If you had to pick two words to describe how the market for management- and executive- level IT jobs is shaping up for 2012, you might channel Curb Your Enthusiasm star Larry David and say "pretty good. Pri-tay, pri-tay, pri-tay, pri-tay good."
In other words, the job market for CIOs, managers, directors and VPs in charge of various IT functions is neither going to be brimming with or bereft of opportunity. The consensus among executive recruiters who hire IT executives and their direct reports is that the job market for these folks in 2012 is going to be marginally better than 2011.
Several factors are driving the management- and executive-level hiring that will take place in 2012. One is the need for people to manage the capital investments IT departments plan to make next year. According to a survey conducted on behalf of technology provider CDW, 76 percent of 1,045 IT decision-makers polled plan to replace or install new hardware for some portion of their enterprises. Their top spending priorities are PCs (60 percent), security (55 percent), cloud computing (50 percent), virtualization (41 percent) and mobility (39 percent).
The second factor is that certain technology trends are currently overwhelming IT departments. For example, cloud computing, virtualization, big data and mobility are creating a need for additional IT managers and directors as well as completely new IT management roles inside companies, says Martha Heller, president of Heller Search Associates.
Demographic changes are a third catalyst for hiring. Heller says that the Baby Boomers who've long held IT infrastructure positions (as data center managers, technical services managers and help desk supervisors, for example) are beginning to retire, and IT leaders are hard-pressed to find enough Gen Xers with the right mix of skills to replace them.
Hottest Spots for IT Management Jobs in 2012
Venture-funded Internet companies, private-equity firms and the companies owned by them will be among the best places to find management- and executive-level jobs in IT, according to recruiters who serve those organizations. "Compared to enterprise technology and enterprise software companies, the opportunities at Internet-related companies continue to be bountiful," says Keith Giarman, global leader of DHR International's venture capital and private-equity practice. "There's tons of capital chasing those opportunities."
Other good places to look for IT management jobs is at software-as-a-service (SaaS) companies, business process outsourcing firms, and the SaaS-related business units of enterprise software vendors, says Marc Lewis, CEO of Leadership Capital Group. "Demand for CIOs, CTOs, VPs and directors of IT at SaaS companies or business process outsourcing companies will be robust," he says, as enterprises outsource noncore IT functions.
Meanwhile, Lewis anticipates demand for CIOs, CTOs, VPs and directors of IT inside most major companies in 2012 will be flat to 2011.
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