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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.

9 Job Hunt Tips For Older IT Pros
9 Job Hunt Tips For Older IT Pros
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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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zerox203
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zerox203,
User Rank: Ninja
7/31/2014 | 8:58:25 AM
Re: Where the IT Jobs Aren't
Wow, this article was an eye-opener in itself, but I really feel like I have to thank @TerryB for the exhaustive (but not exhausting) overview of the role of social and collaborative tools in a manufacturing environment - and in an enterprise in general! Like he said, taking that from someone who's been in IT since the 80s really puts it into perspective and helps me get a solid grasp on what we're talking about when we say 'changing skillsets'. There are broad cateogies, and then there specific categories -  those distinctions do matter, but what counts the most is learning as you go.

As for the shift in IT jobs, well... there's a lot to say about that, too. I'm not surprised to see my home state of Massachusetts represented on the map, but I might have thought it would have been in the maximum density set. I suppose that's because the graph was by number of jobs, not percentage of jobs or what-have-you. Anyway, I too am surprised at the stark rise in manufacturing jobs - not necessarily the fact that there's a rise, but at the size of it. That's a pretty big leap. No doubt that's do to an increase in other technologies (IoT-type stuff, more smart devices on the floor like TerryB mentions) as well as customer-facing technologies.
SunitaT0
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SunitaT0,
User Rank: Ninja
7/31/2014 | 6:10:13 AM
Other sectors
Most of the other sectors are concentrated around power states (with oil, gas, food) and with the recent shift of IT sector jobs (15000 people lost their jobs from the Nokia merger), most of the people will find refuge within the IT sectors of the companies running the power, and hence the sudden growth of other areas except of the Silicon Valley.
RobBellenfant
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RobBellenfant,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/31/2014 | 12:15:39 AM
Continued Education
IT is always changing, so it's natural for the roles and functions within it to be constantly evolving, too. New technology is making it possible for more industries and companies to explore new methods, which will require new-age IT talent to lead the way. Even for those in traditional IT roles, it is imperative to have continuous education and training to stay current and relevant in the industry. These new "creative" IT roles will just offer new areas that IT pros must add to their training. The real pressure will be on universities and training centers to adapt and evolve their programs to help prepre both current IT pros and the next wave of the workforce for these emerging IT roles.
D.M. Romano
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D.M. Romano,
User Rank: Moderator
7/30/2014 | 3:46:02 PM
Differentiation
"In order to compete for jobs, people will have to go much farther to differentiate themselves,"

 

I tend to think a shift in a more blended skillset is proving more valuable nowadays as well. While there is a need to have an "expert" in a given area, that only goes so far with what is being asked of IT professionals nowadays as company's strive to cut expenses and drive up the workload. 
TerryB
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TerryB,
User Rank: Ninja
7/30/2014 | 2:24:53 PM
RE: Where The IT Jobs Aren't - Tech
That makes sense, Chris. I really wasn't thinking about Agile or methodologies, I was talking about "cutting edge"' technology itself. Agile is about how people work, not technology.
ChrisMurphy
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ChrisMurphy,
User Rank: Author
7/30/2014 | 1:58:13 PM
RE: Where The IT Jobs Aren't - Tech
I can tell you companies like GE definitely see the opportunity of learning from Silicon Valley, TerryB -- and they're actively trying to blend the cultures of the Valley's speed and agile development with the rigor and controls needed in industrial environments. Below is a video clip of GE CIO Jim Fowler discussing this idea at the InformationWeek Conference this spring -- on how GE opened a Silicon Valley office in part to change the culture of the broader GE:

http://www.informationweek.com/strategic-cio/executive-insights-and-innovation/ge-power-and-water-cio-discusses-it-speed-and-agility/v/d-id/1279055
TerryB
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TerryB,
User Rank: Ninja
7/30/2014 | 1:48:47 PM
RE: Where The IT Jobs Aren't - Tech
That would make a great story, Chris. I'd love to hear what Silicon Valley thinks is "cutting edge" these days that really applies to companies that manufacture real things like we do.

Facebook, InstaGram, SnapChat, cloud scaling, big data, Hadoop, etc, etc, etc are not relevant to us. If the new kids on the IT block in Silicon Valley think that is where the action is, more power to them. We'll see if they can stretch their careers from 1985 to now, from mainframes to Sencha Ext JS web 2.0 apps like my generation has.

Those young whipper snappers need to show some respect for their elders, we aren't cavemen. :-) I think the old adage "I've forgotten more than you ever knew" may be very relevant for them.
Laurianne
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Laurianne,
User Rank: Author
7/29/2014 | 3:34:18 PM
RE: Where The IT Jobs Aren't - Tech
The other factor is the continued consolidation of the tech companies via mergers and acquisitions. Cloud-related companies are merging on a daily basis it seems. One company=fewer IT jobs. The manufacturing cos may have gone through their consolidations much earlier.
ChrisMurphy
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ChrisMurphy,
User Rank: Author
7/29/2014 | 1:47:17 PM
RE: Where The IT Jobs Aren't - Tech
I was telling a friend this weekend, who works at a tech vendor in Silicon Valley, about this survey, and I sensed she was skeptical. Many people can't picture these kind of jobs -- tech in a manufacturing environment -- as cutting edge. I think people who can bridge the two worlds -- the cutting-edge, software-centric mindset of Silicon Valley, with the practical, close-to-the-customer product understanding -- are the winners. 
felixlgriffin
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felixlgriffin,
User Rank: Strategist
7/29/2014 | 12:49:01 PM
RE: Where The IT Jobs Aren't - Tech
I found it very refreshing to see a post regarding the state of the IT Industry. I have felt IT is the most important field or industry because of the relevance, (past present and future), of Information Technology. There isn't one industry that doesn't use IT and every industry needs IT. With IT as a foundation, you can make yourself more attractive to employers with the right arsenal of skills. (i.e. Finance, Marketing, Business). I'm a Computer/IT Pro (Network Admin) with Programming and Web Development as well as Marketing and business background. IT isn't going anywhere but business and industry is.. more and more high tech [digital]. It would be in the best interest of anyone, in any field, to put great emphasis on improving their IT skill set. Thanks for sharing Kristin Burnham! Great Post!
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