We are living in a Golden Age of IT employment. The advent of the Cloud, the Internet of Things, and Big Data are combining to make the job market for skilled It professionals hot — and it’s getting hotter. According to the 2016 Salary Guide for Technology Professionals, from Robert Half, the global leader of professional staffing services, there are more jobs than people to fill them.
CareerBuilder and Economic Modeling Specialists International report that there is a significantly greater number of job IT job postings than hires per month. The gap between postings and hires for software developers is 83,649; there 51,068 more openings for network/systems administrators than workers to fill them; and the shortfall is 46,852 for computer systems analysts.
Companies regularly take months to staff important IT positions. It's not because they can’t find the “right” person, but because candidates aren’t even applying. It’s not that candidates lack the skills, rather it’s that they have their pick of employment opportunities. This is especially true for highly skilled and experienced IT pros.
Competition for skilled IT employees is so intense that companies regularly offer above-market salaries. Not only are salaries up across the board, but companies are increasingly offering flexibility in work schedules and locations, stock options, hiring bonuses, free lunches, and a plethora of unusual perks that range from bringing your dog to work, to free booze! (Both the cause of and solution to all of life's problems.)
While you can find good jobs in all industries, the hottest fields for IT pros right now are financial services, healthcare, hospitality, managed services, and telecommunications. Hundreds of companies in each field are looking to hire developers, systems engineers and administrators, desktop support personnel, analysts, and database administrators.
IT certifications are also increasing in importance, with more employers making them a requirement. Mobile technology, virtualization, project management, big data and especially security certifications are in particularly high-demand.
You don’t even need to have a “highfalutin” certification like a CISSP — there are great opportunities for those with entry-level certs. Competition to hire senior-level IT professionals is so intense, and expensive, that many companies are electing to “grow” their own talent. They are investing more in training and developing their entry-level hires, spending more on new technologies, upgrading systems and bringing in the newest and best cutting edge IT tools.
Certified IT professionals have lots of choices for employment. They can sign on with one of the Industry behemoths like IBM or Amazon, or cast their lot with a small start-up. Whichever course they choose will be filled with plenty of opportunities for career growth and life-work satisfaction. This is no time to sit on the sidelines. Get certified and join the fray
About the Author — Calvin Harper is an associate editor for GoCertify and a veteran of the publishing industry. He is equally conversant in the films of John Wayne, and the TV episodes of Homer Simpson.