Know Your Competition

As an IT professional you are luckier than you may think.  Four information technology careers were listed in U.S. News Money’s list of the best jobs of 2012, with software developer ranking as the second best because of its role in the evolving IT world.  Lucky you to be in the IT industry.  There is always room to grow but things are definitely looking up, whether you’re looking for a new position or looking to fill an open one at your company.

Here in Minneapolis, 47% of open positions require post-high school education according to the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED,) and it’s safe to say that the majority of IT professionals have received this kind of education.

With more positions opening up within your field of interest, you should be wondering how many job seekers with your qualifications there are out there to compete with. DEED discovered that while there were 8.5 job seekers for each open position last year, this year that number is down to 5.7. That doesn’t mean you should throw in your hat and stop trying to find a job, it simply means there are fewer candidates out there, so you may get more recognition for your skills, and that’s something to tip your hat to.

As a job seeker:

Know the facts, and know where to be. Minneapolis-area positions have a higher median wage for information technology positions than the rest of the state according to DEED, (Minneapolis computer programmer’s make about 70 cents more per hour than the rest of the state.) DEED projects computer-related positions to grow through the year 2016, so it will be beneficial to you to get in to the industry early to stay ahead of the pack.

As an employer:

Know who you are looking for and where the qualified applicants are. It is true that interest among prospective new students in a major in computer science has dropped 70%, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t someone out there with the right amount of experience, who is perfect for your company and ready to grow with you. Growth is going to be a huge part of your industry and finding an employee who is ready to make the alterations needed to help you create lean technology may not be as challenging as you think. Minnesota is known as a leader in developing biotechnology and using renewable energy, so this might be your opportunity to find just such an IT professional to help your company keep up with the green trends.

IT is an industry that will continue to evolve through ever-changing technological trends.  If you are looking for a job, opportunities will arise if you focus on your individual strengths and your growth potential.  When seeking candidates, remember how valuable they are and choose those who fit in with your company and are willing to adapt as the industry changes.  The competition is out there, but being aware of what you or your company brings to the table may be the most important thing you can do.

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