An alarming fact is that 67% of all new jobs in STEM are in computing, but only 10% of STEM graduates are in Computer Science. STEM is the plan published in December 2018 and sets out a Federal strategy for the next five years based on increasing education opportunities for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). A Computer Science major can earn 40% more than the average college graduate, yet there are many unfilled jobs in this field.
Employment of software developers is projected to grow 21% from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations. According to Code.org, there were less than 50,000 Computer Science graduates in 2017. But, there are over 500,000 open computing positions in the United States. This could mean that in 2020, the available job openings will exceed qualified applicants by a million, which could widen the gap even more.
This demand for technology jobs also offers variety in the field. The top tech/IT jobs in order are:
- Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning Engineer
- Data Scientist
- Information Security Analyst
- Software Engineer/Software Developer
- Computer Research Scientist
- Data Analyst
- IT Manager
- Database Administrator
- Web Developer
- Computer Hardware Engineer
- Computer Systems Analyst
- DevOps Engineer
- Computer Network Architect
- Java Developer
- Tech Sales Engineer
- PHP Developer
- Python Developer
- Network and Systems Administrator
- Mobile Application Developer
- Web Designer
Significant differences between the above-listed jobs are apparent, but the need for qualified tech workers is high. IT professionals are employed in nearly every industry you can think of (retail, travel, banking, etc.) and makeup 56% of all workers in the IT industry.
An additional bonus is that most tech companies are now open to remote work and telecommuting, especially when using business tools for video conferencing, group chat, emails, and more.
CIOs have a greater responsibility to hire exceptional people to fill these roles. Many companies are offering better benefits, flexible hours, and in-office perks to help win over potential employees. So when hiring an excellent programmer, consider these traits:
- Humble: An exceptional programmer will never claim their code is the best; in fact, they will always be looking for a better way (Every chance they get).
- Patient: An exceptional programmer will have boundless patience (This does not mean they will waste days on a problem).
- Troubleshooter: An exceptional programmer will be able to solve a problem in minutes that may take days for your average programmer.
- Curious: An exceptional programmer will be unable to resist trying to figure out why something occurs.
- Engineer: An exceptional programmer will engineer systems rather than cobble together a mishmash of frameworks (This does not mean they won’t use frameworks).
Another idea is for your company to sponsor and support technology councils and groups. At Nexio, we are supporting the Women Tech Council and SheTech. Many different organizations are available to help support anyone who wants to code, explore a career in STEM, and increase their knowledge. Many of these grassroots organizations need industry support to continue to function, which also shows your company as one who is supporting the movement for more technology education.
This foreseeable shortage of IT talent will make it harder to hire great developers. Most will want to work on cool projects that challenge and excite. Your company needs to have an exciting product (hopefully) and a satisfying work environment. And if your company is open to outsourcing, you have a broader field of applicants. Be patient with your hiring process and know that IT and tech jobs are a competitive field.