IT Consulting Can Be More Than a Post-Layoff Stopgap - Page 2

 By Esther Shein
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Also in demand are people with skills in IT governance; managing the business of IT, Van De Voort says.

"It can be jobs in projects and program management offices that are focused on documenting the return on investment in IT dollars, as there is more pressure for 'that' so those jobs are becoming more valuable."

A subset of that work would be people with process improvement skills; an expertise in processes and efficiencies like ITIL.

"The smart CIO knows IT service delivery is key right now and it's more important for IT to do its job efficiently,'' he says.

On a downward slide? Application development jobs, Van De Voort says, since companies are spending less in that area.

Reinvent yourself

Willmer recommends that IT executives looking for work consider consulting and continue building their skills. Even though most would rather be working full time, he says it's important to be flexible. "Right now the goal is to get a paycheck and continue working."

Van De Voort concurs that with so much corporate belt-tightening, consulting has become a "coping mechanism."

So it's also a good time to think about reinventing yourself. "As you're talking with potential employers," says Willmer, "the more you can demonstrate ROI in your past history, that's what companies are looking for." If you have relationships with firms you've worked for in the past, now is the time to leverage them.

Don't be too concerned about having enough technical expertise. "There are still openings that tend to be for IT workers with a combination of IT experience and business knowledge and who can interface with the business people,'' says Van De Voort. "Those jobs and people will be in increasing demand."

Employers have been looking "well beyond tech skills in their hiring practices around IT professionals," concurs Foote. "IT jobs have changed a lot in the past several years, particularly since so many of these jobs are now located within the business lines and not in a central IT department."

For IT workers who still have jobs, Van De Voort's advice is to get close to their business; make sure to know what's going on on the business side and find out how IT can support their needs.

"If you're out of work and have significant experience in a particular industry, leverage that and focus on taking not just what you about it," he says, "but the way it supports a particular business and use that as your calling card."

"There is a silver lining,'' says Willmer. "It's still a great industry where customers continue to invest in certain areas to move forward with projects."

Adds Van De Voort, "I would rather be an IT professional than a lot of things today as I look at the job boards and deal with organizations."

Article courtesy of IT Career Planet

This article was originally published on Mar 21, 2009
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