Thursday, 21 February 2008

Pay rates plunge for IT project managers

Thanks to George O'Connor for alerting me to a piece in ContractorUK entitled Pay rates plunge for IT project managers. As I know that a majority of HotViews readers are involved in IT project management in some way or other, the article talks of a "a looming price war in a sector of the IT jobs market which is now "oversupplied". This had led to "senior freelance IT project managers cutting their rates by 35%". This was apparently all due to "less-qualified ex-permanent IT staff starting 2008 as freelancers". They quoted much lower rates than older, more experienced freelancers causing the "price war". The article seemed to be well researched and based on 500 interviews - which is significant in any research project.

Assuming this to be the case, it is cause for significant concern.

- it would indicate that quite a few IT staff were 'let go' at the end of 2007.

- they hit the freelance market in January, just as the IT spending squeeze started to bite.

- as I have said for two decades now, I believe the freelance/ITSA market is a 'barometer' of the SITS market. It has usually given an early warning of woes (or better times!) to come. Ie a glut of freelance IT project managers prepared to work for 35% less TODAY will equate to great problems for the IT consultancies like LogicaCMG TOMORROW. However back in January the CEOs of the leading ITSA's told me that their businesses were holding up well and that my ITSA barometer theories didn't apply anymore. I always get concerned when people tell me that the lessons of history don't apply as we are now in a new paradigm!

The other interesting angle on this is that it was only a month ago that HM Govt announced plans to fast track IT Project Management post graduate training in the UK. See Climbing the IT ladder with the bottom rungs missing. I know this might sound cynical but I remember the awful Patricia Hewett (when Head of the DTI) addressing an Intellect Conference in early 2000 telling everybody to go out and recruit/train new IT staff to meet the demands of the industry over the next few years. This was immediately followed by the biggest slump in demand the sector has ever seen.

1 comment:

Ivan said...
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