Top 10 States for Tech Jobs Growth

The IT job market has slowly and steadily been growing overall, but these 10 states have shown the most growth within the tech jobs sector. We talk to industry experts to find out what's driving the trends in these thriving markets.

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Tue, August 20, 2013

CIO — The tech job market has seen steady growth since 2009 and experts expect this trend to continue as more companies turn to technology for a competitive edge or to save money.

"You have a tech labor market that is growing nicely and has been growing since the end of the recession, which is great news overall," says Dice's Scot Melland.

Data security issues in the workplace

What's driving this trend differs from market to market, but there are key areas that, according to Melland, that are affecting companies across the board.

"A trend that we've seen since the recovery in 2009 is that there are these new technologies like mobile computing and mobile apps for one. Cloud computing is another and, of course, security. These are areas that most companies didn't have to worry about five years ago and now they are critical to their business," says Melland.

If you are looking for regions that offer the greatest job opportunities, a recent Dice study on IT job markets cites that the 10 states outlined below have shown the most growth within the Bureau of Labor Statistics Computer Systems Design and Related Services category.

Data security issues in the workplace

Stats from Dice Report

1. New Jersey

The garden list tops the U.S. with an impressive five-percent growth rate in the tech jobs market through the first half of the year. "New Jersey surprised us. You don't typically think of New Jersey as a technology center, but the number of tech-related positions has grown quite a bit over the last year," says Melland.

If you look deeper into what's at work here, according to Melland, you'll see that New Jersey has made it very attractive to companies, especially small ones. "New Jersey has an economic assistance program to help small businesses. They provide loans and tax incentives to companies who are starting up and adding employees in the state," Melland says.

Another reason, says Melland, that New Jersey is at the top of the heap is that it's able to pull talent out of the New York markets and lure them to New Jersey where the cost of living is less.

2. Massachusetts

In Massachusetts, 2,600 new positions were created leading to a four-percent increase from December of 2012. "Massachusetts is one of those states that you'd expect to see here as a technology center. I think one of the things that help the greater Boston area is that you have overall tech demand and community building is strong. One of the success stories about Massachusetts is that you've got a very strong community that helps shape and grow that culture in a big way," says Melland.

Inside Boston

According to the Robert Half Technology IT Hiring Forecast and Local Trend Report survey, 13 percent of Boston-area technology executives surveyed expect to expand their IT teams in the third quarter of 2013.

Fifty-six percent plan to hire to fill open IT roles in the upcoming quarter, 20 percent plan to put hiring on hold and 8 percent expect to reduce their IT staff in the third quarter according to the survey.

Sixty-four percent of CIOs also said they were confident that their firms would invest in IT projects in the third quarter of 2013.

What skills are in demand? According to the Robert Half report, 60 percent of the technology executives surveyed said that network administration is among the skill sets in greatest demand within their IT departments. Database management and desktop support followed, with 58 percent and 56 percent of the response, respectively.

"Boston's IT hiring environment remains competitive," said Kristen Johnson, Boston regional vice president of Robert Half Technology, "As companies seek professionals who can ensure their networks and data are secure, there is a shortage of IT candidates with the right skill sets, making it difficult to fill open jobs."

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