IT Staffing Report: Jan. 7, 2016

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US Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 12.5% growth in IT employment through 2024

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics released the 2016-2017 Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH) on Dec. 17, and the future for employment growth in IT-related jobs appears bright. The OOH provides information and projections on 576 detailed occupations, including what the job role entails, where the work typically occurs, education and training requirements, wages, employment outlook, and state and local area data. Projected jobs growth reflects the BLS’s 10-year employment projections (2014-2024) which the agency updates on a biannual basis.

Employment in the Computer and Information Technology occupation group is projected to increase 12.5% over the period, well ahead of the 6.5% growth projected for total employment, adding 488,500 jobs. This places the group fourth in projected rate of employment growth. Notably, it is the only occupational group ranked in the top five for projected growth that is not driven primarily by increased demand for healthcare due to the demographic trends of an aging population and expansion of health insurance coverage. Specific growth drivers cited in the release include the increasing focus on cloud computing, collection and storage of big data, the rise in connected devices (Internet of Things) and continued demand for mobile computing.

Employment projections for the occupations within the Computer and Information Technology group are listed in the table below:

Click on chart to enlarge

In percentage terms, projected growth is highest for web developers, at 26.6%, while software developers, applications is forecast to add the greatest number of jobs, at 135,300. Jobs are forecast to contract by 8% for computer programmers, the only IT occupation expected to decline over the decade, as more of these jobs are lost through outsourcing to offshore locations.

The median annual wage for the Computer and Information Technology occupation group was $79,390 as of May 2014, second only to Management occupations and more than double the median annual wage for all occupations, at $35,540. The highest median annual pay among the group was for computer and information research scientists, at $108,360, while the lowest was for computer support specialists, at $50,380.

The BLS Occupational Outlook Handbook section covering Computer and Information Technology occupations is available online.

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