Note: The Skinny blog is written by Rick Smith, editor and co-founder of Local Tech Wire and business editor of

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – Job hunting? Ready for some good news?

Check out the from the North Carolina Technology Association, SkillProof and Tek Systems.

Information technology job openings are running at a two-year high as Local Tech Wire and reported on Monday. We’ve written this before. We do so again – If you want a job, get tech skills, or freshen up your existing skill set and resume and keep hunting.

The high-tech sector remains one of the few bright spots in the (take your pick, one or all) sluggish, staggering, slumping, stupefying U.S. economy.

Nationally, Tek Systems reports, the IT unemployment rate is 5.3 percent while the overall jobless percentage is 9.6 percent – and climbing.

Interestingly, Tek System also notes that IT employment in North Carolina is 4.5 percent higher than a year ago at 118,610. of those, 17,792 are temporary, but work is work.

Bottom line: If you want work, go IT.

Strong earnings and a continuing surge of acquisitions, such as LabCorp’s $925 million purchase of Genzyme’s genetic testing unit and HP’s $1.5 billion buy of security software firm ArcSight that were announced Monday, reflect the fact that growth – and therefore at least some job creation – continues.

The new NCTA report highlights specific skills that are in demand, based on specific job openings from companies looking to hire.

Here’s the list of most-in-demand:

• Windows OS: 820, up a whopping four times from 200 a year ago

• Oracle DBMS: 710, up from 200

• Business analysis: 610, up seven times from 80 in August 2009

• Java: 550, up from 150

• SQL: 520, up from 220

• Large system technologies: 490, up from 80

• Unix (and you thought Unix was dead?): 460, up from 130

• A+: 390, up from 30(!)

• Linux: 370, up from 90 (See Red Hat)

• Microsoft SQL Server: 290, up from 110

• C++/VC++: 280, up from 110

• Information assurance: 250, up from 30

• SAP: 230, up from 40

• XML: 210, up from 70

• Windows Server: 200, up from 80

Unfortunately, the jobs report warns that the eight straight month climb in job openings may be slowing down.

Strike now while at least some firms keep hiring.

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