The Bureau of Labor Statistics released the statistics of unemployed persons actively seeking work in January of 2013 and have placed the numbers at 12.2 million. With the unemployment rate holding at a staggering number, it can be disheartening to know that Chicago has an unemployment rate that’s higher than the national average (8.6 versus the national average of 7.8). However, with so many unemployed Chicagoans looking for work, it’s interesting to see that the I.T. field is abundant with open positions. When interviewing an I.T. professional within the Chicagoland area, it seems there are a high number of vacant I.T. jobs that are not being filled.
Branch Manager Wray Broskow has been working for Digital Staffing for 13 years and has always been part of the recruiting process. He currently recruits and oversees other recruiters and is also part of sales and account management.
While some employment companies simply post available job positions, Digital Staffing is all encompassing when it comes to staffing needs. Potential employees will go to Digital Staffing directly to present their credentials in order to seek employment. Digital Staffing works directly with companies in order to partner them up by identifying the best employees to suit their needs. However, Digital Staffing also actively seeks out potential employees through recruiting, whether it’s networking or sourcing other employees working at different companies.
When asked whether or not he has seen any changes in the number of I.T. jobs available in recent years, Wray stated, “2012 definitely saw an uptick from 2011 in terms of the number of technical positions open. However, it seems to be taking a little longer to identify the appropriate candidates. Top candidates are hesitant to make a move or there’s just not the quality of high-caliber candidates out there for the amount of positions available.”
Because Digital Staffing does not solely rely on potential employees approaching them and actually goes out to actively recruit, it can be difficult to find employees that are willing to change companies. The declining economy has given way to instability when it comes to job security and employees can struggle with whether or not it can be a wise move to switch employers.
When asked if there were any particular educational requirements employers are looking for when seeking to fill an open I.T. position, Wray responded, “Overall, clients are demanding a lot in terms of their requirements for potential employees. While some companies do require a four-year degree and will not concede on that, the focus really is on work experience. Many companies have a high demand on work experience details and are hesitant to back off on those requirements.”
When asked if he felt there is a lack of skilled workforce when it comes to I.T. workers seeking employment, in his professional experience, Wray stated, “Development and .net development positions are high in demand. Web development and .net development seem to have the most vacancies in the I.T. job market. The past 18 months have shown that although there is always availability in the job market for the technical side of I.T., there is an increased demand on the development side. There doesn’t seem to be enough students coming out with a development background in their education and there have been dips in the technology sector.”
With so many Chicagoans struggling to find work in this volatile job market, it seems going into the I.T. field is something that might increase the chances of finding stable work. Opt for putting emphasis on the developmental side of I.T. and focus on an educational background that might help with job placement or internships to allow for work experience after graduating.
Sara Lugardo is a Korean American who thrives in writing about Asian community news in Chicago. She has a Bachelor’s in Communication and is currently working on her Master’s. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.