The IT employment landscape is shifting as new technologies bring new occupational demands while older ones fall out of vogue. The shift is reflected in the changing hiring needs of an innovation-minded Apple, or in the retraining of IT professionals to handle new roles at tomorrow’s Googles and Facebooks.
But taking the pulse of changing technology beat isn’t always easy. “One of the things we’ll be looking at in our upcoming research is the impacts of new technologies,” says Josh Williams, president of BW
Research Partnership in Carlsbad, Calif. “We’ll be asking the question, ‘Are the skill sets changing that employers need?'”
The answer is likely to be affirmative in a number of IT
areas, as well as in the industries that are dependent on their technology departments. A case in point is healthcare. “We are doing a healthcare industry IT study in California to determine where the growth and demand will be for new jobs,” Williams says. The two areas that will experience the most growth are IT jobs at technology providers such as IBM and GE, and within the healthcare industry itself, which will need an army of records coders to enable the impending digitization of medical records.
Key growth areas will include electronic medical records, e-billing and new diagnostic tools. “The jobs are being created more in the IT field around those companies that work on EMR,” Williams points out. “These are IT providers who can export these solutions into the healthcare industry.”
The shift from paper to electronic medical records will bring a change in job skills as healthcare organizations face new demand for, say, certified coders who can put medical data into digital format. “This is a job that’s in strong demand today,” Williams says. “Healthcare providers are looking for people who can work with these technical tools.”
Less Volatility, Smoother Growth Seen for the Valley’s IT Employment
Silicon Valley will continue to be a hotbed for growth in IT jobs, but the pace is likely to be
more gradual this decade than it’s been over the last five years.
That’s one of the findings of a labor market study released by the NOVA Job Seeker
Center in Sunnyvale. From 2005-2010, Silicon Valley’s information and communications technologies (ICT) industries experienced volatile swings in employment levels. That impacted computer, software, networking, telecommunications, Internet, programming and information systems technologies.
NOVA’s findings suggest that there will be slower, more even growth through 2020. The occupations predicted to have the most growth are applications and systems software engineers, computer systems analysts, network systems analysts, and data communications analysts.
— Doug Bartholomew