While the employment outlook continues to look cloudy for many job seekers in 2012, when it comes to technology jobs, recent IT college graduates might be in luck. Recruiters, industry analysts, and job data all point to a promising market for entry-level IT jobs in 2012.
One reason is there is a shortage of IT talent in 18 states and Washington D.C., according to data compiled by Dice. While the shortage may be for higher-lever positions, it is still creating a bottom-up situation where new grads can find support roles and start to move up the ladder.
“Most of the entry-level work is going to be some form of interacting with other people, such as a desktop support technician,” said Matt McGee, VP of technical staffing services for Pomeroy. “If you have some good interpersonal skills and the ability to learn from a technical standpoint, you’re desired in a service desk…. With a college education, you can be a team leader or a process analyst.”
Yet service-desk and support jobs aren’t going to be the only entry-level positions that will be in demand in 2012. There is also a demand for application developers in emerging technologies like smartphones and social media. Since these technologies are new, some employers are willing to consider recent college grads.
An example is Facebook, which is built on PHP, said Elizabeth Sias, recruiting manager for Randstad Technologies, in NetworkWorld. “If you can get the basics of that language down, there are entry-level positions for companies like Facebook to develop Web pages.”
There is also strong demand for mobile application developers and some employers are willing to consider recent college grads and hobbyists since the field is relatively new. Gartner anticipates entry-level tech opportunities for service providers, particularly in cloud computing.
Another hot area: business analytics. There is a shortage of business analysts and PHP software skills for permanent roles and C++ for contract roles, according to a study by KPMG and the Recruitment and Employment Confederation.
“No longer are analytics skills limited to those studying computer science. Regardless of their area of study, students need a solid understanding of how analytics technology can transform their industry by unlocking critical insights hidden in data,” said IBM’s Deepak Advani, vice president of predictive analytics, in NetworkWorld. “Students with a combination of industry/topic expertise and an understanding of analytics will be well positioned for jobs of the future.”
Plus, with the expected mass-retirement of baby boomers, young IT workers may find spots to squeeze into, whether it’s at the help desk or lucking out on a spot at Facebook.