Tech to be a job hotspot this year

Updated: Jan 2 2006, 05:30am hrs
The combination of baby-boomer retirements and a shortage of info tech graduates with the right skills will create added demand in some technology, finance and accounting fields in 2006.

Among the job hot spots are accountants and IT professionals equipped to tackle changes triggered by Sarbanes-Oxley regulations, new accounting rules and added financial reporting duties for nonprofits and many types of small businesses. Added demand also is forecast for highly-skilled tech managers with experience in storage systems and servers.

That's according to annual job outlooks for the technology, finance and accounting industries compiled by Kforce Inc., a Tampa professional staffing firm that specialises in those fields.

US businesses spent an estimated $5.8-billion upgrading technology and expanding storage capacity to meet demands of the Sarbanes-Oxley law in 2005. Kforce said 66% of its clients plan to recruit for newly created IT positions in the coming year.

"Baby-boom retirements and a shortage of IT graduates are expected to create a shortfall in skilled technology workers at a time when regulatory deadlines and long-delayed upgrades demand additional staff," said David Dunkel, chairman and chief executive of Kforce.

For accountants, tax work by CPA firms is expected to decline thanks to the rising popularity of tax preparation services and do-it-yourself software.

But that will be overshadowed by other growing CPA specialties in auditing and financial jobs in less traditional areas such as strategic planning, business valuation, business analysis and investment consulting.

Infotech job demand is growing for database administrators, computer scientists, computer engineers and systems analysts, Kforce said. Routine jobs in the field are vulnerable to automation and outsourcing to candidates in other countries.

But companies are searching for people with business skills or industry-specific knowledge. Most in demand are candidates to fill jobs that are a mix of management and technology.