Booming Tech Market Means Tough Job Market

By Chris Roberts
|  Sunday, Aug 14, 2011  |  Updated 7:58 PM PDT
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Booming Tech Market Means Tough Job Market

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Get in line if you ain't young and techie: the Silicon Valley job recovery hasn't meant a return to work for experienced computer professionals.

It's a fine time to be 25 years old or younger and fresh out of a college's computer science program. It's not so fine to be a bit older with decades of experience in the technology market.

Young, fresh-faced applicants are benefiting from the technology sector's recent boom, with some recent graduates offered signing bonuses of up to $20,000, according to the San Francisco Examiner. That's a fine haul for someone with no professional experience. Speaking of, how are veterans of the industry faring? Some are working minimum wage jobs while waiting for their resumes to attract interest -- and others are even volunteering at the firms that once hired them, according to the newspaper.

If only for a time machine.

"If you were a minor tech employee at a B company, you are not going to come back to the tech industry anymore because they only want top talent," Kris Stadelman, executive director of NOVA, a federally funded employment and training agency based in Sunnyvale, told the newspaper. "Many of our tech workers are going to be left behind."

California's jobless rate is still highest in the nation at a hair under 12 percent, though Silicon Valley's jobless rate is a nicer 9.9 percent, the newspaper reported. Those jobs are in high demand, however, though graduates from the top computer science programs report getting as many as 10 offers, while the recently laid-off watch their unemployment checks vanish.

So what's an experienced job-seeker to do? Volunteer at firms or take contract work. Network, network, network. Or build the next competitor to the iPhone. Whatever works.

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