Local IT jobs boom: Java and Oracle skills lead the way, Linux grows

The Australian IT job market has boomed in the last year with Java, Oracle and Unix experts topping the most-wanted list, according to the latest Ambit study released last week.

The Ambit Jobnet trend series measures the skills required for vacancies advertised on the IT&T job Web site, Jobnet.

Ambit IT&T recruitment spokesperson Peter Acheson said there has been an IT jobs boom right across Australia in the last 12 months with companies reinvesting again after Y2K and GST concerns.

"New South Wales led the boom about 18 months ago, followed by Victoria at the start of this year and all the other states have picked up as well in the last six months," he said.

"The Perth IT job market is particularly strong now, and is driven by a massive engineering boom."

The study found that Java is the programming language in demand, with 8.6 percent of advertisements looking for people with this skill.

"Java continues to be the preferred development platform. It is used widely in banking and telecommunications and is the most commonly used development platform for customer marketing, particularly where online browsing or problem management is concerned," Acheson said and recommends that Java language programmers update their skills in both client and server areas.

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

Visual Basic skills are also in demand with 6 percent of advertisers requiring them.

Acheson recommends that Visual Basic candidates upskill in VB.net, which is increasing in demand as more organizations invest strongly in this area.

Archeson has also observed that new operating systems such as Linux, Solaris and NetWare are rapidly gaining popularity.

"Organizations are looking for systems that can be supported and provide a cost-effective contribution to productivity. Linux has emerged as an attractive option due to its open source nature and global following," he said.

"Linux skills are likely to be increasingly in demand."

Oracle still leads the way in demand as far as database skills are concerned, with advertising for these skills accounting for 12 percent of all jobs advertised on the site.

"This is primarily due to the fact that Oracle continues to be the preferred database, thanks to its ability to maintain and store large amounts of data on the backend of applications," Acheson said.

"With Oracle's further push into the financial space its footprint will become even greater," he said, and believes that organizations favour Oracle because it supports all platforms, not just Windows.

He advises database candidates to further their knowledge by working on more complex systems and acquire more knowledge in data warehousing and business intelligence.

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