IT Professionals Are Leaving Tech Hubs and Looking For New Jobs in Cities Like Dallas and Los Angeles

By Chelsea Babin

In 2016 Silicon Valley and New York City saw a one percent and twelve percent decrease in job growth respectively. These cities, which are traditionally thought of as tech hubs, have been floundering while other cities like Dallas and Los Angeles have seen a twelve percent and seven percent increase in job growth respectively. Technical professionals are taking notice of burgeoning tech communities and, understandably, they’re fleeing traditional tech hubs because they aren’t experiencing the same breakneck growth the rest of the country is seeing.

Another reason so many IT professionals are relocating to newly emerging tech hubs is because they’re on the search for better salaries. According to a new survey by Spiceworks more than a third of technical professionals plan on searching for a new job in 2017. And, although sixty one percent of IT pros feel appreciated by their current employers, fifty nine percent feel they’re underpaid based on their current skills and the market demand. Are they right?

With tech unemployment at just 2.8 percent in the third quarter of 2017, it’s clear that the IT industry’s stability and growth is far outweighing many other industries in the United States. Peter Tsai, IT analyst at Spiceworks, says, “Many IT professionals believe they’re underpaid and their department is underfunded. This is leading many tech professionals to take advantage of the favorable job market expected next year.”

With a robust IT economy, employers should anticipate the rising rate of voluntary quits to continue escalating. According to recent JOLTS data from the BLS, 577,000 technical professionals voluntarily left their positions in August, up from 565,000 in July. That trend continued through the end of 2016 and is expected to continue throughout 2017. In order to prevent a mass exodus from their IT departments, companies should be prepared to allocate more funds and resources to their technical teams in the form of training opportunities, salary raises, increased benefits, and project funding to prevent delays that often send IT pros running to better-funded organizations.

If IT professionals are essential to your organization, 2017 will be a more challenging hiring year than ever. Additionally, it will be more difficult to reduce employee turnover, which can be incredibly costly for most companies. 2016 was a filled with voluntary quits but, according to a Dice Salary Survey, only 39 percent of technical professionals intended to change employers in 2016. As a reminder, the Spiceworks survey found that 59 percent of technical professionals intended to change employers in 2016. If this is any indication, reducing turnover and hiring qualified IT employers will be significantly more challenging in 2017 than it was in 2016.