According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, tech jobs weren't hit hard by the recession. The BLS reports that information technology jobs saw a 1 percent drop in 2009 but rallied in 2010. Those statistics, as well as numerous online publications that proclaim job security for IT professionals, belie the fact that the job hunt is getting more competitive in all industries. Understanding some basic trends when searching for tech jobs may help you land a position in 2014.
Rona Borre, the CEO of IT recruitment firm Instant Technologies, says she expects 2014 will see an increase in employers contracting tech jobs to freelancers. Borre points to the exponential increase in employer needs for IT professionals in several high-demand niches as a reason for moving to a contract model. Growth in sectors like mobile application development and information security have made individuals with those skills very valuable, but all companies can't afford to fill full-time information technology jobs in these areas. For many companies, the need to get procedures or software running immediately also makes the consultant model more alluring—in an age where onboarding new employees can take weeks or months, contracts with freelancers or business partners to fill tech jobs can be a faster way to success. During your 2014 job hunt, be open to nontraditional forms of employment to widen your options.
The world of technology is fueled by data, and employers are having a hard time converting raw data into a useable format. Individuals with data analytics skills are likely to see an increase in employment opportunities, and they may even benefit from hiring wars. According to CA Technologies CTO John Michelsen, it's becoming very difficult to recruit enough individuals with the right level of data capability. Debra Germaine, a manager at another IT recruiting firm, says that high-level data scientists are going to be in high demand in sectors such as banking, consulting, and retail. Data specialists will be key players in converting information drawn from Internet research, social media marketing, cloud computing, and mobile applications into functional trends for use in customer relation management, marketing plans, and product decisions.
It's not all about what you know—in 2014, you might have to change how you share what you know. Recruiting for tech jobs is likely to become increasingly more Internet based. Job seekers should spend time developing social media profiles and online resumes. Make sure to use industry-specific keywords so recruiters can find you, and expect that employers will use the Internet for preinterview screenings. HR departments may take a gander at your social media pages, so make sure you don't have anything on your Facebook page that could make an employer turn away. Be prepared to participate in video interviews and use electronic application processes. As someone applying for a technical position, you don't want your lack of familiarity with something like video conferencing to give the wrong impression about your tech skills.
According to statistics, tech jobs will be available in 2014 to those with the right qualifications. Understanding industry hiring trends and being prepared for modern hiring methods will help you impress interviewers and land a desired position.
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