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Originally published Monday, March 25, 2013 at 7:09 PM

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IT jobs not so secure as more companies outsource the work

Some corporations have opted to keep their information-technology departments slim by focusing on essential business needs and hiring outside help to handle the rest.

The Washington Post

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WASHINGTON — Marriott International has never been more reliant on technology. Like others in the hospitality industry, the Bethesda, Md.,-based hotelier depends on technology for everything from facilitating reservations to training kitchen personnel.

Yet Marriott Chief Executive Arne Sorenson told employees earlier this month that the company plans to trim its information-technology workforce and outsource some of those responsibilities to outside firms that specialize in IT services — IBM, Xerox, Tata Consulting Services and possibly Accenture.

The shift points to a truism in today’s job market: Technology jobs are not inherently secure simply because firms in every industry now rely on Internet connections, software applications and computing devices to engage customers and run internal operations.

And although the sector has been more resilient than many others during the economic downturn, not all IT jobs enjoy the same degree of stability.

Web development, cybersecurity and cloud computing, for example, tend to see greater demand for workers.

Some corporations, like Marriott, have opted to keep their information-technology departments slim by focusing on essential business needs and hiring outside help to handle the rest.

Others periodically shake up their payrolls as the company’s technical needs change and employees’ skill sets become obsolete.

Chris Brinkman, of Robert Half International, an IT staffing firm, said more companies are shipping technology work to outside firms, particularly projects that have a more definitive end date.

“We are seeing more project-based work than we had even a few years ago,” Brinkman said. “There are a good number of companies that are still exercising caution as a result of the economic downturn.”

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