Wednesday, 1 May 2013

IT hiring at four times the rate of retail - Online sales boom



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There was a 12% rise last year in hiring for IT and web design compared to a 3% rise in retail hiring according to research by specialist technology recruiter Greythorn. It was also found that growth in online retail sales is well above that of traditional retail.

The number of IT and web design roles has gone up by 32,000 over the past year. The largest growth has been in in the number of web designers, which went up by 19.4% (31,000 to 37,000 roles). The number of IT business architects and system designers has risen 18.8% (85,000 to 101,000).

  • 32,000 IT and web design jobs created over the past year – a 12% rise
  • Retail jobs rose only 3% over the same period
  • Online sales growth two and a half times the pace of total retail growth
  • Falls of up to 2.39% in retail pay, and steady increases in IT

Growth of Online Retail

According to the British Retail Consortium, there was a 10.9% increase in online spending in the year to February 2013. That’s over twice of total retail sales (4.4%).

Official statistics are not good for high street stores. The figures show that January had an 8.7% increase in online retail sales, whereas retail sales saw a 0.6% year on year fall in overall, according to ONS.

This is the reason for large online retailers significantly boosting up their IT teams, such as John Lewis who announced they hired 100 new staff in January 2013.

Research from Greythorn also shows a growth of 89% in IT roles placed in online retail over the past year, compared with the previous twelve months.

Mark Baxter stated “The list of high street insolvencies is becoming a roll-call and there appears to be no end of famous names struggling or going under. It is undoubtedly sad news, but there is a silver lining in the growth of IT roles. As online shopping grows, companies are increasingly investing in improving the customer experience and the back office operations supporting online sales. It is a key stage in transferring to a high tech economy. The number of specialised new roles is growing and that is only good news for IT professionals.”

Larger Salaries


IT job vacancies in the UK are at a record high (see our recent blog post), causing IT salaries to be, now in often cases, higher than those in retail. The average salary of an IT system designer is £37,092 whereas the average salary for a Retail Manager is £21,237.

Mark Baxter continued: “A career in IT is potentially very lucrative and the number and diversity of roles is growing rapidly. Obviously, there are specific technical skills that are needed, but it is a candidate’s market for experienced IT professionals who are either already in online retail or those in other sectors with transferrable skills. For people looking to retrain, web design and online retail offer excellent opportunities that will only increase as people vote with their feet and choose to stay at home rather than shop on the high street.”

Reeds 2013 ‘Salary & Market Insight Reports’ has been released and offers great insight into the IT sector. Andrew Gardner, Director at Reed Technology, explains the most in-demand skills for technology professionals this year in this interview.





You can download the Reed report here.

About the Author:
Sarah writes for Firebrand Training on a number of IT related topics. This includes exams, training, certification trends, project management, certification, careers advice and the industry itself. Sarah has 11 years of experience in the IT industry.