Tech job prospects look good

15 Mar 2006

Some 60pc of technology firms across Europe are expecting to increase recruitment over the next 12 months, according to new research. However, European technology manufacturing jobs will continue to move from Europe and the US to lower-cost locations.

According to Eurocom Worldwide’s Fifth Annual IT Confidence Survey, with the local tranche of the research conducted locally by Simpson Financial & Technology PR, 58pc of firms surveyed expect to increase employment with just 8pc expecting to decrease headcount in the year ahead.

The survey recorded the views of almost 300 CEO-, director- or vice-president-level executives in 20 European countries, including Ireland.

One in three firms are now finding it more difficult to recruit than last year. The skills most in demand are software engineers followed by project management specialists and international sales people.

“The IT recovery is reflected in the fact that a skills shortage is now seen as the third most likely threat to growth in the sector,” commented Ronnie Simpson of Simpson Financial & Technology PR. A slowdown in the global economy and further oil price increases are seen as the major threats.

The Eurocom study predicts a continuing growth of technology manufacturing jobs in low labour cost centres, especially China. The vast majority of respondents (76pc) agreed with the comment that Europe and the US are rapidly losing their lead as technology manufacturing centres because of the rise of low-cost locations such as China and India. Just 11pc of respondents disagreed with this statement.

Some 71pc of those surveyed said that China will record the biggest growth in IT manufacturing jobs over the next three years, followed by India (17pc).

Firms are bullish on sales with 79pc expecting to increase revenues and only 3pc anticipating a downturn. More than half (53pc) are more confident than last year with only 3pc being less confident.

Respondents are divided on the outlook for the US economy. Some 21pc are more confident for growth prospects for the US but this is mirrored by 20pc who are less confident. Some 59pc believe that the US economy will mark time.

“The jury is out on the US economy,” commented Mads Christensen, director of Eurocom Worldwide. “The uncertainty probably reflects concerns over the widening US trade deficit.”

Views are also mixed on the outlook for the tech-heavy NASDAQ. While 58pc expect it to increase, 34pc expect it to show no growth while 8pc forecast a decline in the NASDAQ.

By John Kennedy