Will IT be affected by a recession?

By Jason W. Eckert

For the past year, the media has warned us of a looming US recession. That scares IT people for two reasons. Firstly, many IT people still remember the scarcity of jobs after the DotCom crash of 2001. Secondly, since IT is often considered “an unnecessary expense” by upper management, IT jobs are typically cut in bad times to save money.

Personally, I doubt whether we will see a large negative impact on the IT job market in Canada should the US recession become reality. Here is my rationale:

1. The IT job market has been growing steadily in the past 4 years. Not exponential growth, but steady, healthy growth that is more likely the result of the greater need for IT to support the ever-growing knowledge worker industry in Canada.

2. In bad times, companies will need to become more competitive and creative in finding ways to maintain the revenue stream. While cutting costs will help the bottom line, it does the opposite for revenue generation. I think that companies today are more forward-thinking when it comes to taking risks that will help solidify their position in the job market. And in today’s world, these risks almost always involve implementing the right technology using the right IT people.

Of course, I could be completely wrong and should start considering a new career in basket weaving, pig farming or quantum chromodynamics. Let me know what you think by posting a comment to this blog entry.

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