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IT job seekers want to make bigger career moves

LinkedIn, which now has more than 20 million members in the UK, recently looked at how IT professionals’ jobs have changed over the past year

According to the latest LinkedIn UK data, fewer IT professionals moved jobs in 2015 than in previous years.

The social media site did some analysis for Computer Weekly and found 12% of IT professionals moved jobs in 2015, compared with 15% in 2014 and 16% in 2013.

However, those people who did move jobs were making far bigger career changes than previous years, according to LinkedIn’s data.

Of those that moved in 2015, 66% moved to another company, compared with 59% in 2014 and 55% in 2013. Similarly, of the IT professionals on LinkedIn in the UK that moved jobs in 2015, 50% changed industry, compared with 44% in 2014 and 40% in 2013.

LinkedIn also found 26% of IT professionals who moved jobs in 2015 had taken on to a more senior role in their new job.

From a skills perspective, the professional social media site noted that employers and recruiters appear to be demanding more “soft skills”, such as communication, in the IT professional population.

Such skills are increasingly important in agile projects, where IT people need to work closely with business colleagues on iterative software development.

Computer Weekly has spoken to a number of IT heads who see soft skills as significant in the effectiveness of an IT team working in the digital age.

The top 10 skills listed on the LinkedIn profiles of IT professionals

1.   Management
2.   Project management
3.   Microsoft Office
4.   SQL
5.   Telecommunications
6.   Java
7.   JavaScript
8.   Software development
9.   HTML
10. Team Leadership

In a recent Computer Weekly article, David Moschella, research fellow at Lead Edge Forum, wrote: “The communication, negotiation and consulting skills that IT professionals need to be successful business relationship managers (BRM) are directly transferable to the digital age.

“Having conducted dozens of BRM training sessions over the years, we have identified proven steps that firms can take to raise the personal power of their IT staff.

These people skills pay out well. One Computer Weekly reader recently noted in a comment on the importance of soft skills: “The person who has technical knowledge plus the ability to express ideas, to assume leadership and to arouse enthusiasm among people – that person is headed for higher earning power.”

Read more on CW500 and IT leadership skills