I recently attended a hackathon that was designed to provide young girls with the skills, and more importantly the enthusiasm, to pursue a career in technology. The aim was to bolster a pipeline that has traditionally been somewhat under-filled.
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A recent survey, conducted by Michigan State University, suggests that there are certainly plenty of jobs out there for the tech minded among us. Whether it’s in mobile app development, managing network infrastructure, social media or software development, the survey reveals that recruitment is strong across America, as companies in tech hugs in places such as Silicon Valley and New York continue to clamor for the best talent.
The survey suggests that recruitment in the tech sector will be up by around 50 percent this year, which is considerably higher than the 16 percent average seen across all sectors. Whilst tech jobs are scorching, even they pale in comparison to careers in engineering and petroleum, both of which report the highest average salaries for new recruits in their first jobs. Starting out in petroleum engineering for instance, can earn you on average $80,000 a year.
The war for tech talent
The demand for exceptional tech talent has led many startups to seriously up their game when it comes to the kind of perks offered to new recruits. Many have gone beyond the cliched startup fayre of ping pong tables and fuzzball tables and are offering top notch coffee machines and free gourmet food to employees.
In addition to these perks however, there is also a serious war in terms of salary and career based perks being dangled in front of potential recruits. Experts are suggesting that 2015 offers the best job market for graduates in the last five or six years, with companies attempting to recruit far more aggressively than in previous years.
The cause is likely to be two fold. Firstly recruitment during the recession was restricted, so there is a pent up demand for talent. You also have demographic changes in the market such as a large cohort of engineers from the baby boom generation is entering retirement. Put these things together and you have a great job market for recent graduates.
Another factor is the digitization of the economy. Whereas once a dot-com startup might have only been competing with other dot-coms for the best tech talent, with things like mobile and big data now utilised by a much wider range of industries, they are competing for talent with organisations in areas as diverse as retail and real estate too.
All of this is shifting the power away from the recruiter and more towards the graduates, with this shift visible in a number of different fields and industries. The most successful companies are likely therefore, to be ones that can provide graduates with an appealing and attractive proposition. They should also make the application process as easy and straightforward as possible.
I’d love to hear your personal experiences if you are looking to break into the technology industry. Have you seen an equally positive job market in your own region?