Your Career: What's Hot, What's Not

Semi-annual New York Software Information Industry Association survey sheds light on what hiring companies want most.

The results of the semi-annual New York Software Industry Association (NYSIA) survey show a ray of hope—at least for New Yorkers.

The Winter 2003 IT Workforce Survey is a profile of hiring and technology trends among New York City area IT companies. The organization's Windows 2002 surveys showed a hiring low point; this year's survey shows continued improvement in overall hiring as well as a demand for interns. Unfortunately, demand is still soft across all categories of technical personnel.

Where do companies find their employees? They're drawing more upon personal and professional networks than from more costly methods. At the bottom of the list: commercial and college job fairs and newspapers.

Microsoft product knowledge is still in high demand. When asked to rate how "important to your core business" a variety of technologies were, the top responses were Windows 2000/NT, JavaScript, SQL Server, and XML. Also strong: Unix, followed closely by Linux.

Survey respondents say demand is greatest for programmers, lowest for PC support personnel and graphic designers. Companies are looking for employees with project management methodology (such as RAD) skills and programming experience. For hiring companies, the most valuable certifications are MSCE (Microsoft Certified System Engineer) and MCSD (Microsoft Certified Solution Developer).

The survey was based on 124 respondents; two-thirds of represented companies have no more than 10 employees. According to Bruce Bernstein, President of NYSIA, "The number of participating companies has more than doubled since summer 2001, which reflects the growing importance of our survey in helping the industry chart its course in these uncertain times." Participants range from small companies with a handful of employees, to larger companies such as IBM, Information Builders, and Intrasphere.

Survey results are posted on the company's Web site: http://www.nysia.org/memservices/employtrain/nysia_surveys.cfm.

About the Author

James E. Powell is the former editorial director of Enterprise Strategies (esj.com).