CompTIA looked at IT job growth in the first quarter in 2015, the drivers affecting it, and what it means for attracting tech talent. It offered good news for IT workers.
Job growth in IT continues to boom, according to a new survey from non-profit trade association CompTIA.
CompTIA tracks both the technical positions in the IT industry as well as supporting positions like sales, marketing, and human resources. It also tracks technical workers who are employed across every other industry sector of the economy.
The survey shows that 14 of the past 18 months have seen job gains, with a particular spike in April 2015. Unemployment in IT also sits below the national average, which is 3.4% compared to 5.3%, nationally.
"The IT industry is healthy," said Tim Herbert, senior vice president of research and market intelligence at CompTIA.
The growth comes chiefly from two sectors: IT services (up 2.4%) and software (1.5%). The only area that was essentially flat was distribution.
Herbert said this plays into the ongoing trend of technologies that are shifting away from primarily an on-premise hardware infrastructure and more toward a service model for applications.
"That has driven the need for software developers in a lot of different areas both to develop the technology but also to integrate it, to take advantage of APIs," Herbert said.
In that situation where companies are migrating on-premise solutions to a cloud environment, the result is a need for more integrators, cloud architects, and the like.
Another trend Herbert noticed is that there's been no plunge in the need for IT support or helpdesk roles.
Despite things like BYOD and other trends in making tech more accessible, Herbert said the fact is that today we have more devices connected to the network, there are more operating systems to manage, more complexities, and more security risks to worry about, meaning that the need for IT support remains strong.
The report also found that the top tech companies posting jobs for Q2 included Accenture, Oracle, Deloitte, and IBM. And in the past three quarters, the numbers of postings has increased.
"It's another data point that confirms that the IT industry as well as IT occupations are on very solid footing because we [saw] demand pretty much across the entire spectrum of IT occupations," Herbert said.
Job postings and job hirings don't have a one to one relationship, but he said looking at job posting can be a good insight for what employers are looking for and how they're looking to attract top tech talent.
The demand is most intense in categories like cloud architecture, and big data research — emerging positions where there hasn't been enough time to develop training and allow workers to gain the expertise because some of those skillsets are so new, Herbert said.
Also, this is not to say that there wasn't strong demand in more traditional roles like web developers or database administrators. There was.
All of this reflects the fact that more companies are in a position to hire or expand their staffs.
"In some cases it may be employers that are in the small to medium-size business category and they may have had a very small IT department, but because technology is becoming more important to them, it's more of a driver of their business objectives, they now have moved beyond having an IT department of maybe two people to maybe four people," he said.
In other words, there are more types of businesses out there now demanding more IT talent.