Look Outside Tech Companies For Tech Jobs
The Future of Technology Jobs: By the Numbers
The federal labor department expects a tide of new tech jobs in coming years, but most of the growth will be in areas like software engineering and analytics, not hardware and programming.
The future looks bright for U.S. computer scientists, software engineers and other IT wizards, as a variety of industries add and upgrade technology.
In the next seven years, the number of tech jobs in the U.S. is expected to outpace an increase in total employment and the labor force itself.
Outsourcing, meanwhile, is becoming a dated concern.
"I'm beyond optimistic," said Jim Turnquist, director of career services at Michigan Technology University in Houghton, Mich.
In the decade ending in 2018, the number of jobs in core tech occupations will increase by 19.9%, 784,300 jobs in all, according to a FINS.com analysis of projections by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
In comparison, the BLS predicted the total number of U.S. jobs to grow by 10% in that period and the size of the labor force -- the number of workers both employed and unemployed -- by 8.2%.
The most promising tech growth prospects are in relatively esoteric roles. The ranks of software engineers, for example, are expected to grow by roughly one-third, almost 296,000 jobs. Companies are expected to hire 7,000 more computer scientists, almost one quarter more than they had on payrolls in 2008. And demand for network systems analysts is expected to surge by 53.4%, fueled by 155,800 additional positions.
Burgeoning giants like LinkedIn and Facebook are driving some of that demand, but much of the growth is expected to come from companies that don't directly sell technology products or services.
The annual Michigan Tech job fair, for instance, historically draws about 200 companies, including Apple, Google, Intel and Microsoft. But the university is expecting 300 companies at the event this year, including dozens of newcomers from industries that are just starting to invest heavily in tech: automotives, healthcare, mining and defense.
"The dot-com was one very specific thing, now you're seeing computer people doing a variety of things," said Turnquist in career services. "It's not just one industry or one market anymore."
The story is the same at The Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta where a number of graduates recently signed on to develop software for Lockeed-Martin fighter planes and supply-chain solutions for Home Depot and UPS, according to Ralph Mobley, director of career services.
At the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, consulting companies hire more graduates than any other industry, followed by financial services. Companies that specialize solely in technology finish third, according to Melanie Parker, executive director of global education and career services at MIT.
Areas in tech that aren't so bright include occupations that involve the physical aspects of technology and programming skills that have been simplified by other technology.
Jobs for hardware engineers, for example, will increase only slightly. U.S. employers are predicted to have 12,300 fewer programmers on payrolls in 2018, a 2.9% drop. Demand for people expert in semiconductor processes is forecast to decline by almost one-third, as 10,000 jobs disappear. Steven Carr, director of the computer science department at Michigan Tech, said the jobs still susceptible to outsourcing are in roles that were vanguard a decade ago.
"Now, these are relatively low-end jobs," he said. "They are mostly just people kind of implementing what others have already designed."
In Pursuit of . . .
The crowning fortune of a person is to be born to some pursuit which finds employment and happiness, whether it be to make baskets, or songs, or canals, or bridges, or new technologies..
The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather in a lack of will.
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