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IT Workers Plan Job Hunt

Thanks to an improving employment market, nearly half of the IT workers surveyed plan to look for a new job in the next year
With the IT job market improving, nearly half of tech professionals will search for a new job in the coming year, according to a survey by Harris Interactive.

Some 48% of the 536 employed tech pros surveyed say they'll launch a job search in the coming months, up from the 39% who indicated as much in the fourth quarter of 2005. This finding was gleaned from a larger survey of 8,532 employed U.S. adults commissioned by staffing firm Spherion.

Only 36% of the overall U.S. workforce plan to make a move. "Tech workers tend to make job changes more frequently than other workers," Spherion senior VP Brendan Courtney says. "They tend to be more mercenary, looking for more money, better work-life balance, working with new technologies."

The improved IT employment market--the latest Labor Department stats show that U.S. tech employment reached a record high of 3.472 million in March--has IT pros ready to test the waters.

Other industry surveys confirm the trend. In a salary survey of 5,456 IT professionals conducted this spring by InformationWeek Research, 41% of IT staff and 37% of IT managers admitted to being somewhat active or active in looking for a new job.

The InformationWeek survey found that IT managers are looking for higher compensation, a better corporate culture or management, and more personal fulfillment. Similarly, IT staffers want higher pay, more interesting work, and a better work environment.

In-demand skills? Automated inventory management, forecasting, and replenishment systems, as well as business analysis and project management, according to several IT staffing firms. Time to polish up the resumé--or start girding for a talent war.

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Brian T. Horowitz, Contributing Reporter
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Sara Peters, Editor-in-Chief, InformationWeek / Network Computing