Irish IT professionals are confident of the employment outlook for the ICT sector, with more than 90pc expecting their organisations to maintain staffing levels or to recruit over the next 12 months.
According to the Irish Computer Society’s ICS Informed survey, seen exclusively by siliconrepublic.com, competition to recruit suitably qualified IT staff is currently strong. One in five employers reported that they have had difficulty in attracting adequate numbers of applicants for recent vacancies.
The findings also suggest that IT jobs aren’t as technology based as perceptions might suggest. On average, IT professionals spend just 38pc of their time on technical work and more than half of their working day is taken up with management and managerial functions.
IT professionals claim to be a well paid and happy bunch, with 81pc stating they are “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with their current careers. Some 80pc said they would recommend IT as a career to a friend, stating that it pays well, allows continuous learning and development, and presents a broad range of opportunities in a dynamic industry.
Jim Friars, chief executive of the ICS, sounded a note of caution in his introduction to the report, when he pointed out that “the career satisfaction and industry confidence are at odds with the lack of interest shown currently by second-level students in pursuing a career in IT”.
Just over half (51pc) of IT professionals are in favour of introducing IT as a secondary school subject in a bid to increase the number of applicants to IT courses at third level. More than a third (37pc) support its introduction at primary level.
With immigration becoming a more predominant social issue, the poll asked whether organisations are looking to workers from outside of Ireland to fulfil their IT recruitment needs. Currently, one in 13 IT workers in Ireland is a recent immigrant. In 10pc of companies, between 26pc and 50pc of the IT staff comprises recent immigrants (defined as having arrived in Ireland within the last five years).
The survey was conducted online and 167 IT professionals responded.
The ICS Informed series of surveys is set to continue this spring, with upcoming polls relating to infrastructure and IT budgets. ICT professionals can still register to take part in the survey panel at www.ics.ie/informed.
By Gordon Smith