Spiceworks has published the 2019 State of IT Careers report examining the tech career outlook and business hiring trends across North America and Europe. The report shows 32 percent of organisations in Europe plan to hire more IT staff in 2019. At the same time, 28 percent of IT professionals plan to find a new employer, likely resulting in a positive job outlook for the year ahead.
The findings also show 8 percent of IT professionals in Europe plan to move into IT consulting, 9 percent plan to leave the IT field for a new career, and 6 percent plan to retire. However, jobs plans vary significantly by region. For example, in the UK specifically, 38 percent of IT professionals plan to find a new employer next year, compared to the 28 percent average in Europe and 24 percent in North America.
IT professionals are seeking a better salary and an opportunity to build new skills
Most IT professionals planning to find a new employer next year are searching for a better salary. However, IT professionals in Europe are less motivated by money than their counterparts in North America: 52 percent of IT professionals are looking for a better salary in Europe, compared to 73 percent in North America. Currently, the median salary for IT professionals in Europe is €55,000, compared to $70,000 in North America.
Fifty-one percent of IT professionals planning to switch jobs in Europe are also looking to advance their IT skills, while 37 percent are looking for a better work-life balance, and 32 percent are searching for an employer that prioritises IT. Less than 20 percent of IT professionals are seeking a better job title or better employee perks.
Security and infrastructure expertise is in high demand as businesses refresh aging hardware
Among businesses hiring in Europe, the top five skills they’re seeking next year include expertise in cybersecurity, infrastructure hardware, end-user hardware, software deployment, and networking solutions.
When it comes to the biggest IT challenges companies expect to face next year, keeping IT infrastructure up to date tops the list with 45 percent identifying it as the biggest challenge. This makes sense considering most European organisations plan to boost IT budgets next year in an effort to refresh aging infrastructure.
Additionally, complying with regulations like GDPR is expected to be the second biggest challenge among European businesses. In fact, 43 percent of European business believe it will be a top challenge next year, compared to only 24 percent in North America. Other IT challenges concerning European businesses include upgrading outdated software and balancing daily IT tasks with improvement projects.
“Overall, the job outlook looks promising for IT professionals in 2019,” said Peter Tsai, senior technology analyst at Spiceworks. “As a result, many tech professionals are polishing up their resumes in hopes of landing a position that offers a more competitive salary or an opportunity to advance their skills. At the same time, many organisations in Europe are eager to find employees with the right expertise to help upgrade their outdated infrastructure and stay compliant with GDPR.”