Internet, networking win in skills stakes

Newer, specialised IT skills overshadow traditional high-volume techniques in advertised IT positions which fell by 14.5 per cent over the last 12 months, according to a recent report.

Over the last 12 months demand for network, communications and Internet-based skills surged by 33.2 per cent with 34 per cent of all advertised IT jobs relating to those technologies.

Figures for that sector continue to grow, said Brian Youston, CEO of Icon Recruitment - which commissioned the report by Colin Gottliebsen of Icon IT Trend Index.

"New Internet technologies are being released almost daily, and naturally skills will be required to use these technologies," he said, adding that as the industry becomes more technologically advanced on the Internet, high demand for the skills will continue.

The report also shows that there are currently 1547 live IT skills, of which 522 are new or "refreshed" skills arriving on the market in the last 12 months; some 230 skills were listed as "inactive" over the same period.

A high proportion of the new skills relate to the Internet Youston said, naming customer service, Windows NT 4.0 Server, PHP, SQL Server 7, STL, automated testing, Siebel, Jade, SAP Bus Information Warehouse, B2B, three-tier development, Java Server Pages, and Windows 2000 as recent additions to the skills list. CRM is another high demand skill that is having a large impact on the IT marketplace.

He said refreshed skills are those which may not have been advertised for a few years, but reappeared this year, which may indicate that a new IT project has started requiring less recent skills. Inactive skills relate to the skills that were in demand for Y2K, which were mainframe technology driven skills.

The report showed that IT salaries had risen by 13 per cent overall with more than a third of the identified 47 IT job roles also showing an increase.

Youston said the salaries increase shows companies continue to compete for the best staff. "Companies should focus on their environments, working conditions, incentives, reskilling and retraining opportunities and matching their general overall resource needs with the needs of the organisation and its technology business drivers," Youston said.

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