IT professionals looking for work should expect the number of open positions to decline in coming months as those currently employed in high-tech brace themselves for budget cuts, possible pay cuts and of course, layoffs.

Despite statistics from earlier this year pointing to job growth across technology sectors, the economic unrest that started in late September and since then has dominated the news has many IT industry-watchers forecasting a slowdown in high-tech job creation through the early part of next year.

The big layoffs announced recently by such tech companies as Sun and Nokia don’t bode well for the IT job market, but neither do huge workforce cutbacks at such companies as Citigroup that have big IT staffs.

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According to career Web site Beyond.com, IT experienced the largest percentage decrease in jobs during the third quarter with little more than 1 per cent growth, causing IT to fall from the site’s top industry position for the first time in six quarters. Now ranked in the second slot, IT positions represent 12.9 per cent of all positions posted on the career site.

For instance, the number of Web-developer jobs decreased by nearly 15 per cent, open positions for database administrators fell by 12 per cent, and jobs slotted for system engineers and systems administrators experienced 11.41 per cent and 7.63 per cent decreases respectively. The number of IT-related r



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