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Consulting as a leading economic indicator – update #2

Friday, February 25th, 2011 by Nigel Jones

I have written before about consulting being a leading economic indicator. My hypothesis is that when companies need engineering help, but are unsure whether to take on employees, then they turn to consultants. Conversely when companies need to cut costs, the first to go are consultants and contractors. In short, consultants are the first to go in bad times and the first to be retained in good times. I posted an update in October 2010 where I reported that the consultants I know were seeing an increase in interest level – but not yet any real increase in actual work. So where are we 5 months later? Well my informal survey of other consultants confirms that the interest seen back in October has translated into a lot of work today. All the consultants I know are very busy; indeed their biggest problem seems to be managing demand. On this basis I’m quite confident that the embedded systems industry will see robust hiring here in the USA in the coming months. If you are looking to change jobs, it’s a good time to start dusting off the resume.

7 Responses to “Consulting as a leading economic indicator – update #2”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Michael Barr, Embedded Gurus. Embedded Gurus said: Consulting as a leading economic indicator – update #2 by Nigel Jones http://bit.ly/hKSAW1 […]

  2. Jeff Gros says:

    I agree with your sentiments. Our consulting firm is also seeing a fair amount of work as of late. Of course, some of that is still part of last year’s mad dash for our clients to spend budget before end of year.

  3. Hi,

    I can also see things picking up from the “Embedded Software” training side of things in Europe. After a lousy 2nd half of 2011 the demand for Embedded Linux and real-time trainings picked up quite a bit. Especially something like an introduction to Embedded Linux for people who switch to it, device drivers, debugging, real-time with and without Linux seem to be a hot topics.



    Robert Berger
    Embedded Software Specialist

    Reliable Embedded Systems
    Consulting Training Engineering
    Tel.: (+30) 697 593 3428
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    …”Getting an education was a lot like having a sexual disease. It made you unsuitable to a lot of jobs and you had the urge to pass it on.”- A weirdo quoting PTerry

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  4. LeeH says:

    Now if all of the headhunters that I have been talking with would actually get some feedback on prospective contractors form their clients maybe I could get some work too. Although there has been some significant increase in headhunter contacts and submissions, there is absolutely no movement on the part of their clients.

    Sr Software Engineer/Sr Systems Analyst with a knack for solving difficult design problems and troubleshooting software and hardware and interactions between them.

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