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2012 IT Workforce Snapshot

In order to understand the state of the IT industry, it is important to know key statistics and trends that impact IT decision makers and IT professionals. TEKsystems’ IT Workforce Snapshot is designed to provide a high level view of trends impacting IT spending, IT unemployment, hiring projections and IT skills in demand, among other valuable insights. It can help organizations create a benchmark for comparing IT goals with industry peers and provide a reality check about potential challenges related to securing the right IT professionals.

IT Spending Projections

Recent research indicates 53 percent of IT leaders expect their budgets to increase in 20121, up from 48 percent in 20112. Twenty-six percent of IT leaders expect their budgets to stay the same and 21 percent expect their budgets to decrease1, compared to 18 percent in 20112.

The 2012 projected spending on IT in the U.S. is expected to be $958 billion3. Total IT spending is broken down into Computing Hardware ($110.47 billion), Software ($71.5 billion), IT Services ($220.7 billion) and Telecom ($555.35 billion).

Approximately 40 percent of IT leaders anticipate spending on IT infrastructure (44 percent) and IT applications services (40 percent) to increase in the first quarter of 2012. Approximately a quarter of IT leaders anticipate IT infrastructure (24 percent) and IT applications (20 percent) spending to rise by 5 percent or more1.

The majority of IT decision makers expect spending to stay the same in IT outsourcing (56 percent), IT education and training (57 percent) and off-shore and near-shore (73 percent) in the first part of 20121.

Several IT projects will be at the top of IT leaders’ to-do lists in 2012. Recent research indicates mobility projects are number one with 54 percent of IT leaders citing implementation plans over the next 12 months. Business intelligence, master data management and cloud computing projects will also be near the top of IT leaders’ priorities with 43 percent or more citing plans to implement such projects in 20121.

From business intelligence programs to mobility initiatives, many of the projects IT leaders will implement this year require an infrastructure that can support desired business outcomes, says TEKsystems Market Research Manager Jason Hayman.

For example, IT professionals want to be able to access data and information from anywhere on their own devices. It is critical organizations have the infrastructure in place to ensure this corporate data is secure and they can monitor how people are using it on their own tablets, smartphones and other personal devices.

IT Hiring Expectations

While more than half of IT leaders expect their temporary (55 percent) and permanent (57 percent) IT headcount to stay the same in 2012, slightly more than a third anticipate their temporary (34 percent) and permanent (35 percent) IT hiring will increase during the first quarter of 20121.

Those leaders expecting to grow their IT staffs in the first three months of 2012 are primarily anticipating increases of 1 to 5 percent with several expecting growth rates of 6 percent or more1.

It’s a positive sign that the vast majority of IT leaders are expecting to keep their staff levels the same as last year, while also adding some headcount. Despite the uncertain economic climate, organizations realize it is critical to hire the right IT skills to ensure their expenditures are successful and not wasted investments, comments Hayman. Many of the IT initiatives being implemented, like business intelligence projects, require full-time, in-house skills to drive constant improvement efforts. Temporary hiring is also important during implementation phases and keeping legacy programs operational.

Supply and Demand For IT Professionals

Demand for IT professionals remains high. In 2011, U.S. IT unemployment averaged 4.1 percent, down from 5.2 percent in 2010. Meanwhile, U.S. IT employment reached approximately 4 million, accounting for about 2.6 percent of the entire U.S. workforce. Compared to 2010, IT added approximately 83,000 new jobs and IT employment was up 3.3 percent, a growth rate more than double the 1.3 percent rate experienced in between 2009 and 2010.

TEKsystems research corroborates steady demand. IT professionals report receiving, on average, 23 job solicitations per week from professional recruiters5. Additionally, the number of job requisitions for IT professionals increased 15.2 percent from 2011 to 2012. During this time, demand for IT professionals increased most in healthcare (43.3 percent), energy and utilities (17.7 percent) and information technology (17.5 percent).

We see IT professionals becoming increasingly more important as businesses invest in IT initiatives to upgrade equipment, improve efficiencies and support business goals in a more strategic way, says Hayman.

The healthcare industry is managing several legislative initiatives forcing organizations to meet new compliance regulations that require heavy IT support. Additionally, the energy and utility industry is continuing to see a push to implement more green IT initiatives where the reduction of hazardous materials, energy efficiency and recyclability of IT hardware are the key goals and require various types of IT professionals. The IT industry plays a critical role in helping organizations make updates to hardware and software that may have been put on hold over the past few years. They are also relied upon to create new solutions to meet the demands that result from the consumerization of IT, a more mobile workforce and desire to leverage data to drive better business decisions.

Hot IT Skills

With major initiatives like cloud computing, mobility and business intelligence at the top of most CIO’s project lists, experienced IT professionals with related skills are in high demand. Over the past two years, IT leaders consistently identified Enterprise Architects, Cloud Architects and Security and BI Specialists as four of the most difficult to fill positions. New roles identified as difficult to fill in 2012 include Data/Master Data Management Architects and Mobile Application Developers1,2.

In demand skills are related to the fact that organizations are undertaking many of the same IT projects at the same time, comments Hayman. To secure the necessary talent, proactive, strategic talent management programs are essential. Organizations with the strongest programs will have a leg up in attracting and retaining the necessary talent.


In 2011, IT professionals, on average, experienced a 3.3 percent increase in compensation after two years of salaries remaining nearly flat. Further, IT professionals in 2012 are expected to see salaries increase 2 percent or more6. In comparison, overall compensation for all private and public sector workers in 2011 only experienced increases of about 1.4 percent7.

According to IT decision makers, some of the more difficult IT positions to fill like Cloud Architects, Enterprise Architects and Data/Master Data Management Architects could see significant salary increases of about 10 percent or more in 20121.

While monetary compensation is always important to IT professionals, there are other components to your overall employee value proposition that need to be evaluated to attract the right people, says Hayman. To find and keep the best talent, you need to create a full package of benefits that sets your organization apart from the competition. The IT professionals we pulse on a quarterly basis say opportunities to develop and enhance their skills and as well as career advancement opportunities are just as important as salary.

Geographical Demand For IT Professionals

Over the past year, each region in the U.S. experienced at least a 10 percent increase in demand for IT professionals. According to TEKsystems data, in the U.S. the largest increase in demand from 2010 to 2011 was in the Southeast where job requisitions rose 23 percent. The Northeast region (17 percent), Central region (15 percent), West region (12 percent) and Midwest regions saw slightly lower, but positive, increases in demand.

Across the country businesses are relying heavily on IT to improve business operations. No matter where a company is based, IT professionals are critical to successful implementations and effective programs, says Hayman. While some regions may see higher demand for IT professionals than others, make no mistake that the war for qualified IT talent is extremely high and prevalent in all industries and all regions of the U.S. To avoid pitfalls during IT projects, organizations should evaluate existing, in-house skills, identify gaps and ultimately determine the most effective strategy to find, hire and retain the best people, concludes Hayman.

About TEKsystems®

People are at the heart of every successful business initiative. At TEKsystems, we understand people. Every year we deploy over 80,000 IT professionals at 6,000 client sites across North America, Europe and Asia. Our deep insights into IT human capital management enable us to help our clients achieve their business goals – while optimizing their IT workforce strategies. We provide IT staffing solutions, IT talent management expertise and IT services to help our clients plan, build and run their critical business initiatives. Through our range of quality-focused delivery models, we meet our clients where they are, and take them where they want to go, the way they want to get there.

TEKsystems. Our people make IT possible.


1 TEKsystems IT Executive Outlook Survey, December 2011

2 TEKsystems IT Executive Outlook Survey, December 2010

3 Gartner IT Spending & Staffing Report 2012, January 2012

4 Digest of Education Statistics, 2011

5 TEKsystems IT Professional Perspectives Survey, December 2011

6 2012-2011 Dice Salary Survey, January 2012

7 Bureau of Labor Statistics National Compensation Survey, December 2011