Hot skills in IT


Hot skills in IT

Karl Flinders

Demand for permanent and freelance IT staff is still increasing despite a sizeable drop in IT positions advertised by public sector organisations.

According to the latest Salary Services Limited (SSL) research, the number of permanent IT jobs advertised in the third quarter of 2011 increased 1% compared to the previous quarter. There was a 4.7% rise in the number of freelance jobs advertised.

The private sector is driving demand as public sector vacancies fell 11.2% in the quarter compared to the previous three months. The number of public sector permanent IT jobs advertised in the quarter was 40.6% lower than the same period in 2010. Public sector freelance IT jobs fell 42.2% in the same period.

Things look set to get worse in the public sector. The National Audit Office (NAO) recently said it is likely government IT will continue to be subject to heavy spending cuts which will inevitably include job losses.

George Molyneux, research director at SSL, said things will get worse in the public sector. "Public sector IT jobs have been steadily declining over the last 18 months and, whilst there were some opportunities for contract staff, they have now disappeared."

The survey also revealed the software skills most in demand in the latest quarter of 2011 was SQL.

There were 20,046 jobs advertised for SQL. This was 9.7% more than the same period last year.

C programmers were the second most in demand, with 15,131 jobs advertised. This was a small increase of 0.6% compared to the number advertised in the third quarter of 2010.

The biggest increase in demand was for people with skills in the Agile development methodology. The number of Agile jobs increased by 75% in the third quarter compared to last year, reaching 5,767.

Two industry sectors and one region accounted for most permanent IT vacancies in the UK.

The number of IT jobs advertised in London and south-east England in the third quarter of  2011 was almost 55,000 . This figure compares with about 25,000 in the rest of the country combined. Inner London saw the number of permanent IT jobs advertised increase 24%, while vacancies in southern England and outer London grew 20.5% and 7.4% respectively.

Meanwhile about 59,000 jobs were advertised by software houses and financial services firms, compared to about 10,000 in all other sectors combined. The number of IT jobs advertised in the software sector grew the most at 18.8% while finance IT jobs were the second fastest growing with a 14.3% increase.

"If you want a job in IT move south," were the harsh words from George Molyneux, research director at SSL. He said because many of the big software companies are based in the in places like Reading and Bracknell and the fact that finance firms have major operations in London, the South of England is the place to be if you want a job in IT


How many permanent IT jobs are being advertised in different business sectors?

  • Electronics/Communications: 2,870 jobs advertised, -3.6% less than last year
  • Software Houses/Consultancies: 44,112 jobs advertised, 18.8% increase
  • Finance: 14,873 jobs, 3.9% increase
  • Retail: 2,427 jobs, 14.3% increase
  • Media: 2,986 jobs, 8.7% increase
  • Manufacturing: 1,449 jobs, 2% increase
  • Public sector: 605 jobs, -40% less than last year

How many permanent IT jobs are being advertised in different regions?

  • Inner London: 8,971 jobs, 24% increase
  • Outer London: 20,823 jobs, 7.4% increase
  • Southern England: 24,702 jobs, 19% increase
  • West & Wales: 7,423 jobs, 8.6% increase
  • East Midlands: 5,745 jobs, - 12.3% increase
  • West Midlands: 3,642 jobs, 1.7% increase
  • North-west: 4,206 jobs, 6.5% increase
  • North-east: 3,078 jobs, 2.2% increase
  • Scotland: 1,654 jobs, -5.1% less than last year



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