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It’s a good year to be a computer professional.
More companies plan to hire in 2012, particularly in the growing areas of data security and privacy, according to an annual survey by Randstad Technologies and IBM Canada.
Fewer companies plan to use global outsourcing, the practice of sending computer work out to professionals in other countries, the study called 2012 Canadian IT Staffing Outlook reveals.
While job prospects for IT professionals remain below their pre-recession peak in 2007, they are improving, said Mike Winterfield, president of Randstad Technologies, in Toronto, part of the country’s largest human resources services firm.
“Two years ago, we hit probably our lowest level of demand. We had more supply of talent than there was demand,” he said. “There was fairly significant growth last year in 2011 where demand started to outstrip supply.”
Towards the end of last year, companies became more cautious but, after the New Year, hiring picked up again, Winterfield said.
Some 49 per cent of firms surveyed plan to add more IT staff this year, while only 10 per cent plan to cut staff, the report found. The rest, 41 per cent, plan to hold steady at current staffing levels.
Contract employment is recovering faster than permanent jobs.
Ontario created the highest number of IT jobs, but the rate of growth was higher in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
The use of global resourcing, previously called outsourcing, appears to be on the wane after a period of “explosive growth,” the study said.
Some 50 per cent of companies surveyed sent work outside North America in 2012, up from a third of companies in the previous two years.
However, only 34 per cent of those using global resourcing plan to expand the practice this year, the survey found.
“People have tried it but now are starting to see the chinks in the armour, the not-so-rosy side of doing that,” he said, referring to issues that arise when dealing with different languages, cultures and time zones. “People would rather hire locally as long as the price is right and the talent is there.”
The most commonly outsourced functions are applications development and the help desk.