Index: Java skills still in high demand

Experts in Java, Unix or Oracle should have no trouble finding work, according to the results of a skills survey.

IT&T recruiter Ambit's six-monthly series measures skills required for roles advertised on Jobnet, the Australian IT&T career site.

According to the series, people with Java experience are in top demand, with 8.5 percent of all Jobnet advertisers requiring these skills. Visual Basic experts came second with 6.1 percent of jobs advertised needing their expertise. C++ professionals are third most sought after with 4.8 percent of IT&T employers wanting them.

Peter Butterss, Ambit Group's executive director, said although the demand for Java skills had dropped since peaking in February 2001 with a 15.6 percent demand, it still remains high.

“The key reason for this stems from Java continuing to be the preferred development platform because of its scalability and its ability to operate with other platforms within the client and server space,” Butterss said.

“As a result it is widely used in the banking and telecommunications sectors and is the most commonly used development platform for customer marketing- particularly where online browsing or problem management is concerned.”

Butterss advises that Java language programmers update their Java skills in both the client and server areas.

“From an interface perspective, Swing is worthwhile investigating and on the server side, Servlets and APIs are good,” he said.

“People with C++ skills should be looking at extending their expertise into C# while VB candidates should be upskilling to VB.net which is increasing in demand and expected to grow even more over the next six months with many organisations investing heavily in the area.”

Ambit’s research shows that on an operating system front, Unix experts are in great demand, with roles requiring this skill accounting for 11.5 percent of jobs advertised on Jobnet.

“Although Unix has historically been the most frequently used operating system for communications purposes, we are beginning to see an increase in Linux applications, it is becoming cheaper and is supported by a large, free online community,” Butterss said.

As far as database expertise are concerned, Ambit have found people with Oracle expertise to be extremely popular, with jobs requiring these skills accounting for 12.2 percent of all IT opportunities advertised on the Jobnet site.

“Oracle continues to be the preferred database thanks to its ability to maintain and store large amounts of data on the backend of applications. It is also widely used in companies maintaining large numbers of customer records and those providing leading customer service solutions,” Butterss said.

“With Oracle’s push further into the financial space, its footprint will become even greater with organisations,” Butterss said.

Butterss suggests it is important that candidates with database expertise expand their knowledge by working on larger complex systems. He also recommends they acquire more knowledge in data warehouse and business intelligence areas.

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