January 24, 2010 – Technology sector job cuts fell dramatically in the second half of 2010, according to a report released today by global outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

Employers in the tech sector, which includes computer, electronics and telecommunications firms, announced 35,375 job cuts between January and the end of June 2010. From July through the end of the year, job cuts totaled 11,450; a 68 percent drop. Total, employers announced plans to cut 46,825 tech jobs in 2010. That was 73 percent lower than the 174,629 technology job cuts in 2009 and the lowest annual total for the sector in records going back to 2000. In 2001, at the height of the dot.com collapse, technology sector job cuts reached a record high of 695,581.

Technology jobs are among the occupations that will realize the fastest growth over the next decade, according to the study. Technology jobs will not only see gains in the coming the coming year, but they are among the occupations that will realize the fastest growth over the next decade. The number of network systems and data communications analysts is expected to increase by 53 percent by 2018, while the number of computer software engineers expands by 34 percent, according to projections recently released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics

The sharp decline in layoffs could have a couple of implications for IT managers and executives, according to James K. Pedderson, director of public relations at Challenger, Gray & Christmas. “Hiring is already starting to pick up at many tech firms. Right now, there is an ample supply of talent out there, but it won’t be long before companies begin to recruit from direct and indirect competitors,” says Pedderson. “As IT staff begins to feel increasingly secure in their jobs, they may start to explore other opportunities. In this environment, managers and executives will be required to turn their attention toward retention as well as recruiting.”

This does not mean that finding a job will be easy for technology workers this year, warns John A. Challenger, CEO of Challenger, Gray & Christmas. “Finding a job is never easy, even in the best economy. Despite the potential for improved hiring in the new year, there are still a lot people competing for every opening and many employers are very particular about what skills and experience they want new workers to have,” said Challenger in a statement.

For job seekers, Challenger notes it might be helpful to expand one’s search geographically or to other industries. “It is critical that technology workers continually update their skills in order to remain competitive. It is necessary to maintain a balance between having specialized skills and having the flexibility of a generalist,” advised Challenger.

Read about this year’s trends in IT compensation here.


Read more about useful skills in information management from Jim Ericson. http://www.information-management.com/blogs/Top25_Innate_Skills_enterprise_architecture-10019196-1.html


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