For the past two decades, employment in Information Technology (IT) has grown rapidly, though declining during the recession and remaining relatively static since 2011. As per the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), between 2001 and 2012, employment in computer systems design and related services grew by 18 percent, or by 232,300 jobs. On a year-over-year basis, IT employment has grown by 2.88 percent since May 2013 adding 130,100 IT workers.
DCR TrendLine IT Employment and Wage Index
According to TechServe Alliance, the national trade association of the IT & Engineering Staffing and Solution industry, the number of IT jobs grew 0.28 percent from April to May 2014, to a total of 4,650,000 jobs. Engineering employment has grown 1.82 percent since May 2013 adding 44,800 engineering workers.
Key IT Sectors Employment
Employment and output in the industry are projected to grow rapidly through 2020, outpacing similar professional industries and the economy as a whole. Between 2010 and 2020, output in computer system design is expected to grow at an average annual rate of 6.1 percent compared with 2.9 percent for all industries. This growth is attributed to firms and individual consumers continuing to increase their usage of information technology services, with cloud computing contributing substantially to industry demand. Cybersecurity is another area expected to lead to employment increases.
Employment and Employment Growth, Projected 2010 to 2020
The Operating Practices Report by TechServe Alliance reveals that median IT and engineering staffing firm revenue was up 9.6 percent in 2013 from the prior year. According to CareerBuilder and Economist Modeling Specialists (EMSI) research, computer support specialists and computer programmers are among the fastest growing temp positions at a growth rate of 19 percent each.
Difficulty in finding skilled workers is contributing to the growing demand for IT contractors. More than 60 percent of companies using staffing solutions agree that the primary reason for them to approach an employment firm is to find an IT candidate for a vacant position.
Monster.com advises those looking to enter the IT industry to start off with temp positions, especially in the areas of technical support, low-level web skills, and programming.
Job Title Focus – Software Developer, Systems Software
The BLS defines the job title of ‘software developer, systems software’ as an IT professional who researches, designs, develops, and tests operating systems-level software, compilers, and network distribution software for medical, industrial, military, communications, aerospace, business, scientific, and general computing applications. As of May 2013, the employment estimate for this occupation was 373,510 with a mean annual wage of $104,480. The industry with the highest level of employment for this job title is computer systems design and related services, and the industry that pays the highest is other information services. The job title is expected to grow by 22 percent by 2022, a rate much faster that most professions.
Annual Mean Wage by State
“We continue to see a consistent steady climb in IT employment numbers. Growth in May IT employment was virtually identical to April’s numbers. On the engineering side, we saw some acceleration in growth compared to the past two months. Put simply, demand for IT and engineering talent will remain robust for the foreseeable future.” ~Mark Roberts, CEO of TechServe Alliance