Saturday, February 19, 2011

IT Jobs Recovery

Every so often, I check in on the IT jobs market to see what skills are in demand. Job posts are a leading indicator of long term market shifts - gains and losses.

Last summer, the hot job skills were Java, SAP, Oracle, SQL, and C#/C++. Big jumps (from small bases) were posted in demand for Android, Google, Facebook, iPhone,, and AJAX. As a category, big gains were primarily in job posts for programming languages and applications. What's changed since last summer?

  • Across all IT job skill categories, there was significant growth in jobs posted, with 30% more jobs posted since last summer across all tracked categories.
  • The "Applications" category experienced the fastest growth, with an increase in job posts in that category of over 40%. "Platform" job posts are up about 34%; "Language" posts are up about 28%; and "Database" posts are up about 27%.
  • The largest category is still "Language," with almost 65,000 jobs posted. The "Database" category is next with almost 58,000 jobs, followed by "Platform" with around 51,000 jobs, and "Applications" with around 22,000 jobs.
  • The hottest IT job skills, based on the number of open jobs on, are SQL, Oracle, Java, Windows, Unix, and Linux. See the table below a more complete list.
  • The fastest growth (across all skills in last summer's analysis) is in demand for iPad, HTML5, Amazon, Android, Twitter, and Facebook. See the second table below a more complete list.
  • New skills being tracked include Hadoop, NoSQL, Oracle eBusiness Suite, JavaScript, and Apple iOS.
Top 20 skills in demand:

Skill Overall Rank
Oracle 2
Java 3
Windows 4
Unix 5
Linux 6
SQL Server 7
JavaScript 8
XML 10
C# 11
SAP 12
Dynamics 13
C++ 14
IBM 15
Perl 16
MySQL 20

Top 20 growth categories:

Skill Growth Rank
iPad 1
Amazon 3
Android 4
iPhone 5
Twitter 6
Facebook 7
Ruby 8
IBM 10
Blackberry 11
eBay 12
SAP 13
Peoplesoft 15
VMWare 16 17
MySQL 19
Python 20

Additional findings:
  • Database: More jobs are open for the Oracle DBMS than all the other major databases combined (Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle MySQL, IBM DB2, and Sybase SQL Server). Oracle MySQL jobs are growing faster than any other major database, and Microsoft SQL Server shows a slight share increase in relative job posts compared to Oracle, but Oracle is still by far the category leader in the database space. Hadoop and NoSQL jobs are being tracked for the first time, and both have respectable showings, with hundreds of jobs posted for these skills.
  • Applications: SAP has taken the lead in this category. Surprisingly, Microsoft Dynamics was the category leader last summer, with about 7% more job posts than SAP despite SAP's significant lead in the market. However, since then, SAP jobs have grown by a whopping 46%, while Dynamics jobs have grown a respectable 35%. As a result, SAP jobs now exceed Dynamics jobs by a slim margin of less than 1%. Across the major Oracle application lines (Peoplesoft, Siebel, e-Business Suite), Peoplesoft shows rapid growth, but there is far more demand for SAP and Microsoft jobs than there is for Oracle applications. also shows rapid growth, but from a much smaller base.
  • Languages: Java is still the language king, dominating the languages category with over 15,000 jobs and strong growth of 27% versus last summer. JavaScript (not previously tracked) and HTML are next most in demand, with over 9,000 jobs each; HTML skills grew in demand by nearly 50%! HTML5, incidentally, grew by almost 1,000%, though from a small base. Ruby demand also grew sharply, up by nearly 70%, with over 1,300 jobs posted. In fact, all programming languages showed growth except assembly language, which showed a minor decline. Adobe Flex/Flash seems to be losing momentum, with just 5% growth since last summer.
  • Platforms: The biggest shifts in the industry can be seen in the changes in the platform jobs picture. Microsoft Windows still dominates the platform category, with healthy growth of 25% to over 12,300 jobs. I was surprised to note that Unix was second, with over 10,200 jobs, but its growth is slowing showing an increase of 16% since the last review. Linux was third, with nearly 10,000 jobs and growth of 29%. The biggest growth was seen in areas that probably won't come as a surprise: iPad jobs grew over 30 times (from a small base), and Android jobs tripled to nearly 1,000 jobs available. Other platforms showed huge growth as well: Amazon, iPhone, Twitter, and Facebook all showed huge growth (>= 100% growth); iOS is being tracked for the first time in this survey. Mainframe job growth is healthy, with nearly 1,700 jobs and 25% growth. Surprisingly, Microsoft Azure seems to be stalling out as a platform, with just 57 jobs and just 8% growth rate! Mac/MacOS showed a significant decline (-42%), also a big surprise!
  • Skills showing surprising growth: SAP, ABAP, Peoplesoft, Ruby, COBOL (29%!), Fortran (29%!), Unix, IBM (65%), VMware (43%), Mainframe, Blackberry (64%), Palm (31%), Twitter, Facebook, and eBay (47%).
  • Skills showing surprising loss of momentum: Sybase (-6%), Siebel (19%), XML (17%), C++ (17%, compared to C# at 25%), Flash/Flex (5%), Assembler, Embedded Systems (18%), Google (6%), Mac, Widget/Gadget, Yahoo, and Azure.
  • Overall, IT job posts on have increased significantly from last year, up about 30% across all tracked categories.
If you have any skills you'd like to see tracked in these posts, please post a comment and I'll see about including them next time. Thanks!