Where The IT Jobs Aren't: Tech - InformationWeek

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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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ChrisMurphy
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ChrisMurphy,
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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
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. 
Kristin Burnham
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Kristin Burnham,
User Rank: Author
7/28/2014 | 10:52:48 AM
Re: New IT roles
We're delving into those new titles this week in a separate story. Stay tuned.
Kristin Burnham
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Kristin Burnham,
User Rank: Author
7/28/2014 | 10:51:08 AM
Re: New IT roles
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.

^^working long hours is likely another reason, too.
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.
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.
Thomas Claburn
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Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
7/24/2014 | 4:14:30 PM
Re: Interesting titles
>"Collaboration evangelist" has me scratching my head a bit too.

If you have to evangelize collboration, that's a sure sign that it's not happening.
David F. Carr
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David F. Carr,
User Rank: Author
7/24/2014 | 1:43:16 PM
Re: Interesting titles
Next up: Job Title Obstrufication Enabler. VP of Obscure Titles
Laurianne
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Laurianne,
User Rank: Author
7/24/2014 | 12:00:57 PM
Re: Interesting titles
"Collaboration evangelist" has me scratching my head a bit too.
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