Weekly Word on the Street: Surprising Spots for Most Open Tech Jobs

by Jim Staats | Jul 13, 2012

Takeaway of the week is in the form of a catch phrase from the old game show, "Family Feud," that goes, simply, "Survey says..." Yes, it's one survey after another coming out as we hit the midpoint of 2012, and most all indicators are that it's a good time to be a skilled IT professional on the hunt for a job. Depending on your skills and location, the growing job market just may find you first.

Salary Survey: Good News for IT

While not all is rosy in the IT job market, compensation in one area on the rise, a new salary survey indicates.

Janco Associates notes that compensation and bonuses are reaching early 2008 levels in its "Mid-Year 2012 IT Salary Survey," as reported in a recent InfoWorld article.

In terms of hiring, however, reduced layoffs and a rise in in-house IT operations can't mask what is expected to be a rather soft hiring period for the industry, the survey suggests.

"Our main conclusion is that for information technology, the recession has not bottomed and that hiring of IT professionals will remain soft for the next several months," said Victor Janulaitis, Janco's CEO.

He did add that there's a number of firms "who will proceed to expand IT departments in anticipation of the start of a strong recovery in the first and second quarters of 2013."

According to the survey, mean compensation (including bonuses) for all IT pros has seen a bump from $77,229 to $78,759 since last year. IT executives at large firms have seen a slight decrease in mean salary from 2011, while executives at mid-size firms are seeing a rise in compensation from last year.

"Bonuses are a leading indicator that companies are looking for enterprise revenue improvements and want to motivate employees to focus on improving the company's bottom line over and above everything else," Janulaitis said.

Is the Cloud Good or Bad for Hiring in General?

There are plenty of factors that play a huge role in the economy and hiring trends. Folks both in and out of the IT industry are still trying to determine how big a role cloud computing will play.

Ironically, the folks who may feel the biggest impact of the cloud could be workers on the outside of the IT industry, according to a recent item in IT Business Edge.

As the cloud continues its roll across firms to help automate tasks that previously required countless workers across enterprises, it's becoming clear those jobs aren't coming back, experts note.

At the recent Technology and Business Solutions Conference, Simon Wardley, a researcher for conference host CSC, stated that while it's inevitable that the cloud would bring about a hit to the economy, it remains unclear to what extent the trend will be responsible for new jobs and just where those will pop up.

As the saying goes, you can't stop progress. Technological upgrades may have been responsible for eliminating manufacturing jobs in the past, but it's a relatively new thing for information-centric roles in various industries.

IDC recently released a forecast, done on behalf of Microsoft, which indicates cloud computing would create 14 million new jobs by 2015, yet it remains, er, cloudy just where where exactly those jobs sprout up.

Scoot Over Silicon Valley and Big Apple

Sure, technology job seekers can flock to San Francisco or New York, but why not Baltimore, Detroit or Pittsburgh?

That's a bit of the surprising news supplied as part of the July 2012 employment outlook released by Simply Hired.

As reported in a recent article in VentureBeat, the best places in the U.S. to be looking for a job are Baltimore, Detroit, Charlotte and Portland, based on a comparison of the number of available jobs and the number of currently employed technology workers.

Conversely, the worst places in the U.S. to be looking for that new engineering position: Newark, Birmingham, Riverside/San Bernardino and Little Rock, Arkansas.

Nationally, job openings were up nearly 10 percent from May. The ration of job-seekers to jobs, however, stayed even at 3:1.

Technology firms, according to findings, came a close second to the healthcare industry in terms of top hiring companies.

Dice: Software Developers in Short Supply

If you're a skilled software developer, especially with those skills residing in Java, Microsoft and mobile technology, you're one in-demand commodity, according to another new hiring survey.

Technology job site Dice.com, in its most recently industry-centric survey, found that the aforementioned fields represent four of the top five most difficult positions for IT managers to fill at the moment.

The first most difficult skill set to locate is in the security sector, a new eWeek article on the Dice survey notes.

The survey of 866 IT hiring managers and recruiters was just the latest reinforcement of trends showing that hiring is on the rise for developer talent, as well as a widening skills gap making the act of filling those roles so difficult.

The report states that, "In some cases, such as mobile developers, the market is expanding faster than the talent pool can adapt. That, in turn, impacts software developers who can fairly transition into the mobile space."

Corporate hiring managers today tend to seek IT pros with two to five years of experience in the workforce; however, they all want the same thing to make the competition for qualified talent fierce.

As of July 2, there were 84,940 available tech jobs on Dice.com. The metro area with the most positions listed on the site was New York/New Jersey, with 8,871 positions listed, down just under 10 percent from one year ago. The metro area to come in second based on the same parameters was the Washington D.C./Baltimore area, with a total of 8,334 positions available. Silicon Valley was the third highest region, with 5,684 postings.

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