Where are all the IT jobs?

The market for IT jobs is stronger than the overall job market, but IT pros in certain cities and with certain skills will be better off than others. 

While there are still plenty of tech professionals looking for work, the IT unemployment rate has been well below the average for all U.S. industries, according to a recent report from IT job board Dice.com.

The rate is now hovering around 3.5%, according to calculations based on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Over the past five quarters, the IT unemployment rate has stayed below 4.5%, while the national unemployment rate has been above 8% over the same period.

That’s good news for IT pros. However, the ease of landing new IT jobs will depend a lot on geographic area, and what skills job seekers have to offer employers.

What are the best places right now for tech job seekers? The answers might be surprising, as some new markets have experienced a lot of recent growth. These are the top cities for IT pros, based on the number of the available jobs compared to the number of job seekers, according to job search engine Simply Hired:

  1. Baltimore, MD
  2. Detroit, MI
  3. Charlotte, NC
  4. Portland, OR
  5. Seattle, WA
  6. Pittsburgh, PA
  7. Milwaukee, WI
  8. Richmond, VA
  9. Raleigh, NC
  10. New York, NY

These are the worst cities, where there is a lot of competition for few IT jobs:

  1. Newark, NJ
  2. Birmingham, AL
  3. Riverside, CA
  4. Little Rock, AR
  5. Honolulu, HI
  6. Boulder, CO
  7. Huntsville, AL
  8. Sacramento, CA
  9. Indianapolis, IN
  10. Orlando, FL

Overall, health care is the top hiring industry right now, but technology is a close second, according to Simply Hired.

Top skills in demand for IT jobs

Of course, to stand apart from the competition and land a new job, IT pros must possess the skills companies are searching for.

According to Dice, organizations are having the hardest time finding software developers — especially Java, mobile and Microsoft .NET developers. Those were the top three responses when Dice asked 866 IT recruiters and hiring managers for the most difficult-to-find positions or skill sets. The top 10 answers:

  1. Java developers
  2. Mobile developers
  3. .NET developers
  4. Software developers
  5. Security professionals
  6. SAP professionals
  7. Sharepoint professionals
  8. Web developers
  9. Active federal security clearance holders
  10. Network engineers

What about IT managers, who will be charged with keeping their companies’ top IT pros from jumping ship to other employers? For managers, now may be a good time to take a fresh look at their strategies for retaining IT talent.

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