IT In Demand: 4 Takeaways from Q1 2018 IT Jobs Data

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Each quarter, CompTIA AITP looks at data from Burning Glass Technologies of IT job postings in the U.S., to assess the state of the IT job market, identify potential emerging trends and pinpoint in-demand tech, business and soft skills that employers want from their IT pros. Here’s what we learned about IT jobs in Q1 2018. 

The number of IT jobs continues to grow.
In Q1 2018, the number of IT job postings in the United States was 612,245 as compared to 541,803 in Q1 2017, a net gain of more than 70,000 positions. It should come as no surprise that the number of IT positions continues to grow. CompTIA’s IT Industry Outlook 2018 report states that the IT sector is poised for another strong year with 5 percent growth projected. According to the report, “Executives cite robust customer demand and the uptake of emerging product and service categories as key contributors to the positive sentiment.”

Software development positions have increased by more than 20 percent.
Leading the job growth are positions for software developers. Software developers account for 186,387 of these jobs in 2018 versus 155,757 during the same period in 2017, a 21 percent increase. And it’s likely that this job category will continue to grow: The US Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that software developer jobs will increase by 30 percent between 2016 and 2026. Overall, in Q1 2018, software developer positions accounted for 30 percent of all posted positions—versus 27 percent in Q1 2017.

Python enters top 10 of specialized skills employers want.
Another indicator that software developer positions are on the rise? The top 10 specialized skills employers are looking for includes multiple programming languages, including Python. In 2017, 49,099 job postings were looking for candidates with python skills; in 2018 that number rose to 66,328, an increase of 33 percent. Why has Python broken into the top 10 in 2018, knocking Linux off the list of top specialized skills? Python is simple, easy to learn, convenient, open source and fast, allowing companies to get products to market sooner. According to Digitalist Magazine, “It may be less precise than, say, Java, but writing a program in Python is often five to six times faster than writing the same program in Java.” But despite the upsides of Python, Java doesn’t seem to be going anywhere—jobs looking for Java skills also increased by nearly the same rate—32 percent.

2017 Specialized Skills

# of Jobs

2018 Specialized Skills

# of Jobs

SQL

117,884

SQL

138,302

Teamwork / Collaboration

107,526

Teamwork / Collaboration

127,926

Software Development

97,741

Java

117,102

Java

95,631

Software Development

104,093

Project Management

78,507

Project Management

82,636

Software Engineering

70,187

JavaScript

78,735

JavaScript

69,364

Software Engineering

74,502

Linux

65,649

Oracle

69,587

Oracle

63,131

Python

66,328

 Customer Service

 61,775

 Customer Service

57,300
 


Demand for business skills increases. 
IT pros hear a lot about “hybrid” positions—jobs that combine technical know-how and business acumen—and for good reason. As automation takes over rote tasks and IT pros are asked to provide wide-ranging technical solutions, more employers are looking for IT pros who balance their tech skills with business know-how and the ability to interact effectively with coworkers, clients and upper management. In Q1 2018 and Q1 2017, the top two business skills growing at a faster rate than other skillsets were project management and basic customer service. The top 10 business skills with the fastest growing demand in IT remained similar from 2017 to 2018, with government clearance and security standards entering the top 10 in 2018.  

 

2017 In-demand Business Skills

2018 In-demand Business Skills

1

Project Management

Project Management

2

Basic Customer Service

Basic Customer Service

3

General Sales

Writing

4

Writing

General Sales

5

Data Visualization

Data Visualization

6

Data Science

Data Science

7

General Accounting

Lean Manufacturing

8

Lean Manufacturing

Billing and Invoicing

9

Billing and Invoicing

General Accounting

10

Company Product and Service Knowledge

Government Clearance and Security Standards


Find more IT industry job insights. 
Job Pulse, a tool available exclusively to CompTIA AITP members, allows you to analyze data around jobs, salaries and in-demand skills in your local area so you to accurately assess your current position or determine your next career move. Learn how to use Job Pulse.

Not a member? Find out more about Job Pulse and join CompTIA AITP for access to this powerful tool.