As more companies explore the use of contingency workers rather than full-time workers and as Congress works to finalize rules for the H-1B visa, 2014 is shaping up as an interesting year for IT employment. Developments both politically and economically will shape IT hiring decisions throughout the year, say recruiters. Five major IT hiring trends have the potential to change the recruiting landscape over the next 12 months.
IEEE-USA data shows that the number of electrical engineers declined by at 35,000 last year, or 10.5%, as some engineers move into management consulting, software engineering, and other IT occupations. U.S. Labor Department data doesn't show where these workers may have ended up, if anywhere. But last year, government data reported that 15,000 electrical engineers were unemployed. Employers, increasingly are hiring workers on a contingent or contract basis. IT labor analysts agree that the pace of IT job creation began to slow late last summer. They don't agree on the number of jobs created in 2013, but that's because some use a broad set of labor occupations to track IT hiring, and others use a more narrow set. But the hiring trend is clear. The economy gets the blame for the slowdown in hiring.
According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, for computer science majors, starting salaries were down 0.2%. For those students with a specific computer science degree, starting salaries were up 0.5%. The starting salaries for humanities and social science graduates averaged $38,045, compared with computer science graduates, whose starting salaries were significantly higher at $59,084. For computer science degree holders specifically, the starting salary was $64,700. Employers want workers who understand the business and technology. This trend is increasing the mix of requirements to get an IT job. Gartner estimates that by 2017, 50% of the IT roles will require business knowledge.
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