Labeling skills as soft undervalues them. To prioritize skills such as communication, IT leaders must call them what they are in the digital era: Core.
IT jobs: 9 notable stats and trends
What's the current picture for job hunters and hiring managers? Challenging. Let's examine stats on hot skills, hiring remorse, ageism, and more
Digital disruption has, by and large, been good for the technology professional. With numerous skills in demand – such as container and cloud skills – top employers are pulling out all the stops to attract the best talent to IT jobs.
On the flip side, however, actual IT hiring slowed down in August. Some IT leaders report they simply have not been able to find the desired skills in the marketplace. However, IT job hunters often point out that the so-called “talent gap” may also come down to companies sticking to unrealistic or outdated hiring practices or offering unattractive salaries.
[ Which of today's IT roles are vanishing? Read our related article, 4 dying IT jobs. ]
We looked at a variety of data points that tell the story of what is happening right now for IT job hunters and hiring managers:
1. Flat IT job growth in August
It was the dog days of hiring as U.S. IT job growth came to a screeching halt in August, stalling at 5,341,600 jobs, according to TechServe Alliance, the national trade association for the IT & Engineering Staffing and Solutions industry. The culprit? A lack of qualified workers to meet demand, according to TechServe Alliance CEO Mark Roberts. Similar findings came from CompTIA, which reported that the tech sector lost 400 jobs in August.
2. Hiring remorse: Time to rethink how you interview?
Better to hire no one than to hire the wrong person, perhaps. A whopping 95 percent of IT hiring decision-makers said they’ve made a bad hire, according to a new survey from Robert Half Technology. Thirty-eight percent said the problem was lack of skills with the new hire unable to perform the job required, 29 percent cited interpersonal issues, and 28 percent said the candidate was a poor corporate culture fit. The IT hiring managers also noted the difficulty of assessing such factors during the interviewing process.
3. Tech still has it better than other sectors
Long-term, however, the number of technology roles in the U.S. are expected to increase. IT occupations are projected to grow 13 percent from 2016 to 2026 – faster than the average for all occupations, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
4. A rising tech tide lifts…real estate
And more tech workers means more office space. According to Cushman & Wakefield’s new Occupier Insights report, 20 to 25 percent of office leasing activity is now a result of technology jobs, in contrast to previous cycles when financial services or business analyst roles drove this sector of real estate.
5. Certifications that pay
A host of certified and non-certified tech skills are in demand, according to the latest quarterly update of Foote Partners’ IT Skills and Certifications Pay Index. As a result, IT leaders are paying a premium for certifications – an average of 7.6 percent of base salary for a single certification and 9.4 percent of base salary on average for certain single, non-certified skills.
The fastest growing competencies include risk analytics/assessment, cryptography, advanced analytics, data governance, data science, Apache Spark, artificial intelligence, and penetration testing.
[ Which open source skills are most valuable? Read our related article, Open source jobs report: 3 hot skill areas now. ]