The U.S. economy is in the black in terms of job creation for 92 months in a row, according to The New York Times, and the unemployment rate hovers at lows not witnessed in nearly 20 years. Virtually every industry is in hiring mode, and this is particularly true in the information technology sector - where employers are filling positions at breakneck speed.
With the summer's arrival, approximately 25 percent of business are hiring for their IT departments, according to a newly released survey conducted by The Harris Poll for CareerBuilder. That's tied with customer service and office support for the highest percentage among individual employment sectors. Engineering came in second at 18 percent and manufacturing at 16 percent.
Irina Novoselsky, CareerBuilder president and chief operating officer, noted that given companies are competing with one another to woo an increasingly smaller pool of job-seekers, they're dialing up the incentives.
"Employers are becoming more competitive with pay and offering more long-term employment opportunities to summer workers," Novoselsky explained. "It's a great way for workers to add new skills, build up their resumes and expand their professional network."
Most companies expect seasonal jobs to turn permanent
Although no two hiring environments are the same, the summer is traditionally a hot period for recruitment, both for seasonal help as well as for positions businesses are looking to fill for the long haul. The survey found that 41 percent of employers intend to hire seasonal workers during the summer, with 88 percent expecting these positions to segue into permanent roles by the time late September rolls around. That's up from 79 percent in 2017.
The IT sector is one of the more dynamic out there. Technology is developing rapidly and becoming cheaper for consumers to purchase, making lives more comfortable and easier to manage. At the same time, the internet of things era has led to a dramatic uptick in security breaches, fueled by identity thieves looking to steal consumers' personal information. They're also after the sensitive data of businesses, as seemingly not a week goes by without hearing about a company experiencing a cyberattack.
IT employee demand to outstrip supply within four years
It's these security concerns that have contributed to the uptick in IT-related hiring. As reported by The Wall Street Journal, the demand for cybersecurity professionals in outpacing supply. Indeed, by 2022, the U.S. is expected to have 265,000 more data security jobs than skilled workers available to fill them, based on estimates from Frost & Sullivan.
The need is so great that job-seekers don't necessarily need to be specialists. Recruitment expert Ryan Sutton told the Journal that what businesses really want from hired help is superior critical-thinking skills, but a basic knowledge of computer networks and programming are big pluses also.
"There are just not enough certified professionals out there to fulfill the needs," Sutton further stated.
Meanwhile, the Department of Homeland Security has developed an online tool that techies can use to sharpen their skills. The National Initiative for Cybersecurity Careers and Studies offers formal education programs, training utilities and how-to articles that help individuals apply some of their knowledge to managing their data.
In short, if you're looking for work in IT, your dream job may be waiting for you.