State of IT Skills Quick Take

Inspiring Success - A blog from Creating IT Futures

State of IT Skills Quick Take

Jan 26, 2015
By Amy Carrado

A lot of money is being spent as well as made on information technology (IT), and it’s increasing every year as far as we can see. The global IT market continues to grow, reaching an estimated $3.7 trillion in 2014 according to the research consultancy IDC. This covers revenue generated from the sale of hardware, software, IT services, and telecommunications. The U.S. market accounts for approximately 28 percent of the total, or slightly over $1 trillion. And continued growth is expected, especially in the areas of IT services and software. (See CompTIA’s IT Industry Outlook 2015 for more details when it debuts later this month.)

Naturally, spending on IT goes along with investments in the people and skills to implement, support and optimize the various technologies. As companies spend more on IT—89 percent plan to increase their technology investments in 2015—they also seek improvement on the IT skills front. The great majority (87 percent) experience some degree of IT skills gap. Though, it’s not such a bad thing that most employers are not completely satisfied with the status quo. The top areas where U.S. firms are looking most to ensure high levels of staff expertise and minimize skills gaps include networks, databases, storage, IT support and servers. After all, companies face real consequences resulting from IT skills gaps such as negative effects on staff productivity, innovation and security. (Check out more data coming in CompTIA’s International Technology Adoption and Workforce Trends report this April.)

StateofITSkills
We’ve witnessed how important technology is for the success of businesses and its growing role in strategic priorities—nearly 9 in 10 U.S. IT and business executives echo that technology is important or very important to the success of their organization. As such, we expect continued demand for foundational IT skills (e.g. support, networking and security) in addition to the more emerging ones (e.g. cloud, mobility and big data), particularly as companies themselves span the tech adoption curve from the “innovators” to “late adopters". There are many influences to tech adoption to keep in mind, including industry, company size, business type and organizational support for professional development.

On the employment side, IT hiring is expected to pick up in 2015 compared to last year. Nearly half of U.S. businesses plan to increase their number of IT staff (48 percent for 2015). Several additional factors also point to a favorable IT employment situation such as the:
  • Lower unemployment rate for IT professionals at 2.4 percent versus the overall rate of 5.6 percent reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics for December 2014.
  • Total number of core IT job postings: more than 550,000 for any given quarter last year, according to Burning Glass Technologies Labor Insights.
  • Bright outlook for future employment growth in core IT occupations: 17 percent overall from 2012 to 2022 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It’s even greater than 20 percent in several cases such as for information security analysts, software and web developers, and systems analysts. (See the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook for more information.)
  • Average (median) salary for IT occupations is more than double the average for all occupations combined (over $76,000 vs. nearly $35,000, respectively), also according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Furthermore, for IT professionals or people looking to begin a new IT career, there are numerous tracks and areas of study to choose from within the quite generic “IT field”. A career in IT offers something for everyone at any point from programming/coding to business intelligence/analysis, troubleshooting to security, tech support to management, and so on.

For companies and workers alike, investments in IT and professional development are well worth it.

You can gather more trends analysis on the IT skills gap through Creating IT Futures Foundation’s parent company, CompTIA.

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Creating IT Futures

A 501(c)(3) charity was established in 1998 by CompTIA, the Information Technology Industry Trade Association, as a way to help people improve their lives through IT careers.

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We help populations that are under-represented in IT and individuals who are lacking in opportunity to prepare for, secure and be successful in IT careers.

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