Decline in senior IT roles

The number of IT management roles being advertised has declined by 30% over the past two years while senior software development roles have dropped 18%, says a study by IT job agency ReThink Recruitment.

ReThink’s managing director Jon Butterfield says it was important to realise that the figures reflected fewer jobs, rather than mass redundancies across the sector. ReThink spotted 21,786 jobs on June 2008, versus 23,392 in the same period two years earlier.

“There is no sense of a return to the post-dot com market when huge numbers of contractors were laid off,” he says. “But where there is a less clear-cut business case some IT projects are being put on the back burner and that is leading to a softening in demand for some management and software development roles.”

It is also possible that the decline in job advertising simply reflects that people in these roles are choosing to remain in them for longer, driven by strong incentives or conversely, fear of being jobless in the current economic climate. Offshore outsourcing was another clear factor.

Seemingly immune to that, the number of IT support jobs advertised rose 20% over the last two years. The report suggested this was because wage inflation in India was making offshoring less cost-efficient for business.

“Offshoring has made organisations’ IT functions more efficient, which has freed up budgets for investment elsewhere. These new projects require support teams, and it’s not always appropriate or advantageous to base these staff offshore,” Butterfield adds.

“Organisations may not be repatriating jobs en masse, but when new jobs are created, the UK is becoming a viable location once again,” he says.

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