Innovation pushes industries to evolve at full speed. The breakneck pace is also impacting the job market.
As top skills in demand reshape what it means to be a technologist, companies from all verticals — from manufacturers to pharmaceutical labs — ponder their ability to attract talent as they shape growth plans.
Across the negotiation table, employees come to the job market lured by competitive salaries, flexible work benefits and the potential for upward mobility. Candidates enter the market knowing they're in demand, and with a fully-fleshed out idea of what their compensation package ought to be.
The spread of technology across more industries, coupled with an undersupply of qualified candidates, creates a strained tech talent market where employees can have their pick, and in some cases are virtually guaranteed access to a job.
Here are five charts to understand the current state of the tech job market:
1. Soft skills are of interest, but tech chops still on top
As IT leaders evaluate potential candidates, they assess soft skills to get a full picture of the type of person who could join their ranks.
That said, technical skills matter more than non-technical skills when reviewing a potential hire. Nearly three-quarters of IT managers said technical skills had "somewhat or far greater weight" than non-technical skills, according to a survey from Robert Half.
Just 22% said the two subsets of qualifications were even keeled in their assessments.
2. Software developer jobs are highest in demand
While other positions are fast growing — like those in the cybersecurity or cloud computing realm — the need for software developers continues to top the rankings in terms of volume.
In August, the U.S. had 95,200 open roles for software and application developers, according to CompTIA's review U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data. It's by far the biggest category of open tech jobs.
The advancement of low-code technologies could impact this dynamic, as the need for software development skills decrease when business-side employees take ownership of dev projects.
3. Managers want SQL, Java and Python, but cloud is spreading like fire
After a thorough review of the in-demand skills managers posted on Indeed.com, Andrew Flowers, economist at the Indeed Hiring Lab, splits the top skills into two groups.
"One are long-standing tools, whether they're programming languages or tools that have been around for decades," said Flowers, in an interview with CIO Dive. "Think SQL and Java. Then there's second group of tech skills that are thriving: Python and AWS, which have risen tremendously."
Demand for these skills has skyrocketed due to their expanded use. Job postings seeking AWS talent rose 418% since 2014.
4. Technologies and methodologies shaping the future of cloud computing
The leading technology CIOs say will impact their business will undoubtedly influence hiring priorities in the coming years.
Edge computing and internet of things, DevOps, and artificial intelligence and machine learning are the top three areas CIOs see as having the most impact on the future of cloud computing in their organizations, according to research by Nutanix.
Though IT managers often turn to the market in search of the talent they need, reskilling from within could help them reach their goals. It's a trend embraced by the leading names in tech.
"The technical skills can be learned," said Nutanix CIO Wendy Pfeiffer, in an interview with CIO Dive. "Operational skill and expertise, in my mind, are more important than a checklist of technical certifications or capabilities"
5. Silver lining: Half of teens are considering careers in technology
Analysts warn of further strain upon the tight tech labor market once older generations of technologists begin to age out of the workforce.
Though millennials and Gen Z are making their mark on industry, other generations are waiting in the wings to join the innovation economy.
Stats from CompTIA indicate there is hope. Close to half of U.S. teens, aged 13- 18, are considering or may consider a career in technology.
Though there is interest, teens agree that a combination of factors could make it harder for them to become technologists. A lack of access to training, no exposure to tech in school and the perceived inaccessibility of the tech world stand between teens and their aspirations.