Job Hopping in the IT World: How Soon Can You Make a Move?

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Many tech workers in today’s job market are in an enviable position. Their in-demand skills helped them land a great job, and many employers will do all they can to keep them there. So how will job hopping impact an IT pro's career?

Many tech pros with in-demand skill sets are securing bigger and better jobs on a regular basis. But even if you could get another job, what if you’ve only been in your current position for a year or so? In today’s tech world, how is job hopping viewed? The short answer is: it depends. Like nearly all things in the employment world, the right answer is all about finding a good match between the dreams of the employee and the needs of the employer.

According to Eric Younkin, branch manager of Robert Half Technology in Cleveland, “Employers are split down the middle about how they view job hopping in the tech industry and what they are looking for in potential candidates.” Younkin says that companies working with leading technology may be looking for candidates who bring a diverse background and who have a variety of different skill sets and experience. Candidates with multiple job changes in a shorter time period may be more acceptable to these employers because these candidates have easily-transferable skills and can usually begin adding value to their new company right away.

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Desktop support, deployment engineer, QA analyst or systems administrator are positions that may fit into this category. There is probably more job hopping in certain IT sectors because people who thrive on technology, for the most part, want to be where the latest cutting-edge technologies are used. For these employees, moving on may mean the chance to upgrade their skills and keep themselves marketable.

On the flip side, other tech companies have environments more supportive of employees building a career with one company. For some tech workers, stability and the chance to work on long-term projects are benefits that outweigh others. Web developers or application developers, for example, may find that staying with one company over time allows them to grow both their technical knowledge, as well as develop an expertise in a particular industry.

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Network administrator or network engineer are other positions that may thrive in this type of environment. However, while job stability is a plus for anyone, in order to stay marketable in the tech world, employees must pay attention to keeping their technical skills current. If you stay with a company for a period of time, make sure you’re advancing in your position and that you are willing to learn new technologies when they become available.

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Note: This post has been updated. It originally appeared on 6/6/14.

Tags: Job Hopping