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7/24/2014
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Where The IT Jobs Aren't: Tech

IT jobs in the tech sector will stall while non-tech industries will drive IT job growth, impacting job geography and skills, says new report.

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IT job creation within the technology sector will stall or decline through 2018, with non-tech industries such as manufacturing, automotive, healthcare, and retail driving IT job growth instead, according to a new report from advisory company CEB.

This shift will create increased competition for IT talent and a new IT job skillset, and will force organizations to think beyond traditional talent pools and candidate profiles to attract and retain the best employees.

The IT sector employs only about one-third of the total IT workforce, while non-IT industries employ the remaining two-thirds of private sector IT workers, according to the report, which analyzed more than 900 cities and 1,000 skills.

[How does your job stack up? Read IT Salaries: 8 Cold Hard Facts.]

As IT sector employment stalls as a percentage of the total US IT workforce, non-IT sectors will expand: The manufacturing and automotive industries are forecasted to most aggressively grow the share of the workforce, followed by healthcare, retail, and aerospace and defense, the report said, leading to a greater geographic diversity of jobs.

Last year, 67% of IT workers in the US were concentrated in 10 states. But untraditional talent hubs for the IT workforce are emerging, based on their high demand for workers. Pennsylvania, Georgia, Illinois, and Texas ranked in the top seven states with the most IT job openings, according to the report.

"As technology-enabled products and services become more important to the innovation agenda of companies not traditionally defined as IT companies, both the demand and the supply of IT talent is growing beyond historical state and city IT talent hubs such as San Francisco or Seattle," the report said.

Lower costs and availability of skilled talent have made Philadelphia, Oklahoma City, Charlotte, Chicago, Houston, and Atlanta popular locations. Last year, the number of open jobs as a percentage of the total IT workforce was at or above 30% in Philadelphia and Oklahoma City, for example, while the San Francisco Bay area and New York were at about 12%, the report said.

"The good news is that individuals looking for jobs may be able to find tech jobs much closer to home since they don't need to move to Washington D.C., Texas, or California," said Jean Martin, executive director at CEB, in an interview.  "The bad news is that the demand for skills is shifting toward more complex tech positions, which means baseline tech skills are commoditizing and they need to take their skills to the next level to do these jobs."

According to the report, the top five skills in demand by city highlight a considerable shift from traditional skills such as C and C++ to Web, .NET, and mobile skills. Six new emerging roles include technology brokers, cloud integration specialists, collaboration evangelists, service architects, user experience designers, and information insight enablers, according to CEB.

Given the growth of IT jobs in non-IT sectors, this shift is natural, Martin said.

"Industries like hospitality, retail, and manufacturing aren't interested in C++, they're interested in who can manage an IT-enabled customer interface," she pointed out. "It's the liberal arts of technology jobs -- we're seeing companies start to bring in hard tech skills with broader business-based and customer management skills."

As a result, job seekers will need to expand their skill set in order to stay relevant and desirable. "In order to compete for jobs, people will have to go much farther to differentiate themselves," Martin noted. "They will need to be customer experience experts or data experts to do these much more creative jobs on the tech side. We're going to see a different education and career path in the future."

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Kristin Burnham currently serves as InformationWeek.com's Senior Editor, covering social media, social business, IT leadership and IT careers. Prior to joining InformationWeek in July 2013, she served in a number of roles at CIO magazine and CIO.com, most recently as senior ... View Full Bio

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Stratustician
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Stratustician,
User Rank: Ninja
7/26/2014 | 11:50:08 AM
Re: New IT roles
The problem with email becomes evident when you talk to marketing folks.  Constantly sending large files (PowerPoint, PDFs, graphic files) is not a sustainable model.  I can think of many times where I've had to go through my email and delete tons of files just to be able to send a single email with no attachment.  It's simply not a sustainable model, which is why having alternate tools, such as SharePoint are key for many organizations.
Broadway0474
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Broadway0474,
User Rank: Strategist
7/25/2014 | 10:47:52 PM
Re: New IT roles
Sharepoint is the "new way to work together," says Microsoft. Sounds like it's the new way to complicate things. What's wrong with email?
TerryB
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TerryB,
User Rank: Ninja
7/25/2014 | 11:53:37 AM
Re: New IT roles
That is EXACTLY what is, @jane. This is a people job, about persuasion, not a tech job. That is my biggest surprise that they list this as a IT job.
Laurianne
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Laurianne,
User Rank: Author
7/25/2014 | 11:52:30 AM
Re: New IT roles
"Not being a Sharepoint "specialist" gave me a perspective that someone who lives solely in that world would never have. When you are a hammer, everything looks like a nail." Bingo. Also incredibly valuable.
TerryB
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TerryB,
User Rank: Ninja
7/25/2014 | 11:46:01 AM
Re: New IT roles
@Laurianne, I'm not sure a specialist would have helped. The technical side of Sharepoint was the easy part, you can Google just about anything you want to know.

The trick here was the integration with the rest of the systems and business isself, figuring out what Sharepoint should be doing and what it should not be doing. And these are not hard fast rules. For example, you can (with Visual Studio/ASP.NET) write entire applications in Sharepoint. But that doesn't mean you should, that it is the best tool for that app. Another decision point was what Sharepoint to use, the free WSS stuff or fork out the dough to buy Enterprise licenses to use all the fancy stuff like KPI web parts and Excel services.

Not being a Sharepoint "specialist" gave me a perspective that someone who lives solely in that world would never have. When you are a hammer, everything looks like a nail. I was able to determine early on that other technologies like Sencha Ext JS are much more robust and maintainable (code wise) to write web apps integrated with line of business data on IBM servers than creating a custom web part app with ASP.NET. You then hang the LINK to Ext JS app in Sharepoint, as far as users know it is Sharepoint. Approaches like that keep Sharepoint vanilla, making upgrades a much easier thing.

The sad thing is, I don't think "collaboration evangelist" has anything to do with that stuff. That sounds like it is strictly about the PR of getting users to adopt to this new paradigm, get away from email. That's why only a huge company could afford to carry a position like that.
Jeff Jerome
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Jeff Jerome,
User Rank: Ninja
7/25/2014 | 11:44:16 AM
Re: New IT roles
 You gotta love all the buzz words and I have to agree with you it does sound like a cheerleader.  But that is what it takes to create change in an enterprise.  

One other observation I have regarding the post is the number of job postings based on geography. The dark blue with larger populations is a no brainer but some of the others that are light blue are interesting and show a possibility of growth plus a lower cost of living.  If you look at California, lots of jobs which is great but the cost of living is crazy.  I have a meeting this morning with a client that is expanding from North Carolina to the Silicon Valley. The manager is moving here and she told me that her rent doubled to get half the space and add 3 roommates.  Typical rent in SF for a two bedroom apartment can run from 3 - 4,000.00 or more a month.  Tough to survive and might explain why so many companies in the valley offer free food at work, the employees can't afford to eat.  "Will work for Food" Kind of a new example of an old sign.   
jastroff
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jastroff,
User Rank: Ninja
7/25/2014 | 11:31:57 AM
Re: New IT roles
>> 'collaborator evangelist'?
 sounds like a cheerleader
Laurianne
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Laurianne,
User Rank: Author
7/25/2014 | 11:25:22 AM
Re: New IT roles
@TerryB, your experience shows your company was able to use you -- learning as you went along -- to oversee Sharepoint efforts, rather than hire a new specialist. Makes sense for employer and employee. You get fresh skills, they get a person who is a known quantity.
PedroGonzales
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PedroGonzales,
User Rank: Ninja
7/25/2014 | 10:51:41 AM
Re: Interesting titles
@terryB.  I can see where you are going with this.  This is an unnecessary specialization.  Such skills you can learn on the job, there is no need to fragment education even more than what it is now.
TerryB
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TerryB,
User Rank: Ninja
7/25/2014 | 10:03:13 AM
Re: Interesting titles
@MDM, not so sure I agree with you on that. If you were a specialist in Novell, you aren't doing that anymore. In programming, pick your poison. You want to do RPG, COBOL, PERL, PHP, Java, Javascript, C#, VB....Well, you get idea.  More important than language is methodology. Many, many programmers from my generation just could not switch from green screen to OOP, GUI and web technologies.

The key is to understand the core of computer science itself. You can then have a fighting chance to pick up new paradigms and technolgies as they emerge. "Specialization" implies just the opposite.

Even these jobs which are not technical, like user interface specialist. When small smartphone screens came out, did their previous work on web page design help? Same with Touch interfaces. You are not a specialist anymore, you are just learning like the rest of us. How well you can adapt is the key and having a wide base to build from gives you best chance to do so.

I remember in college we had class we wrote a compiler for ADA language in PASCAL, course called Comparitive Languages. Not because they ever expected us to do it in the field but so we would understand what ANY compiler does and what every language has to be able to do.
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