Tech jobs are booming: Here's what employers are looking for

An exceptionally strong start to the year for tech employment. Developer tops the list of remote-working jobs.
Written by Owen Hughes, Senior Editor

There remains a huge demand for software professionals throughout the US.

Image: skynesher/ Getty

Tech companies in the US added 24,300 workers in January, marking the 14th consecutive month of job growth in a hot IT hiring market.

According to job market statistics by CompTIA, IT occupations throughout the economy increased by 178,000 last month, with tech-related hiring contributing to the national growth of 467,000 jobs. Unemployment rates within tech occupations dropped to 1.7%, down from 2% in December 2021.

More than half of January's job gains within the tech sector were in the IT services and custom software development category, where 14,800 roles were added. Tech firms also added 7,500 employees in data processing, hosting and related services, 3,100 employees in information services, such as search engines, and 2,000 new hires in computer and electronic products manufacturing. 

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Tim Herbert, chief research officer at CompTIA, said the statistics reflected "an exceptionally strong start to the year for tech employment," which continues to be buoyed by increased investment in digital services by organizations across all industries.

"Employer job posting analysis confirms the interconnected nature of technical skills across cloud infrastructure, applications, data and cybersecurity, as well as the critical importance of soft skills, project management skills and business acumen," said Herbert.

In total, employer job postings for tech positions reached nearly 340,000 last month, spanning industry sectors, locations and skillsets.

Professional, scientific and technical services (56,860), finance and insurance (38,820), manufacturing (31,379), information (16,796) and retail (11,687) led the list of industries with the most tech job postings in January, according to CompTIA.

Hiring was led by companies including Deloitte, Capital One, Amazon, Anthem Blue Cross and Accenture.

Tech job postings surpassed 10,000 in eight metropolitan areas: New York, Washington DC, Dallas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Atlanta, and Seattle.

The data also indicated that employment opportunities in tech weren't limited to major cities. Lansing, Michigan, for example, ranked third nationally among all metro markets in the month-over-month increase in tech job postings. Michigan saw the largest jump in job postings among the states, with a total of 10,559 in January, an increase of more than 2,100 from December.

Herbert commented that the "arms race in recruiting and retaining tech talent" was challenging business in both "direct and indirect ways."

Remote opportunities, for example, continue to grow in tech as organizations look beyond major cities to identify and hire tech talent while skirting competition in major tech hubs.

The occupation with the highest number of remote and work-from-home role opportunities was software developer, with 37,000 posts. Demand was also high for IT support specialists (10,465), web developers (9,832), systems engineers/architects (7,185), and IT project managers (6.939).

The explosion in tech jobs isn't confined to the US.

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In the UK, IT vacancies have doubled in the past year, with job postings in the technology, media and telecoms (TMT) sector growing by 119% year on year.

The latest KPMG tech monitor report found that tech sector employment is growing "at record pace" in the UK, although it also noted that organizations face severe cost pressures around both hiring and the supply chain in 2022.

"The UK tech sector faces a balancing act this year: on one hand, demand for digital continues to gather pace, but on the other, tech organisations face significant challenges around talent and supply chain – neither of which will disappear soon," said Lisa Heneghan, chief digital officer at KPMG UK.

"With this in mind, only time will tell whether the sector can maintain current growth levels throughout 2022."

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