Top of the IT Talent Pops

Earlier this year I wrote about the talent shortage as IT's burning platform. It was suggested that the "Nexus" of forces identified by Gartner - social, mobile, analytics and cloud - is creating a shift in demand for IT talent, and as such changing the shape of the IT labour market. Together those force are driving, and will continue to drive, 10 big disruptive changes; including the emergence of the Internet of Everything and IT as a service broker.

I commented on how these factors were visibly impacting on the labour market. Combining with supply-side factors; such change in demographics, house price inflation, and computer science graduate training, we are creating shortages in some areas of IT skills and over-supply in other areas.

What I previously suggested, is that the skills needed to support "the nexus" needed further analysis, as these were the key to delivery and driving the digital transformation that many organisations yearn for.

For example in mobile, coding, javascript, HTML skills are they key ones. For Big Data and analytics, statistical skills, mathematical modelling and data architecture. For the Internet of Things, industrial design and coding. For cloud skills; security, IT procurement and enterprise architecture will be key.

I can see why Gartner has eluded to the IT department being a true service broker, an integrator of IT services, custodian of standards and security, innovator and engine of digital transformation.

Over the course of the summer, I have found this trend to be increasing. This is not anecdotal evidence, which is what I had initially, but backed up by hard fact. Salaries and demand for roles are changing, and the best way to spot this is by using jobwatch which you can see in some of the screen grabs below. It may not be 100% scientific, but what this does do is give you a view of the Top of the IT Talent Pops; Top Risers, Top Fallers and Top 10 and at the highest paid roles.

So the top in demand IT skill at the minute is "developer" with just under 5,000 live vacancies listed. But to add to that, C#, javascript and HTML all have over 2,500 vacancies each, with an average increase in salary of over 6.25% in the last year. Windows is still in demand, but showing a decrease in salary of 6.25%.

In terms of the largest increase in salary over the last year, it has to be technical architects. The following table illustrates this, and is backed up with recent conversations with some of the leading search firms who are struggling to find good quality people in this area.

The top fallers are a little harder to quantify, as the data is too granular. However, if you just search on Microsoft technologies and especially around infrastructure services, exchange, SQL and management services, there is a trend of between a 7% and 15% fall in salaries.

And what is the top of the pile in terms of salary? Is it the CIO? According to jobwatch the answer is NO! If you want to attract the top salary, be an architect or technologist.

Finally, it's worth taking the information with a pinch of salt. The IT Job board takes information from the previous three months, and lists only open vacancies. So many senior roles that never make it to the job boards are not listed and therefore are not included in the data. What is interesting is not so much the absolutes, but the identification of trends that back up Gartner’s hypothesis.

I think we have still a long way to go, and the talent gaps will get wider before they get narrower, and the pace and rate of change will increase. We can already see trends and patterns in the emergence of 3D IT. We have until now only had the 2D screen as the way of interacting with IT. This is making way for smart machines with immersive and interactive technologies which will drive further changes in the needs of the IT labour market.

Martin Carpenter is the former IT Director of Peabody Trust and features in the CIO 100 for 2014.


Copyright © 2014 IDG Communications, Inc.

7 secrets of successful remote IT teams