For many years, IT workers in general, and developers in particular, have enjoyed high demand and extremely low unemployment. According to the latest numbers from CompTIA, that continues to be the case. The technology industry organization reported that the IT sector has added 61,900 jobs so far this year, and employers posted 64,100 software development jobs in June.
However, anecdotally, some out-of-work developers say that they are finding it harder to find a new job—despite those positive statistics.
The problem may be that they're looking in the wrong places.
Recent research published by Glassdoor indicates that developer hiring has changed significantly over the past five years. Although software jobs used to be highly concentrated in Silicon Valley, they seem to be spreading out to other parts of the country. And, even though the technology industry still hires a lot of developers, other industries are starting to catch up.
So, if you're currently in the market for a new job, where should you look? Here are some suggestions based on the latest research.
Where Developers Are Getting Hired
Seattle. According to Glassdoor, Seattle was the city with the biggest increase in software jobs between 2012 and 2017. It currently accounts for 16.9 percent of all software jobs. By comparison, the San Jose metro area (Silicon Valley) has 8.1 percent of the software jobs. As a bonus, Seattle also seems to be one of the best-paying parts of the country. CompTIA's Cyberstates 2017 report said that Seattle had average annual tech sector wages of $145,460, making it third highest of any city in the county. In addition, tech sector jobs in Seattle pay a premium of 115 percent compared with jobs in other industries. That puts Seattle in a tie with San Diego as the city that pays tech workers the best in comparison with the prevailing wages in the local area.
California. Although it's true that Silicon Valley is posting fewer software jobs, the state of California is still hiring a lot of developers. San Francisco's share of software developers has been increasing even as San Jose's has been decreasing. In addition, CompTIA says the state still employs more technology professionals than any other, and it also pays the highest wages. Overall, the picture in the state is mixed; job openings are decreasing in some areas and industries while increasing in others.
New York City. The CompTIA report says that New York City has more tech sector employment than any other city in the country—392,400. It also has the most technology companies of any metro area in the United States and is fifth on the list of cities that pay the highest wages to IT pros. In addition, Glassdoor puts New York City on its list of metros with the largest gain in software jobs. It's also home to a lot of financial industry firms that are hiring more developers.
Fintech. In recent years, financial services firms have stepped up their hiring of IT professionals, particularly developers and security professionals. According to Glassdoor, the banking and financial services industry saw the second biggest growth in its share of software jobs between 2012 and 2017.
Retail. The industry with the biggest growth in software jobs is one that might not be on the radar for many job-seeking developers. Glassdoor's economists say that the retail industry has more than doubled its share of software jobs over the last five years, and it currently accounts for 13.9 percent of all software jobs. As e-commerce, mobile commerce, and big data analytics continue to grow in importance, this industry is liking to continue expanding its workforce of developers.
Where Developers Are Not Getting Hired
South Dakota. CompTIA ranks the U.S. states on several measures related to technology employment, and South Dakota ranks near the bottom in almost all of them. It has the absolute lowest wages for technology workers of any state in the nation: $61,947 per year. It also ranks 50th in overall tech employment and 48th in innovation. However, the state does have an unexpected bright spot for female developers: South Dakota has the second-highest percentage of women employed in the technology sector (38.4 percent).
Delaware. If you're a developer currently living in Delaware and are currently looking for a job, you might want to give serious thought to relocating. Even though the state pays technology workers fairly well (twelfth highest in the nation), it saw the biggest declines in overall tech employment in 2017, according to CompTIA statistics.
Education. When it comes to industries, schools and universities appear to be cutting back on their tech hiring. Back in 2012, the education sector accounted by 2.3 percent of all software jobs, according to Glassdoor, but in in 2017, that share had dropped by about half to just 1.2 percent.
Government. Government agencies also seem to be hiring fewer technology workers. Glassdoor reports that this sector now accounts for just 0.5 percent of software job openings.