Demand for ITers skilled in internet technologies such as HTML, XML and Perl is continuing to rise, according to research released by IT recruitment agency, Elan Computing.
In a comparison of the placements it made this year against the same period in 1999, Elan found that demand has remained constant or increased for 12 of the top 15 skills, suggesting that the IT skills shortage is continuing to worsen, says the agency.
"E-commerce and the internet have had a major influence on how companies perceive the importance of technology. Organisations are offering on-line services and building e-commerce functions into their websites, and are realising that they must continue to review and upgrade these functions to remain competitive," comments James Baker, e-business manager at Elan. "This is why our research has found that demand is increasing for the majority of skills. It would appear that the skills shortage is set to continue, and perhaps worsen, as technologies develop and companies race to implement them. We are recommending to many of our clients that cross-training their existing contractors and permanent staff is likely to be the simplest and most effective long-term solution to their needs."
Placed first on Elan's list of sought-after technologies this year was Windows NT/NT4, followed by Visual Basic/VB5, Oracle, C/C++ and SDH (Synchronised Digital Hierarchies).
Unix, SQL, Windows/MS Office, Cobol, HTML, Java, Lotus Notes, Cisco, SAP and Novell followed to complete the list of 15.
Steve Lordes, Elan's UK sales director, attributes the rise in demand for Visual Basic and SDH technologies to the increasing use of VB in web development, and to the popularity of SDH in the telecoms arena for use in building organisations' data networks, respectively.
Three of the top 15 skills witnessed a drop in demand, namely Windows NT, MS Office and Unix, however Elan expects requests for Windows-based skills to remain constant with the launch of Windows 2000 this Autumn. It also anticipates that Unix personnel will remain in short supply.