California, New Jersey, Texas top states for IT skills shortages: survey

Just two years ago, in the thick of the recession, many companies were being inundated with resumes from well-qualified IT professionals. Now, many of those same companies may be wondering where everyone went.

Just two years ago, in the thick of the recession, many companies were being inundated with resumes from well-qualified IT professionals. Now, many of those same companies may be wondering where everyone went.

Fill this data center: A couple of years ago, IT applicants were knocking down doors. Now, the situation may be reversing.

Dice.com, the online IT job search site, just issued a report on the number of tech jobs available on the site for a given day and the number of computer science and computer information graduates recently entering the work force. In its one-day snapshot of available jobs, Dice found a 60% jump from the low ebb of the recession about two years ago. US employers simply cannot find enough qualified IT talent at this point, the report points out:

"Fueled by explosive growth in mobile and cloud-based applications, as well as federally mandated electronic medical records reforms, this surge has been driven in part by a wave of Angry Birds, smartphones, DropBoxes and compliance requirements. American businesses are crying out for tech-savvy talent. And they’re not finding it – at least not enough of it."

This, of course, would be good news for IT professionals. It means greater leverage in negotiating salaries and benefits.

The downside, of course, is that overworked and over-stretched IT shops will get even more overworked and overstretched if critical vacancies can't get filled fast enough. For better or for worse, this will accelerate the push for automation, and accelerate outsourcing at an even faster rate than before. With service orientation and the cloud, outsourcing bits and pieces of development and operations becomes a quick process at the click of a button.

The Dice analysis also found that 18 states and the District of Columbia have a “shortage” of graduates -- when comparing job openings to associates and bachelors degrees conferred in 2009.  Typically, those “shortage states” overlap critical tech markets: Silicon Valley; Seattle; Dallas; Boston; Atlanta; New York; DC/Virginia/Baltimore; Los Angeles; and Chicago. In California alone, the Dice analysis shows nearly three jobs open for every new computer science graduate.

Here are the top 10 states in terms of IT skills shortages:

  1. California
  2. New Jersey
  3. Texas
  4. New York
  5. Massachusetts
  6. Illinois
  7. Washington
  8. Connecticut
  9. Virginia
  10. Washington D.C.

Not everywhere, though. According to the Dice analysis, 32 states have more new college graduates with computer-related majors than those states had open jobs. The top states with a surplus of graduates? Michigan, Pennsylvania and Florida.

Dice also cited the specific top skills in demand (most requested):

  1. Oracle
  2. J2EE/Java
  3. C, C++, C#
  4. Project Management
  5. SQL

And the skills with the fastest-growing demand from a year ago:

  1. Android (302%)
  2. Cloud (221%)
  3. iPhone (220%)
  4. JavaScript (88%)
  5. PeopleSoft (83%)

(Photo Credit: Daniel Schwen, via Wikimedia Commons)

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