The Tech Job Market Keeps Heating Up, But Not For Everybody

on 10 | 25 | 2012

Michael A. Morell recently sat down with Fortune’s Anne Fisher to discuss the current state of IT and technical talent in Silicon Valley. Even with a growing demand for skilled and experienced techs, many people still find themselves having trouble landing their dream role. As an experienced recruiter, Michael shares his perspective with Fisher and identifies three key traits that job seekers need to consider to help them stand out.

(Fortune) – At first glance, you might think that anyone with up-to-date IT skills and a few years of work experience has it made in the shade. Unemployment among this group has dropped from 4.2% in the third quarter of last year to 3.3% now, according to the latest figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics cited in a new report by tech job site, and the jobless rate in some specialized fields is even lower — a scant 2.3% for software developers, for instance.

Tech consulting alone has seen 10 straight quarters of job growth, with more than 56,000 new positions created so far in 2012, about 17,000 of them in September. At the same time, pay is rising. Base salaries are expected to climb by an average of 5.3% in the year ahead, according to the latest salary guide from researchers at staffing firm Robert Half International. Mobile app developers will get the biggest raises, at around 9%. Network engineers (especially wireless), data modelers, and portal administrators will see higher-than-average pay hikes, too.

So skilled IT professionals should have no trouble finding jobs, or changing jobs, right? Well, not exactly. For one thing, computer and electronics manufacturers have continued to cut headcount, as they have for the past few years, with about 10,000 layoffs announced so far in 2012. All that extra talent adds to the competition for available openings.

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