Understanding the Global IT Workforce: Study
Organisations all over the world are allocating massive resources to comprehend how the workforce of today thinks, operates and prefers to work. Spiceworks, a US-based professional network for the Information Technology (IT) industry, released the 2018 IT Career Outlook last month which sought to address the concerns of the workforce in the global IT sector and compile their views on a wide variety of industry-specific issues. We take a look at the study and discuss its key findings.
What is the 2018 IT Career Outlook Study?
Spiceworks conducted a survey in November 2017 across North America and Europe with 2,163 respondents working in the IT domain, from a variety of organizations. The companies were of varied sizes and belonged to diverse industries, whereas the respondents included the following: Millennials (born from 1981 to 1997), Generation X (born from 1965 to 1980) and Baby Boomers (born from 1946 to 1964). The results of the study were released in December 2017.
What did the study find?
While the study is a comprehensive report on different elements pertaining to employees working in the IT sector: job satisfaction, annual pay packages, career changes expected in 2018, reasons for seeking new employment, and areas of essential expertise in 2018, we highlight some of the most pertinent findings of the same:
- More than a third of IT specialists are planning to look for a new job, or accept a new position this year. 7% plan to switch to consultancy work or become a service provider and 5% are planning to leave the sector altogether.
- While 68% of the millennials believe they are underpaid, 60% of the Generation X workers and 61% of Baby Boomers feel the same.
- Millennials in the IT sector are the least satisfied with their current jobs and are most likely to make the switch this year. However, fewer millennials reported to being burnt out on their jobs, owing to their shorter careers.
- Most of those who plan to leave their current jobs (75%) are looking for a higher salary, followed by better advancement of skills (70%). Others are looking for a job that focuses on the IT role (39%), or want to work with more talented IT teams (33%).
- 36% of the respondents believe that the IT job market will grow in 2018, whereas 51% said that it will stay similar to that of last year.
- Cyber-security, networking, infrastructure hardware, end-user services, and storage and backup were the top five important areas of expertise for IT professionals in 2018.
- Others were: virtualization, email solutions, non-technical/soft skills, application deployment/management, mobility solutions, data analysis etc.
- 72% of the respondents in North America were satisfied with their current job, as compared to 63% of those in Europe. This explains why more IT professionals in Europe are seeking a change in their jobs, as compared to their counterparts in North America.
What do the findings suggest?
The numbers of the report are a marked improvement from last year and suggest that workers in the IT domain are upbeat and positive about their industry. While the respondents were only from North America and Europe, the findings can nonetheless be viewed as evidence that 2018 will prove to be an important year for growth in the global IT world. The study states, “Overall, the IT career outlook in 2018 is looking good. While the majority of IT professionals are satisfied with their jobs, most also believe they should be making more money... millennials are more likely to job hunt than older and more experienced generations, and European IT pros are more likely to seek new employment than those in North America... among tech expertise, cyber-security will continue to be the most highly marketable job skill. So despite a greater desire to earn more instead of learning more in the new year, that doesn’t mean IT pros are abandoning one of the prime directives in working in any technology field: ‘always keep learning’.”
While conducted in America and Europe, the study suggests that the global IT sector is likely to bring in good news for new job seekers of the industry. With changes in the global political climate, that have cast doubts on cross-border exchange of employees of one of the most critical industries today, this is a welcome relief. Workers should prepare themselves to make the most of the growth, innovation, and progress that is bound to happen in the global IT industry in 2018.
You can view the full study here.