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Like so many other aspects of society, hiring has been dramatically shaken by the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Hit by severe financial losses, organizations have had to cut back on their staffing needs. But that tide may be starting to turn for technology workers. A report released Wednesday by job site Dice finds that hiring in the tech sector appears to be stabilizing.

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For its Dice Q3 Tech Job Report, the job site noted that tech job postings did drop by 7% from the second quarter to the third quarter. However, postings remained virtually flat from August to September. Further, more than two-thirds of top employers increased their hiring for the quarter.

In addition, the number of senior management job postings grew in September, suggesting that more mid-level postings may appear in the coming months.

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The latest data is even more encouraging. Based on the most recent information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the IT unemployment rate dropped by 2.8% in October from 3.5% in September. Job postings in the tech sector rose by almost 14,200 last month, totaling nearly 239,000.

Top tech occupations by job postings in Q3 2020.
Image: Dice

The top states for tech hiring

The top states for tech hiring during the third quarter all contain established or emerging technology hubs. California was in first place with 124,000 job postings, followed by Texas with 54,000 postings. Virginia, New York, and Florida rounded out the top five. In top-ranked California, the cites with the most hiring activity were San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, and Sunnyvale.

The pandemic dampened the usual rise in job postings from August to September. But over that period, several states still showed an increase in postings, including New Jersey, Arizona, Missouri, Georgia, Massachusetts, and Michigan. Across the US, top cites for tech job postings were New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Atlanta, and Austin.

The top employers for tech jobs

Among the top 50 employers in the third quarter, 68% created more tech job postings than they did in the prior quarter, while only 32% created an equal or lesser number of postings. The top employer for tech jobs last quarter was Amazon, with CACI in second place, followed by Infosys, Raytheon, and Accenture. Rounding out the top 10 were Oracle, Leidos, Booz Allen Hamilton, T-Mobile, and General Dynamics.

Accenture’s federal services business received several digital transformation contracts with the US Air Force, pointing to the federal government’s role in the tech industry and tech contracting. During the quarter, CACI was looking for people skilled in Linux, agile development, Java, Oracle, and Python. At the same time, Infosys was seeking professionals with knowledge of Java, SQL, systems development lifecycle (SDLC), and Oracle.

The types of tech jobs in demand

As organizations expanded their networks to encompass more remote employees, they ramped up their hiring of network and systems engineers. Software development was also a key need as companies sought to hire software developers, project managers, and senior software developers. Tech support staffers were in demand as well, with job postings for computer support specialist, help desk technician, and technical support engineer.

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As cybercriminals continue to exploit COVID-19 and the shift to remote working, organizations have been forced to beef up their security postures. But in this area, one of the most in-demand roles was for a cybersecurity manager, indicating a need to create security teams led by skilled people. The top five fasting growing job postings from August to September were for IT director, Python developer, software development manager, backend developer, and cybersecurity manager.

Most in-demand tech skills

Project management and SQL were the top in-demand skills, followed by Java, Python, and JavaScript. Rounding out the top 10 were Linux, technical support, Quality Assurance, Oracle, and Information Systems. Organizations also seem to be prepping for innovation and digital transformation, since the skills for product management and product development both rose several spots in job hirings.

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For programmers, demand for Java, Python, and JavaScript remained high. Organizations of all sizes rely on these languages not just to create apps but to maintain legacy systems and applications.Dice also noticed that Java developers are paying attention to Kotlin, a growing language aimed at fixing many of Java’s core issues; Google has also lauded Kotlin as a top language for Android development.

“The increase in job posting volumes for a range of top employers and the overall boost in more senior roles are encouraging, especially considering that the tech unemployment rate is still comparatively low at 2.8%,” Art Zeile, CEO of Dice parent company DHI, said in a press release. “We are seeing a continued demand for technologists even amidst the pandemic, and we expect that, with growing confidence, the trend toward stabilization will continue as organizations digitize and adapt to longer-term remote work flexibility.”