How unfilled tech jobs impact the U.S. economy

March 15, 2017

How much are those open IT roles costing the economy and your company? The answer is probably a lot more that you think

By Sharon Florentine
Senior Writer, CIO | MAR 4, 2017

With IT industry unemployment hovering at around 2.8 percent (as of Q3 2016) and organizations struggling to find talent, many companies find themselves with open, unfilled jobs.

That’s a problem not only for individual companies, but for the U.S. economy as a whole.

“Filling open jobs doesn’t just help workers. It also helps companies and the broader economy. Every job that’s open is money left on the table in the form of lost productivity for employers and earnings in consumers’ pockets. When more open jobs are filled with the right people, economic gains include greater business productivity and consumer spending, thanks to more people earning wages and then saving, investing, and spending those wages,” says Andrew Chamberlain, chief economist at Glassdoor.

Open roles are costly
In IT, a combination of rapidly changing markets, high demand for, and short supply of talent means thousands of open, unfilled roles are costing companies — and the economy — money every day. In fact, the value of the approximately 263,586 unfilled IT jobs posted by employers in the United States adds up to $20.1 billion, according to new Glassdoor research.

Glassdoor calculated the value of unfilled U.S. jobs based on unique, online jobs that are open, direct from employers in the United States on Glassdoor as of Dec. 9, 2016. Glassdoor used a proprietary machine learning algorithm to calculate salary estimates based on millions of salary reports, and this was used to calculate the annual median base salary estimate for each open job. Annual median base salary estimates for each open job were then added together to determine total value.

The value of IT jobs
By industry, IT ranks 5th for the highest value of unfilled jobs (263,586; $20.1 billion) and 4th for the level of economic impact those unfilled jobs have on the economy as a whole, says Scott Dobroski, a Glassdoor community expert who works closely with data scientists in Glassdoor’s Economic Research group. When broken out by job title, roles with the highest levels of demand and in shortest supply tend to have the greatest value associated, like software engineers, for which there are 13,198 open jobs with a value of $1.3 billion.

“This reinforces what we’ve been seeing for years: Demand for these roles is far outpacing supply. There’s a lot of economic opportunity that’s going unfulfilled in technology right now, both inside and outside purely IT companies. Retail, professional services, manufacturing, healthcare, web, and mobile platforms — all these types of companies are IT companies, and they all need software engineers,” Dobroski says.

And these unfilled roles don’t just represent money left on the table; they also represent lower productivity and morale and, potentially, missed market opportunities for innovation and sales, Dobroski says.

“These aren’t unnecessary roles that companies can simply ignore or leave vacant. These IT roles, in particular, are critical for growth, innovation and competition. Companies can’t just reallocate those budget dollars elsewhere — they really need tech talent with the hard skills and the ability to understand the market, the business, and the competitive landscape,” he says.

Hiring is a major concern
The recent Tech Hiring and Retention Survey from executive search and technology firm Harris Allied also shows that management’s top concern is with finding and hiring elite tech talent.

That concern edged out other pressing concerns, including “keeping the teams they have in place” and “staying competitive with regard to salary and bonuses,” according to the survey, which polled 120 IT executives in November and December of 2016. Fifty percent of the executives surveyed say finding and hiring top tech talent was their biggest concern, followed by 20 percent who say their biggest concern is retention. Only 14 percent of respondents say remaining competitive with salary and bonuses was a major concern; 10 percent say they are concerned about having more work to do with fewer people, while 3 percent say managing their current team was their most pressing issue.

“The 2017 survey results confirm what our clients have been saying: The demand for top talent is at an all-time high, and companies are stepping up to attract and retain the best and brightest stars,” says Kathy Harris, managing director of Harris Allied.

Executives are employing a number of strategies to find and hire that top talent, according to the Harris Allied survey. While compensation and benefits packages are still top-of-mind, the survey showed that strategies focusing on corporate culture and unique and exciting work have grown in importance.

“CIOs, other C-level executives, hiring managers, and recruiters realize that money is not enough, especially in tech. When it comes to what keeps your talent engaged long-term, it’s not a leading factor. Culture and values, career opportunities and growth, the ability to work on exciting and meaningful projects — these are what tech talent wants,” says Dobroski.

More opportunities for workers
With so many opportunities available, tech talent has a lot of options when it comes to finding work, Dobroski says. That’s why companies must differentiate themselves with culture, values, and meaningful work, he says.

“In the case of software engineers in particular, they’re often doing very similar work regardless of the company they land at. So, having an opportunity to do meaningful work for a mission-driven company, building interesting products that touch millions of lives, and having clear communication so they know why their work matters will help companies fill these roles,” he says.

This story, “How unfilled tech jobs impact the U.S. economy ” was originally published by CIO.

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Health Care Occupations – Outlook

March 3, 2017

Employment of healthcare occupations is projected to grow 19 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations, adding about 2.3 million new jobs. Healthcare occupations will add more jobs than any other group of occupations. This growth is expected due to an aging population and because federal health insurance reform should increase the number of individuals who have access to health insurance.

The median annual wage for healthcare practitioners and technical occupations (such as registered nurses, physicians and surgeons, and dental hygienists) was $62,610 in May 2015, which was higher than the median annual wage for all occupations in the economy of $36,200.

Healthcare support occupations (such as home health aides, occupational therapy assistants, and medical transcriptionists) had a median annual wage of $27,040 in May 2015, lower than the median annual wage for all occupations in the economy.

– U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2017

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IT as a Service for Legal Firms

January 24, 2017

The legal industry is now focusing more on changes in Information Technology.  IT changes, or not keeping up with IT changes, can create risks for their clients and their practice.  Case Management Software, document management, email encryption, time tracking, billing contacts, case calendars and more have created an even greater reliance on IT infrastructure security, performance, and reliability.

Document collaboration, video conferencing and mobile devices are making IT security surface as a critical business problem.  However, with all of these demands on IT,  fewer than 60% of legal firms have a “formal” IT budget and 25% of legal firms still have no IT security policies.

Technology Trends in the Legal Industry

Posted on the Lexus/Nexus Business of Law Blog, the Top Technology Trends in the Legal Industry are described.  Based on our knowledge of providing IT infrastructure, hosting, management and support services to our legal clients, here are some of those trends which we feel have come to fruition and will continue to mature.

  • With the focus on data/information security on the rise and driving needed attention on law firm environments, we expect more firms outsourcing in 2017..  They’re asking themselves, “Why should I host and manage all of these applications and data when I can get an expert to do it and satisfy my clients need for an ultra-secure legal data environment?” In 2017, more will move to an outsourced model.
  • An acceleration of legal departments getting comfortable with alternative models by “unbundling”, re-aggregating previously unbundled tasks and using managed service providers to get work done.
  • An acceleration of small to medium law firms “outsourcing” their core operating platforms to the cloud to begin to level the playing field with larger law firms allowing more work to seamlessly flow to smaller law firms.
  • 2017  will see attorneys and law firms continue to adopt and utilize web-based software and services at an ever-increasing rate.  While the legal industry has historically been slow to adopt new technology, firms that conduct the cost-benefit analysis of these services conclude that it’s almost a “no brainer
  • BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) Starts Spreading to Laptops and Tablets, especially in smaller firms and will continue to grow.
  • Firms will spend most of their extra money on Document Management Software rather than Practice Management Software.
  • A law firm website is now the essential element of its marketing. Hinge research showed that 77% of professional firms generate new business leads online. 70% of law firms in another survey said their website generated new matters.
  • The firms that have focused on improved business processes and supported them with smart technology will have many more opportunities in 2017  than the firms that are simply trying to make the standard technology tools work well together. It’s another case of the haves and have-nots.

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6 Technical Interview Tips for Prospective Software Engineers

November 1, 2016

This is article is courtesy of the Galvanize blog. Interested in entrepreneurship, web development, or data science? Check out the Galvanized Newsletter, bringing you the best content from The Learning Community for Technology.

Job interviews are absolutely terrifying. It doesn’t matter how much you’ve prepped. The stress of having a small window to prove your worth is a daunting task no matter how great you are. Even the most confident coder can turn into a sweaty mess at the prospect of a technical interview.

The good news is that with the right preparation, you’ll be ready to field complex questions without hesitation:

Be a Problem Solver

Obviously, you need to have the hard skills to excel in a position. But a passion for problem-solving and hard work will give you the one-up on a similarly skilled candidate who acts less-then thrilled to be there.

If you’re asked a question you don’t know how to answer, don’t freeze or go quiet. Many interviewers like to put you on the spot to see how you work through a problem and communicate complexities. Attention to detail and the ability to ask relevant questions are also areas of focus, and your answer is often secondary to how you got there.

Show Your Work

Interviewers want to know that you’re checking and double-checking your assumptions, and will also ask you why you choose the code solutions that you did. Don’t get defensive – they likely just want to see how well you can take feedback, as well as gauge your ability to critically evaluate your own work.

Getting Technical

If the prospect of fielding a barrage of technical questions makes you cringe, you’re not alone. Don’t panic. The key to understanding and conveying some of the more technical facets of a job is to prepare, prepare, and prepare some more. The last thing you want to do is get stumped on a question and not have a way to circumvent a solution.

Know Data Structures

Knowing the basics of computer science can go a long way in keeping you in the fight for the job. Data structures are the basis of computer science, and you should be familiar with arrays, linked lists, hash tables/maps and binary trees. As software engineer Aakash Basu writes on Quora, “Without them, you will be reinventing the wheel – not always successfully.”

Understand Search Algorithms

Interviewers often focus on your understanding of search algorithms to gauge your skill set, including the nuances of breadth-first search (BFS) and depth-first search (DFS), and when to use one vs. the other. Make sure you understand these algorithms so you don’t get caught with your pants down on a difficult question during the interview.

Get Efficient Sorting

Efficient sorting is vital when optimizing the use of algorithms. The interview will likely be filled with a few examples of this. CareerSource recommends focusing on Merge Sort and Quicksort to refine your knowledge and determine when to use each.


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US temp jobs fall by 9,800, but still rise over year

March 8, 2016

The number of US temp jobs fell by 9,800 in February when compared to January, according to seasonally adjusted data released today by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. And the temp penetration rate — temp jobs as a percent of total employment — fell to 2.03% in February from 2.04% in January.

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ASA index dips over year

February 25, 2016

The American Staffing Association’s index measuring employment in the US staffing industry was 92.65 for the week of Feb. 8 to Feb. 14. Temporary and contract staffing employment decreased 0.76% from the prior week and was 3.31% lower than the same week last year — one of 19 consecutive record high weeks that began in mid-January and continued through mid-May.

Staffing employment during the past four weeks averaged 93.28, down 3.03% from the same period last year.

– See more at:

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ASA index dips over year

February 25, 2016

The American Staffing Association’s index measuring employment in the US staffing industry was 92.65 for the week of Feb. 8 to Feb. 14. Temporary and contract staffing employment decreased 0.76% from the prior week and was 3.31% lower than the same week last year — one of 19 consecutive record high weeks that began in mid-January and continued through mid-May.

Staffing employment during the past four weeks averaged 93.28, down 3.03% from the same period last year.

– See more at:

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IT jobs still outperform despite deceleration, TechServe Alliance reports

February 17, 2016

The number of IT jobs in the US edged up 0.2% in January from December to almost 5.1 million, reported TechServe Alliance, an association of IT and engineering staffing companies. Year-over-year IT employment in the US rose by 4.0% in January.

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Job Postings, hirings climb in U.S.

January 13, 2016

U.S. employers advertised slightly more jobs in November as overall hiring edged up and more Americans quit their jobs in signs of a healthier environment for workers.

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Optimistic outlook for 2016, Express Employment survey finds

January 5, 2016

Half of business leaders expect moderate growth in 2016, according to a survey released today by Express Employment Professionals. Fewer predicted a decrease in business activity, while more predicted growth.

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