Demand grows for SQL and Linux skills

Number of people looking for IT jobs jumps 42 percent in Q4 2009

SQL, C#, .NET and Linux are four skill areas that have seen a rising trend in demand, according to a new report from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC).

The Technology Demand and Supply Q4 2009 report, produced for REC by sector skills council e-skills UK, found that these were the only skill areas where demand increased for two consecutive quarters.

There were a total 82,000 advertised vacancies for IT staff, and 71,000 staff looking for new or additional jobs in Q4 2009 (a 42 percent quarterly increase), according REC's report.

In the skills area, advertisements for staff with SQL skills were the most prominent, with 20,000 adverts counted in the period. There were 10,600 adverts for workers with C#, 9,500 for .NET and 5,300 for Linux skills.

Demand for nearly all skills fell in the period compared with Q4 2008. Only demand for PHP and AJAX skills grew in Q4 2009 compared with the same period in 2008, 17 percent and six percent, respectively.

In terms of occupation, the highest demand was for system developers in Q4 2009. There were 24,900 vacancies advertised during this period, followed by systems administrator (4,600 vacancies).

Systems developer was one of six job categories, out of a total of 20, to see an increase in demand over two consecutive quarters. Other positions that saw a rise in demand included projects manager, senior systems developer, business analyst, PC support analyst and senior test analyst.

Demand for web designers dropped the most compared with Q3 2009, falling 18 percent.

The report highlighted C#, systems developers, senior systems developers and senior test analysts as areas that would be "relatively difficult" for recruiters over the near term due to skills shortages.

Over the three quarters to the end of 2009, permanent staff with Fireworks or Foxpro skills were being increasingly sought-after. Demand also continually grew for permanent ICT managers and directors.

Among contractors, different skills and positions were in demand. Those with DB2, OLAP, Sybase, C++ and Swing skills rose for two consecutive quarters, as did demand for senior business analysts and operators.

Jeff Brooks, Chair of REC Technology, said: "Our members are showing increasing confidence in the sector and many of them are looking to hire more recruiters as a result.

"It is very encouraging to see that companies will still invest in technology to develop their businesses even when there is a tough economic landscape."

Last week, trade body Intellect launched a technology manifesto calling for the government to create tax incentives to encourage the IT sector in the UK to grow and make 250,000 new IT jobs available over the next 10 years.

This story, "Demand grows for SQL and Linux skills" was originally published by Computerworld UK .

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