Local IT jobs market leaves gloom to US peers

This year marks a significant turnaround in job market sentiment with Australian IT professionals optimistic about the state of the industry and their job prospects.

This is in stark contrast to a worsening IT job market in the US where a study has just been released by New York-based staffing firm Hudson showing our American counterparts are most unhappy whereas Australian staffers are decidedly positive.

Australian IT managers have nothing but positive comments about the state of the industry.

The US study found that in addition to a two-point drop in national employment in recent months, IT workers said their personal financial situation was worsening and they were generally unhappy in their current jobs.

Perhaps the most worrying factor is that Hudson's study is backed up by another two studies from the University of Illinois in Chicago and the Information Technology Association of America confirming times are tough for those in IT.

With all this doom and gloom facing the IT industry in the US, what do Australian IT managers think about the state of the job market locally? According to Melbourne-based Mitsubishi Development IT administrator Susanto Tandjung, everything appears to be on the up and up.

"I do think that the IT job market is picking up, and the industry is also picking up with budgets getting better," Tandjung said.

"Compared to five years ago there has certainly been an improvement."

Tandjung also predicted that conditions would continue to improve for the industry's job market.

"Guessing from the economic conditions at the moment I think the market will look even better in a year," Tandjung said.

Ben Dallenger, information systems manager at Puma Australia, of Melbourne, agrees that in Australia the IT job market looks positive, although he does believe that Australia mirrors trends in the US when it comes to IT.

"I think we do mirror the US, socially in regards to things like outsourcing," Dallenger said.

"In Australia the IT job market looks good because I think there are plenty of qualified people available in the market.

"It's flattened out a bit from a few years ago, when there were many more IT workers than IT jobs."

Finally, IT manager Ian Rootsey at Wattyl Australia, in Blacktown in Sydney West, has also seen improvements.

"It seems to be reasonable at the moment; there definitely seems to be a lot more work out there for people in the IT industry," Rootsey said.

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