Texas, Florida, North Carolina lead IT job growth in first half of 2014, study finds

IT employees realize their skills are in demand and are seeking bigger salaries from potential employers

By , IDG News Service |  Career

U.S. technology professionals searching for jobs may want to look in states not normally considered IT hot spots.

The three states with the highest percentage of IT job growth for the first half of 2014 were Texas at 5.99 percent, Florida at 5.64 percent and North Carolina at 3.8 percent, according to a report from IT job site Dice.

The top 10 states in the report "are growing from a lower base compared to a state like California so it's more about the rate of growth," said Shravan Goli, president of Dice, which reached its findings by analyzing employment data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Companies in traditional technology hubs such as New York and California are still hiring, but those states have a larger employment base, he said. California employs the most technology professionals in the U.S. and New York, at 3.08 percent, had the sixth-highest growth rate in the first six months of the year, the report noted. Washington, home to Microsoft and Amazon.com, ranked fifth in the growth rate at 3.53 percent.

State governments realize the value of IT jobs, said Goli, and are attempting to bolster technology employment.

"They are creating incentives and programs to not only attract companies but also create a pipeline of technology professionals," he said.

For instance, some state universities in Florida have developed technology camps to train teachers how to teach the subject to students.

"Florida [is] investing early by getting sort of coding camps and other types of training programs into middle school and high school," said Goli. "They are thinking ahead."

Florida added 4,100 IT jobs in the first half of the year, nearly matching the 4,500 IT positions it created in 2013.

Companies from all industries and all parts of the U.S. are using technology, and need workers to develop and maintain these systems, said Goli. Many of the jobs businesses are filling involve mobile development, cloud computing, large-scale data analysis and cybersecurity, he said.

"Every company is becoming a technology company whether it's retail, finance, aerospace or e-commerce. They're all turning toward technology," he said.

Texas' technology hiring scene illustrates this point, said Goli. Houston's many energy companies drive much of that city's technology hiring. Several IT jobs in Dallas, home to retail companies and financial services firms, call for skills those industries rely on, like big-data analysis and e-commerce backgrounds. Traditional technology sector positions are found in Austin, where mobile and user-interface developers are in demand. Jobs requiring cloud computing knowledge are found in San Antonio, where cloud service provider Rackspace is located.

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