Research firm CompTIA delivered some big news recently; numbers of IT jobs around the world are rocketing. In the US alone, IT jobs are projected to grow 22% by 2020, but not all jobs are created equal when it comes to this increase.
According to the report, much of this growth will be in software development. Which is good news for coders, as it’s looking like they’ll remain relatively rare, for the near future at least.
All of this growth isn’t only happening in the United States, though.
Victor Janulaitis, CEO of Janco Associates, a research firm that analyzes IT wage and employment trends, had this to say: "When you consider the overall demand for systems and applications in high-growth markets like China and India, [the BLS projections] mean the U.S. will be doing a diminishing portion of the development and implementation work.” "If that's the case, the U.S. will no longer be the leader in IT.”
"The BLS projections are a bad sign for the U.S. IT graduates from universities. Those numbers do not cover the net growth necessary to give all of the graduates jobs," Janulaitis added.
The changes are very apparent in America, though, even if they are not exclusive. The report shows that there are 168,145 IT “employers” (that is, companies with payrolls), and a total of 4.14 million core IT professionals. That number compromises a wide swath of jobs from network administration to software development and security.
As stated previously, software development is shaping up to see the biggest amount of growth, with a projected 32% growth before 2020. This would potentially bring the total number of software developers employed in the U.S. to 510,906, up dramatically from the previous total in 2012, which was 387,050.
All of these numbers paint a pretty convincing picture, but it is worth noting that not everyone agrees with the projections put forth by CompTIA and other similar firms. Ron Hira, an associate professor of public policy at the Rochester Institute of Technology, said: "Volatile occupations tend to be subject to bad forecasts, and it's clear that computer occupation employment levels are very hard to forecast.”
"The forecasts are biased toward the most recent history in the occupation," he added. Hira also stated that the BLS has "no methodology to estimate technological disruptions that can increase demand for computer occupations.” So, it would seem that determining the growth rate of an industry as varied and unpredictable as the technology industry can provide quite difficult to do, reliably anyways.
All the same, the industry as a whole continues to trend upwards, especially in countries such as New Zealand. As the market continues to expand with demand, it is likely that we will start to see entirely new opportunities and fields rise up out of the blue.
There’s one thing for sure: only time will tell how accurate these numbers really pan out to be.