US- IT contract job market situation


As the US goes into recession, H1 IT job market has started looking a bit gloomy for now(like my font). The job sites are still full of requirements, but one would wonder if all of them are real. Looks like there is a lot of effort from the numerous players to try and play it down so they can keep candidates and companies as confident and positive as ever.

I strongly feel that it is high time one thought of sharpening his existing skills and expanding his base. If job requirements reduce while candidates available increase, it will become a tough competition. We have been seeing some companies fishing for multiple skilled candidates, even combinations like Java-VBA-Oracle, so they can get two jobs done for the cost of one. Of course nobody is to be blamed since that is the present situation. Budgets are lower, hence, the pressure to find the best fit is high.

Prospective/existing candidates must look to widen their skill set, constantly update current skills, take brain bench tests/earn certifications, concentrate on their industry domain of interest and importantly, improve communication skills.

Please check out my latest post on the same topic at –


47 thoughts on “US- IT contract job market situation

  1. I would agree with you in certain areas while not so much in other areas. Its quite important for any one and every one to keep their skills updated. Being in the technology space you have to be upto it all the time and throughout your life time. If you are good at programming how does technology matter. Anyways my point is why would employers post unrealistic opportunities. Employers have to sustain in a recedeing market aswell. The IT market has not taken a hit yet with the exception of financial markets. So relax and get upto date with your skills and send me your resume if you have not found a project. If your resume is geniune without any fake and if you have worked for good firms you will get an opportunity or I will land you an opportunity……Good Luck…. looking at the positive spectrum of life is a clear winner……

  2. Hi Blogger, thanks for leaving a comment.
    Actually, I am into the IT staffing business myself. I market IT consultants and my blog material came out of what i truly felt of how things are going.
    The point i was making was not that employers post unrealistic opportunities, but that the other players, if you are familiar, i.e. the vendors who post requirements on jobsites, may be doing so. This is a feeling i share with a few other people working in this industry.
    My feeling stems out of the fact that smaller or newer vendors post numerous requirements which seems like those are being marketed only by them and not by anyone else; whereas the logic is that every employer who has requirements will channel it to a minimum of two vendors in the IT contract market. And even on sending numerous responses with excellent resumes, we hardly get a response.
    The same resumes were marketed last year, with prompt responses from matching requirements.
    So, the opinion here is that the vendors may be posting a few unrealistic requirements too in order to a) show that the market is alive b) get good resumes for other requirements c) add to their consultant list, thereby eliminating a layer.

    Another point i mentioned was regarding the skills. Of course, people have to be updated in their domain/technology to keep pace.
    But my point was that I have been receiving requirements for combinations of technologies like never before which seems like the employers may be looking at cost reduction by trying to get 1 at the cost of 2. This is legitimate on their behalf but people may not be prepared for that. So in a period of slack, the idea is not only to be update with your own technology but look at diversifying.

    Let me know your views. πŸ™‚
    Thanks a lot again.

  3. So you have already pronounced the word ‘Recession’. Lay offs have been increasing and job security decrasing and admist all this the H1B crisis. But yeah If u’re the fittest u’ll survive, be it US, be it anywhere.

  4. Very true buddy.
    The idea is to be the fittest and prove yourself the best choice cos its not going to be an easy road as everyones’s trying to do the same!

    Congratulations for being a lottery winner!

    Thanks a lot for dropping a comment πŸ™‚

  5. Thanks a lot of giving us some insight about the US market. Appreciate it if you can update on say fortnightly basis. There are so many people who have a H1 but reluctant to go to US fearing the recession and the likes of not being hired.

  6. I know that this blog is about the IT contract market but I couldnt resist commenting on the fulltime market. What about the full-time job market which postures as having abundant opportunities inspite of having very few. Job rigging is rife in the US IT market wherein friends and relatives of managers and employees get to jump the jobseekers queue by getting noticed (land an interview) faster. Some job positions are already filled, but for reasons unbeknownst to anyone, still manifest themselves as multiple postings on job sites. Being a fresher, I am seeing it being played over, much to my bewilderment. Yeah, the fittest will only survive. By increasing the number of visible (most nonexistent) opportunities and the number of candidates, lot of people have been given a free ticket to fantasyland. To all folks who got a H1B, please stayback in India till the situation improves. Dont be negative, but please dont be exuberant(unless you love delusions). Take a balanced and critical approach to the IT market. Also realize that all things being equal, you are basically playing a game of chance.

  7. @ Ramkumar

    you are right, most of my site hits come from google searches about the job market in the US. I am working on more posts based on the kind of info people are looking for.

    @ Anonymous

    thanks for the comment. you certainly seem to have got a very good understanding of the market situation. It really is pretty bad currently.

  8. Pingback: Debt Reduction Guy
  9. hey.. heard that there is a possibility that recession recedes in coming months and IT companies, which have not expanded much on last several months, may boom again with a lot of jobs and oppurtunities hitting the market … any feedback on this ?

  10. there are H1B holders planning to arrive in US in months of Oct,Nov {me one of them} . Most of these people are coming as consultants of a parent companies that have established their clients already but you cant be interviewed until you are thers, do you think that these people should postpone their arrival dates to sometime next year {dont know if their sponsors would agree to this} but anyways let me know..

  11. @ Charm, i guess what you heard would have been in the light of the coming presidential election in november and the effect on the market due to change in policies of the probable new president.
    would be great if you can share the source/article where you read/heard it from.
    please do go thru my next post(part 2) on the same topic, you will find it on the top right corner of this page. i have opined in more detail.

    @shekhar, thanks for your question. in my part 2 post of the same topic, this is exactly what i have expressed my thoughts on. i cannot say whether you should postpone your arrival, but i have given my thoughts on what one should consider while making such a decision.
    please do go thru this post ” US- IT job market situation – part 2″
    you will find it on the top right corner of this page or in the category – H1 job market USA on the mid-left side of this page.

    i thank you both for your comments and i hope i am helping you here.

  12. What is mentioned in the above URL is fulltime/permanent jobs. H1b/contractor jobs are fireed before this and No company says about the firing of contractors.

  13. raman, thanks for that link; those are scary figures!

    i guess the reason behind showing statistics of perm positions as against contractors is because contractors are employees of consultancies and all their benefits like insurance, 401k etc, are provided by consultancies. so even if they’re fired by the client, their original employer and benefits remain the same.

  14. so, how is the market for freshers who just did their MS in US? Can any one share.., why there are few software engineer families from AP just got killed? it happend only when they lost job. (i.e Mr. Nerusu) Here in India parents little worried how they survice with families if there is no job for even few months, it is unbelievable that one has to die if there is no job, and How society/culture treats a person in that part of the world who does not have/lost a job there?
    Hope someone reply makes us understand how things happen really there.

  15. Selvi, You are true. Lot of job postings are there.
    But , if you apply they won’t call or reply.

    Thye are fake jobs and the websites like ,
    corp to corp post jobs to promote there website. If there are no jobs posted., peple won’t visti the website and websites will loose revenue.

    The best think to test is apply for the jobs in corp-corp and see , if you are getting response.I will be happy to here , if you get response.

  16. That’s absolutely true. There are several requirements coming everyday. Even if we submit our best consultants, there are no responses.Not even negative feedbacks.Even i doubt if these reks are actually real ones or fakes.For recruiters like us- it’s like “beating the bush” .After so many submissions, I hardly hear any responses from clients.I really hope the market to improve soon.

  17. I have experienced this also:
    1. The resume goes to vendor and you never come to know whether he actually submitted to the client or not. Most of the time vendors point out to the smallest skill they dont see in your resume and say because of that I couldn’t represent it to client.

    what do you feel, are clients really strict about smallest skill which they have mentioned? If there are two similar products and you have worked on one, are client particular about to have the experience on the on which they have mentioned? All the time I feel that if at least a telephonic or face-to-face interview is conducted, I can convince on my knowledge. (I don’t know when I will get that chance) I really don’t understand vendor answers/strategies.. if you can throw some light on vendor and client expectations, it would be helpful.

    2. On the job websites, some jobs are posted everyday since last one and half month. If you apply to them, you get these answers:
    (1) We have already represented some of our consultants and if it doesn’t work out, we will submit your resume.
    (2) We are not submitting any more because we have already submitted many resumes(n u are posting everyday on dice!)
    (3) No reply. Phone calls go to voicemail and no replies to mail.
    (4) you have experience on this technologies but on XYZ technology, you have 2 Yrs exp. Client want someone with 4 Yrs exp in that!
    If this happens one or two time I can understand genuinity but if it keeps happening, I am not able to figure out what to do.

    I am seeking for some tips of how can I make my resume reach to client. Or as you said, those are fake requirements??

  18. I have completed my masters from Dartmouth in 2008. Though I have a job, looking at my friends the job market is pretty grim. I would recommend people on a H1-B to postpone their trip till March when the situation generally gets better.

  19. Q1. I am holding H1B, stamped on 5th January 2008. But I am planning to move to USA only in the end of 2009. Will there be any Problem then?

  20. Hi
    I am holding my H1B visa which will expire in another two months is it the right time to move to USA?Please advice

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    1. Thank you very much, it may not reflect the current situation per se, since the post is a few years old. Really appreciate your comment! Thanks!

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    1. Thank you very much! I would like to let you know that its been a while since i wrote this, and I dont think it reflects the current situation per se. So hope it doesnt mislead you!

    1. Thank you very much. Also wanted to let you know that this is a pretty old post and does not reflect the current situation.

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