St Louis Sees Demand for .NET Developers, IT infrastructure Specialists

In July, the city of St. Louis had reason to
feel good about itself. Emerson
opened the doors of a state-of-the art, 35,000-square-foot global data center
that features a 7,800-square-foot rooftop solar array, the largest in Missouri. Its  more than 550 solar panels can generate 100
kilowatts of energy, or enough to power the average American home for more than
three days.

St. Louis SkylineEmerson anticipates the center will have 99.982 percent
uptime, which is critical for a company with operations across more than 200
manufacturing locations around the world, according to St. Louis Business and Technology News. Emerson employs 2,400
people in the city.

Considering that St.
Louis isn’t known as a technology center, Emerson’s
achievement is notable. BusinessWeek recently
identified St. Louis
as the 43rd "best city for tech jobs," with the leading category
being computer systems design. Not a stellar ranking.

Still, recruiters are seeing signs that demand for
technology professionals is on the uptick, particularly for contract workers
specializing in .NET application development and infrastructure technology. "In
the second quarter, we saw a pick up in demand for .NET developers and
Microsoft Access developers and in Q3 we saw the infrastructure market pick up
tremendously," says Lisa Schneider, a recruiter for Robert Half Technology
in the St. Louis
office. "It’s also a lot of permanent positions on the
infrastructure side. I would say we have seen a 50 percent increase in the
demand for infrastructure workers since January 2009."

St. Louis Job PostingsThat’s good news, but keep it in perspective: Since July 2008, the number of tech jobs in St. Louis posted on Dice declined nearly 55 percent, from 987 last year to 446 last month.

Still, Schneider also has seen an increase in demand for
project managers and business analysts for projects that range from three
months to six months, on average. She attributes the demand to St Louis’ relatively healthy finance and
healthcare sectors, although the need for infrastructure workers has been
largely outside those sectors. "Companies are starting to spend more money
on technology," she explains.

Tisha
Mason
, managing director for Manpower Professional’s St.
Louis office, has also seen an increase in demand from
her clients. "Companies that have laid off workers are starting to hire
again," she reports. "Eighty to 85 percent of the jobs have been on
the contract side, but the fact they’re opening up and hiring contractors is a
sign things are changing."

The skill sets in demand from her clients include
application developers for Java, and .NET as well as Cisco network engineers to
develop software. However, Mason hasn’t seen much demand for project managers
and business analysts. In addition to finance and healthcare, she sees demand
coming from telecommunications and utilities firms.

The overall employment picture for St. Louis looks bleak. According to the U.S.
Bureau of Labor Statistics
, the city¿s unemployment rate was at 9.9 percent in
June, up from the 9 percent recorded in May.

Comments

3 Responses to “St Louis Sees Demand for .NET Developers, IT infrastructure Specialists”

August 25, 2009 at 12:33 am, Scott said:

I graduated UMSL in St. Louis and must say the job market is brutal as the positions usually require 5+ years industry specific experience. For years, it was fact that employers weren’t looking to take on inexperienced talant despite the fact experienced professionals also need training on job specifics. I would say the market is over saturated with seasoned professionals. It’s quite brutal when IT grads and MBA’s are working for $10/hour in retail stores at the Galleria shopping mall.

If business services companies and the overall economy can pick up, then there will be a surplus of jobs allowing entry level to mid career level opportunities, but as it stands, the market is senior professional oriented. I’m looking for a specific certification that could get my foot in the door. This requires picking one of the many types of certification programs that has strong recruitment of grads. Any ideas which one?

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August 27, 2009 at 11:21 am, jo ann said:

I know that it is a very bad time for mainframe experienced programmers. All the major companies have laid off their mainframe IT workers.

I don’t know what to tell you except branch out to other states. Take a contract job if you can to hold on for right now.

i’ve interviewed a number of times but have not nailed anything down. the job fair last Friday downtown was a joke. The companies were not taking resumes and didn’t have any jobs. Did talk with one contract company and they suggested going out of state because they have few positions here in St Louis.

good luck on your job search and just hang in there. that’s all any of us can do.

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August 27, 2009 at 11:49 am, Justin said:

St. Louis has always been a low pay, hold down the salary, conservative, good ol boy network kind of place to work. Most companies here are cheapskates to the hilt! In term of employment opportunities, there has never been anything here for senior level IT folks, for example, program or project managers. The air is quite thin up there anyway. St. Louis companies will literally hold out for months until they find someone in the el cheapo price range. So, I’ve found solace in either coasts which I’m in the process of moving to. Au revoir!

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