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Tech Talent In Demand In Silicon Valley Despite Cisco Layoffs

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Cisco Systems headquarters in San Jose. (AP)

Cisco Systems headquarters in San Jose. (AP)

MattBigler20100909_KCBS_0384r Matt Bigler
KCBS's Matt Bigler started as a reporter/anchor in 2004, and is now...
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SAN JOSE (KCBS) – Even as one of the largest employers in Silicon Valley announced plans to cut thousands of jobs, Silicon Valley employers have reported a growing demand for highly skilled tech workers.

Cisco plans to shrink its full-time workforce by 9 percent with cuts across all divisions. The company has not indicated how many jobs would go at its San Jose headquarters on North First Street.

But the job woes at the network equipment maker appear to be the exception.

“My company, it’s doing massive hiring right now and I don’t think in general it’s a Silicon Valley problem,” said Lucas Wee, who works at a large semiconductor company.

KCBS’ Matt Bigler and Mike Colgan Report:

A comprehensive survey of 250 Bay Area companies by Nova, a firm that re-trains laid off tech workers, bears out Wee’s observation.

CEO Kris Stadelman said Bay Area employers plan to increase hiring by 15 percent over the next two years, but the jobs tend to be very targeted.

“The boom is at the highest of the high skills in technology companies here in the Silicon Valley. And in fact many of the people who have been laid off are laid off from a middle tier,” she said.

Indeed, many of the 6,500 employees Cisco plans to eliminate hold management level positions. Nearly a third of the workers being let go volunteered to take early retirement, according to a statement the company issued Monday.

Software engineer Lois Chi said demand for her skill set developing software for scientific instruments was now being met overseas, while local jobs required expertise in cloud computing and mobile application development.

Chi has seen new positions in her field posted every day since she lost her job in March, but her resume hasn’t attracted the attention of many hiring managers.

“I have to find a perfect match in order for them to consider me,” she said.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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