The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that between 2004 and 2014, 1.49 million new computer- and IT-related jobs will be created.The retiring boomer generation may play a role in these figures, according to the Robert Half Technology 2007 Salary Guide. The guide, from Menlo Park, Calif.-based Robert Half Technology, reports that as many as 64 million baby boomers, representing more than 40% of the U.S. labor force, are poised to retire by the end of the decade.

Businesses are increasing compensation levels for new hires. For 2007, the projected increase in average starting salaries for technology professionals in the United States is 2.8%. High-demand positions, such as software developer and Web developer are expected to see increases in base compensation of more than 4% over 2006 projections.

The job category experiencing the most growth within IT departments is help desk/end-user support. Windows administration (Server 2000/2003) is the skill set most in demand among IT executives, followed by network administration (Cisco, Nortel, Novell) and database management (Oracle, SQL Server, DB2), according to the guide. Soft skills have become increasingly important.

In fact, 41% of respondents said they are placing greater emphasis on knowledge of business fundamentals, such as oral communication and interpersonal and writing abilities, when evaluating candidates for IT positions.

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