Jobs on the horizon?

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Employment in the IT sector is slowly improving, but people may be critically under-skilled, according to Eddie Liu, manager of IT recruitment at Robert Walters.

Employment in the IT sector is slowly improving, but people may be critically under-skilled, according to Eddie Liu, manager of IT recruitment at Robert Walters.

Commenting on the recently released Robert Walters global salary survey, Liu said that being a specialist in one area may not be the recipe for success in the IT sector this year.

"The highest demand across the market is for the combination of technical and commercial skills," said Liu.

"The days of pure technical professionals with no commercial interest or understanding are gone," he said. "Employers are simply not interested in technical staff working in isolation from the business."

"Employers are no longer seeking a 'project manager' or an 'analyst programmer' as isolated technical skill sets. Instead they are seeking a track record of success within similar commercial environments," said Liu.

Referring to the survey, Liu said that on average less than 10 percent of the respondents matched 80 percent of the requirements, for each job advertised online.

Liu said that there was increasing expectation from technical staff to understand what a company's business objectives were, and how technology was going to help achieve these goals.

His advice to graduates was to take a long-term approach to their career, and to adopt the view that the first few years out of academia was a continuation of their learning and personal development.

"Too many graduates are hoping to secure their ideal role upon graduation," said Liu.

"The realistic approach is to secure employment which will give them an opportunity to continually develop themselves for a minimum of two years with their first employer," he said.

Liu gave high credit to tertiary education institutions for taking a long-term and proactive approach in adapting curriculum to anticipate market demands.

Robert Walters' Liu had a stern warning to Australian candidates -- "If candidates want to remain purely technical with no interest or inclination to understand the businesses which they work for, they are curtailing their own career development as the future will demand an understanding of business and technology".

Robert Walters is an executive recruitment consultancy.

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