Since this article is being written in June 2018, it’s only fair to mention that the unemployment rate in the United States just fell to 3.8 percent. The last time we witnessed the unemployment rate this low was back in April 2000. This was just before the dot com bubble got burst between the years 2001 and 2002. It is hard to find information technology people and talent, and even harder when the unemployment rate is near record lows. The Tech Skills Gap is a real thing.
The unemployment rate for IT and tech talent is usually 2.1 to 2.4 percent lower than the overall unemployment rate in the country. This means the unemployment rate for tech and IT talent is somewhere around 1.4 percent. Now, what does this rate mean? The most important thing this rate indicates is that the job market for IT and tech talent is flourishing. There’s only 1.4 percent of tech talent in the country that is available. This is why it is so hard to find tech talent these days. And it will continue to be this way in the years to come.
According to the new forecast made by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there will be a 13 percent increase in tech and IT jobs over the next decade. Moreover, as per the beliefs of Decide Consulting, the number of software development jobs will double over the same period.
Why? You would ask. Well, this is what this article is all about.
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For those who don’t know, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics made similar projections in the late ‘90s about the growth of IT and tech based jobs in the new millennium. However, they underestimated the potential of IT severely. The reason being, their forecasts are actually based on current job files. That’s why they didn’t incorporate mobile developers. They did not exist back in those years. Simply put, the bureau did not anticipate the boom of the mobile industry. But this time it’s different. They know where the IT industry is heading. That’s the reason why their forecasts must be taken seriously.
Now, let’s discuss as to why it is difficult to find tech talent these days, why their demand is so high, and why finding tech talent will continue to be a challenge in the future.
1- The Proliferation of the IoT Devices
Here’s an interesting fact about the Internet of Things (IoT) – last year, the number of installed IoT devices was 18 billion. By 2020, the number is expected to hit the 31 billion mark. And by 2025, it is expected to reach 75.4 billion. According to Boston Consulting Group, the IoT market is expected to reach $267 billion by 2020. Business benefits worth millions of dollars and amazing outcomes are the two things that are driving the CIOs and CTOs of multinationals and other big corporations to experiment with the Internet of Things and invest in large-scale business initiatives. This explosion of the IoT in the corporate sector has opened thousands of employment opportunities for the IT and tech talent. And as the trend of adopting the IoT continues, you can expect the shortage of IT and tech talent to continue.
2- The Age of Home Assistants
IT has already moderated how companies used to conduct business. Now, it’s time for IT to revolutionize how we conduct business at our homes. Currently, the technology behind home assistants, like Amazon Echo and Google Home, is not quite there. But you can only imagine the amount of work being done and efforts being put in to develop it further. You might be wondering why there’s a need to enhance home assistants. Well, smart devices are only getting smarter. They have rendered the current home assistants incompatible. Thus, in order to fulfill the dream of a smart home, home assistants need to be designed in higher modes.
But that’s not the only thing that’ll keep IT and tech talent employed in the coming years. Home assistants are incomplete without their mobile apps. Knowing that the technology behind home assistants is destined to improve over time, we would need newer and more efficient apps to make these high-tech home assistants work. That’s another domain that’ll keep a lot of tech talent occupied, resulting in difficulty to find the available IT professionals.
3- Big Data Requires Top Tech Talent
We’ve been talking about big data for years now, however, there’s a lot to be done to be able to deal with it properly. Big data refers to voluminous and complex data sets that are analyzed with the help of modern computers to reveal trends in human behavior. The knowledge of these behavioral patterns is important for businesses. Thus, there’s a constant need for top-tier tech talent to design software that can analyze big data effectively, as traditional data processing software are no good for dealing with it. With advanced education of data analytics being promoted in universities and MBA programs beginning to offer degrees in data analytics, the demand for tech and IT talent is only bound to reach sky-high.
4- The Advent of AI & Machine Language
The demand for tech talent that has the ability and potential to deal with AI and machine language has taken the employment rate of IT professionals to a higher level. It’s only now that big corporations are beginning to implement AI and machine language to have an edge over their competitors. Finding tech talent that can work with AI and machine language is not the only difficult thing. Retaining those short-in-supply professionals is also getting very competitive. That’s why, according to a New York Times report, some AI firms are offering starting jobs at $500,000 with perks.
The answer to the question why it is so difficult to find tech talent these days is simple – the supply is short and the demand is soaring. The use of AI, blockchain technology, and the IoT, and the importance of cyber-security and big data are growing exponentially these days, making the demand for tech talent reach new heights. Besides all that, network engineering, software development, mobile development, and other related tech fields are continuing to expand, creating more job opportunities for IT professionals. With such endless job opportunities, you can very well imagine how difficult it must be to find quality tech talent.
Are you finding it harder to locate the good technical and IT talent? Many companies find them selves in the same situation. There are some better ways to locate and attract the right it and technical people to your company. Contact us to learn more.