Despite some high-profile hiring pauses and layoffs from tech sectors including the cryptocurrency market, the tech job market remains strong as demand for IT professionals is still white hot.
An analysis from CompTIA of data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics found tech occupations across all industry sectors increased by nearly 240,000 positions in July, and IT industry employment has jumped by 143,700 jobs this year, an increase of 55% year-over-year. The analysis also found that the tech jobs unemployment rate fell to 1.7%.
Among the most sought after roles have been software developers and engineers, followed by IT support specialists, IT project managers, systems engineers and architects, and network engineers and architects.
Employment opportunities can be found at every experience level, in a variety of occupation categories and in nearly every metro market and state across the country, indicating that despite chatter about gathering economic headwinds, tech professionals still have an extraordinarily strong market to tap into.
Major metro areas including New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco logged the biggest month-over-month increase in job postings; however, many smaller cities — from Topeka, Kansas, to Rochester, New York, also posted notable increases.
Computer Literacy Is in Demand
Matthew Warner, CTO and co-founder at Blumira, points out that during the last recession, there was a not an insignificant amount of IT staff being laid off from organizations as they migrated to managed service providers to provide support.
"However, over the last 10 years there has been an expansion of responsibility and need for internal IT staff enhanced by the MSP supporting staff," he said. "While there may be some reduction in headcount at certain organizations for IT, there will be open jobs available to anyone who is smart and knows their technology."
He added computer literacy and the ability to solve complex problems is needed more than ever as data grows within organizations.
"While entry level is still the minority in open positions, candidates who have multiple years of experience are needed more than ever to execute on needs without additional or unnecessary oversight to maintain efficient organizations," Warner said.
The Benefits of Nurturing Homegrown Talent
Jonathan Webster, CTO of cybersecurity firm CybSafe, said in this tech job market, nurturing homegrown talent can offer smaller organizations a path forward to meeting their IT talent needs and improving company culture at the same time.
"We have a supply and demand issue," he said. "If you're not hiring and growing junior talent, you're not helping people into great careers and you're not helping the intense tech skill shortage."
To that end, CybSafe has been working to help remove barriers to getting into tech, including supporting organizations such as Code First Girls and Coding Black Females.
"We're very interested in how we can support, encouraging the use of our company charitable giving time that everyone is entitled to," he said. "The team is doing everything from helping people get into tech to going to primary schools and telling young kids that software engineering is a role for anyone."
CybSafe has also overhauled the job adverts and descriptions, stripping years of experience requirements or particular academic achievements, Webster said.
"We design the interview process to be as close to a real-life CybSafe experience as possible, so if you like the challenge and you can do it, you're a good fit for us," he said.
Despite the strong tech job market and overall rosy outlook for the future of tech professionals, Webster warns that external pressures on the economy are a concern, noting that "inflation is real" and will affect people, although he said he believes occupations like software engineering are somewhat insulated.
"A larger fear — speaking amongst friends who are engineers — is they are far more worried about their company's stability, with a lot of tech companies struggling at the moment with the hit on valuations and funding withdrawal," he said.
Big data, data warehousing, and the related efforts associated with that are among the emerging areas of expertise of which tech professionals should be aware, Webster said.
"Additionally, the need to expand cloud security and remote infrastructure continues to be needed as post-COVID life means more remote work and connectivity," he said.
While there may be some bumps in the road, IT and technical jobs will continue to grow, according to Webster.
"Similar to now, there will not be enough people to fill these open roles, and there will always be openings for smart IT people," he said.
About the authorNathan Eddy is a freelance writer for ITPro Today. He has written for Popular Mechanics, Sales & Marketing Management Magazine, FierceMarkets, and CRN, among others. In 2012 he made his first documentary film, The Absent Column. He currently lives in Berlin.