Swartz cnbc & DeNisco, techrepublic 09 Aug 2017 Viewed 1158 Times Viewed by 816 people

The jobs market is alive and thriving in tech.


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The booming market grew 2% to about 7.3 million workers last year as the digital economy continued to flourish in jobs for software, cybersecurity and cloud computing, according to Cyberstates 2017, an annual analysis of the nation's tech industry by technology association CompTIA.

The vast majority - 6.9 million were employed by tech companies. But many worked as technologists in other industries such as banking and healthcare, underlining the opportunity for workers with the right skills especially outside hubs like Silicon Valley.

And the profession pays: Tech workers, on average, earned $108,900 in 2016 more than twice the national wage of $53,040, CompTIA says.

It all adds up to about 4% of the total U.S. workforce and a $1.3 trillion industry, about 8% of the national economy, says Tim Herbert, senior vice president for research and market intelligence at CompTIA.

In July, the tech sector added some 9,600 new jobs, led by the creation of about 4,900 positions in IT and software services, and computer system design, according to a new CompTIA report. The growth of these positions demonstrates businesses' expanding use of cloud-based technology and Everything as a Service, the report stated.

The US IT sector has grown in terms of jobs each month this year, except for April, CompTIA found after analyzing IT job trends based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. By the end of July, the field had added about 72,100 new positions.

Software development talent continues to be the most in-demand role in the field, with nearly 61,000 job postings in July, the report found.

Why are fewer workers hired?

"Despite the positive employment growth for the year, the job posting data suggests employer demand should translate to even more tech worker hiring," Tim Herbert, senior vice president of research and market intelligence at CompTIA, said in a press release. "A combination of factors such as skills gaps, pipeline gaps, location gaps, and pay gaps can contribute to fewer workers hired than needed."

July also saw new positions created in the following IT fields:

  • Search portals (2,300),
  • Computer and electronic products manufacturing (1,300), and
  • Data processing, hosting, and related services (1,200).

The IT field tends to be more volatile than other areas from month to month, CompTIA noted, reflecting normal patterns of worker turnover due to resignations, retirements, and layoffs.

Where is the growth?

The report found that as more companies, tech and non-tech, migrate to cloud computing and other software services, so do jobs nationwide. The number of tech jobs in 35 states and the District of Columbia, for example, grew in 2016 with surges in employment in California (software, IT services), New York, North Carolina (cloud computing), Texas and Michigan (research and development, automotive).

Midwest too has seen an uptick in the use of technology for health care and business data analysis. For years, Midwest was considered a manufacturing hub but now tech start-up scene is growing.

A separate study, affirms the growth of tech-related jobs in the Midwest and South. Emerging tech hubs in Nashville, Detroit and Cincinnati, among others, illustrate potential growth in fields such as health care, connected cars and e-commerce, says Michael Mandel of Progressive Policy Institute, who conducted the study for TechNet, a bipartisan network of tech executives.

The number and attractiveness of these jobs and the industry's poor track record recruiting and promoting women and under-represented minorities has led organizations like Black Girls Code and the Kapor Center for Social Impact to push for more training and access.

According to a study by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission based on 2014 data - tech companies employed more whites and Asian-Americans than other industries on average and lag hiring African Americans, Hispanics and women.

Skills Gap

For the industry in general, a sizable skills gap exists between what college graduates know and what many employers are seeking, according to yet another report. According to a survey of 501 U.S. hiring managers, human resource specialists and executives by the Career Advisory Board; only 11% of employers believe higher education is "very effective" in readying graduates to meet skills needed in their organizations,

Jobs experts warn the gap could deepen as the need for software engineers accelerates with the continued growth of artificial intelligence, robots and other fledgling industries

"If anything, we should expect even more demand for tech jobs," says Dennis Yang, CEO of Udemy, an online learning platform. "If you retrain and re-skill millions of folks already in the field with tech skills that is as important as high school and college graduates."



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