2009 was a horrible year for job seekers, and even those holding on to existing jobs. No bonuses, no promotions, layoffs, and nobody hiring. And SoCal successfully beat most of the United States in unemployment claims, by several percentage points, attaching painful and empirical fact to the grim situation.
But that does appear to be changing. Slowly changing, but it is looking better for job seekers in the region. A recent scrape of job openings for Los Angeles and Orange Counties yielded some pretty strong job titles:
- Director of Engineering - Marina Del Rey
- Chief Integration Engineer - El Segundo
- Director, information technology - San Clemente
- VP Global Services - Los Angeles
- Customer Services Director - El Segundo
- Lead Systems Engineer - Los Angeles
- Senior Industrial Director - Irvine
- Smart GRID Architect - Rosemead
- HL7 Integrator - Los Angeles
- Disaster Recovery Manager - Irvine
- Manager, Operations Systems - Van Nuys, CA
- Systems Architecture Engineer - Huntington Beach, CA
And the list goes on... About 350 good positions listed in my 25 January search.
One additional exciting trend in the job stack is the high number of positions in manufacturing industries. While the services market is great, manufacturing spawns input into the supply chain, which adds a lot of downstream value to those companies increasing or expanding their business operations.
Dust Off that Resume
The time is near, and technology-savvy job seekers will reap rewards if they are prepared for the next boom in business expansion. Cloud computing, unified messaging, IT operations, data center consolidation, process automation, green technologies - corporate jargon to some, but areas with increasing demand for qualified candidates.
Cloud computing and data center consolidation are quite interesting, admittedly because they are new and exciting trends in the IT community.
The Dot.Com era taught us painful lessons on the value of investment money. The venture community sat back after 2002 and made a decision to actually perform a bit of due-diligence prior to throwing money at PowerPoint companies and paper ideas. At least those which were not using private equity with large investments in real estate.
The Dot.OMG era is now just about at an end, and some of the lessons learned are focused on the execution of business plans and intelligent use of capital and operational expenses - while building business.
IT has gone from being a "darling" of the internet age, to a very powerful means of adding tremendous business value through globalization of markets, and real-time transaction processing to support the global economy and marketplace. The only problem was to support that IT engine, technical managers tried to solve their processing challenges by throwing more disk, processors, and bandwidth at their requirements.
The next age will be one where companies refocus their energy on developing their business, and begin to expect processing and IT to be more of a utility than an exceptional part of their business. Welcome to data center outsourcing, virtualization, cloud computing, and Software as a Service/SaaS. Recover the costs of expensive and inefficient data centers.
So those engineers and sales staff still hanging out in the Communicator's Bar, get ready to get sized for your next retro-logo polo shirt. The time is now for those who can put their fantasy of re-entering the telecom community to deal in bilateral telephone minutes aside and get ready to support thought leadership strategies to bring customers into commercial data center outsourcing models - or go sell them on consolidating their in-house operations into enterprise clouds.
Look at the tech job listings again. Companies are begging for IT and tech visionary managers to solve their growth and development pain. Begging.
2010 is going to be a great year in SoCal, so let's get out there and make sure it does not pass us by, and does not require our companies to go elsewhere to attract talent. We've got the talent right here, and we need to put it back to work.
John Savageau is President at Pacific-Tier Communications, a technology consulting company focused on delivering cutting edge technology and business solutions to developing countries, governments, and business. A pioneer in technology implementation, Mr. Savageau has also held significant positions at Pihana Pacific, Level (3) International, Sprint International, and CoreSite where he focused on global network deployment, data center development, operations, and international sales. Mr. Savageau is a former career US Air Force officer and has lived for extended periods of time in Japan, China and Mongolia. He graduated with a Master of Science degree in Operations Management from the University of Arkansas and also received Bachelor of Arts degrees in Asian Studies and Information Systems Management from the University of Maryland.