IT Employment Should Reach the 5 Million Mark Before the End of 2015

By Chelsea Babin

Thanks to increasing demand and steady growth, the IT industry is staring down the barrel of an important milestone that should be reached before the end of the year. The number of IT jobs grew in July 0.3 percent to total 4,959,900. That puts the IT industry just shy of hitting the impressive 5 million mark.

On a year-over-year basis, IT employment has grown by 4.1% since July of 2014. This steady growth has contributed to an increasing talent shortage but there should be enough IT professionals to hit this major milestone before the end of 2015. According to Mark Roberts, CEO of TechServe Alliance, “we are fast approaching 5 million workers employed in IT in the US. I anticipate we will reach this important milestone before the end of the year.” So, what does this impressive milestone mean for the IT industry in general?

It’s mostly good news on the horizon for the Information Technology sector. With more people employed in the IT industry than ever before, there’s a historically large pool of talent that’s constantly learning and developing their skills. Additionally, this consistent positive trend in hiring is persuading many recent graduates or college students to consider a career in IT. This hiring boom has put a much-needed spotlight on the Information Technology industry as a whole and should help to lure top talent into the IT sector.

Unfortunately, demand is still far outpacing supply. Although there are almost 5 million employed IT professionals, there are many open positions that employers are struggling to fill. Now more than ever it’s important for employers who are looking for the best talent around to make sure they’re offering competitive salaries, training opportunities, attractive benefits, and appealing company cultures to lure in demand IT talent to their company. After all, hitting the 5 million mark may be great for the industry as a whole but if you can’t find the talent you need to fill your open IT positions, it does little to help you in the short term.

The positive trend in IT growth is something to be celebrated. When this major milestone occurs, many professionals outside of the IT industry who are currently working in fields who are experiencing more sluggish growth, like Engineering, may start the process of retraining. If an IT organization wants to stay on the ball and ahead of the curve, now would be a great time to create internal training programs that take employees from industries that are shrinking and retrain them to become IT professionals. This would help existing and future employees but it would also help IT employers who are struggling due to the lack of available technical professionals seeking employment.