, president of Technisource, a major IT temporary staffing player, is also optimistic and says demand for contractors have picked up, particularly with programmers and project managers. Dice CEO Tom Silver says the general hiring trend is up significantly. Money Magazine predicts IT jobs will grow 30% to 2018 in “Today’s ‘it’ Jobs: Accounting and IT”. And today’s Atlanta Journal Constitution boasted “Information tech hiring rises”.

But despite Obama’s “our generation’s Sputnik moment” speech the other day, companies continue to outsource engineering, accounting and technical support overseas. GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt, now chairman of Obama’s outside panel of economic advisers, said in his The Washington Post article “A blueprint for keeping America competitive”, “The assumption made by many that the United State could transition from a technology-based, export-oriented economic powerhouse to a services-led, consumption-based economy without any serious loss of jobs, prosperity or prestige was fundamentally wrong”.