After many years of slow growth, the information technology and engineering job markets are starting to expand. According to the TechServe Alliance’s IT employment index, the number of U.S. IT jobs in February 2014 rose by 0.38 percent from the previous month, to a total of approximately 4.6 million. And engineering jobs rose by .20 percent in the same period, to approximately 2.5 million jobs. According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) employment numbers, the IT labor market added almost 75,000 jobs in 2013.
In line with the growth of the industry, companies are turning to temporary workers to fulfill their open positions. Computer Economics, an IT research firm, recently said that the use of temp labor in large IT organizations (companies with IT budgets of over $20 million) has grown to 15 percent, its highest since 1998.
According to the BLS employment projections, employment in all computer occupations is expected to increase by 22 percent from 2012 to 2020. Within that, demand for software developers will be the strongest with increases ranging from 28 percent to 32 percent.
“The number of independent IT professionals [is now] at about 1 million and growing, and contract workers as a portion of the internal IT workforce at many medium to large size organizations has been rising, often between 10 percent and 25 percent.” ~David Foote, Chief Analyst at Foote Partners
The Staffing Industry Pulse Survey showed that IT staffing experienced a median year-over-year growth of 13 percent, the highest of any staffing segment. It also had the strongest bill rate trend of all segments. The industry also had a higher level of difficulty in recruiting, implying a tight talent market for candidates, especially in categories where the unemployment rate is very low, such as network and computer systems administrators and database administrators.
There is a large demand for temporary workers with skills in mobile, social, big data and analytics, and IT security. Additionally, the traditionally popular skills of JAVA programming and SAP are also being actively sought after.
Top States for IT Jobs in 2014
Compared to the overall unemployment rate at 6.7 percent, the IT job market is faring better, with an unemployment rate of only 3.3 percent. InfoWorld, a leading source of information on emerging enterprise technologies, revealed it’s top 10 states for IT jobs, with median salaries total number of IT firms.
According to DiscoverOrg, a provider of IT sales and marketing intelligence tools, healthcare ranks as the top industry for information technology job growth in 2014. The survey additionally found that the top three IT titles for this year were:
Not Everyone is Positive About the Demand for IT Workers
Janco Associates, which tracks the IT job market, in January 2014 released results from a survey of 102 CIOS, which revealed that hiring plans for 2014 remain either stagnant or headed downwards. According to Janco, the continued decline of participation in the labor market is a sign of trouble.
Contractions in the PC market are also expected to impact IT jobs. Gartner tracked a 10 percent decline for PC shipments globally from last year, as the market increases its demand for mobile technology.