While the employment opportunities for technology professionals are certainly rosier than the overall job market for Americans, there are still certain skills higher in demand-particularly when it comes to mobile application development. A report from Dice.com, a career Website for technology and engineering professionals, found the overall available technology jobs as of Sept. 1 to number 82,836, with 50,659 full-time positions, 35,378 contract positions and 1,565 part-time positions.
Alice Hill, managing director of Dice, said jobs connected to mobile applications is one of the fastest growing hiring requests on Dice, has the attention of every tech-hungry consumer in the country and, according to IT research firm Gartner, are projected to generate more than $15 billion in revenue this year. "Mobile applications are ubiquitous," Hill explained.
She said despite the industry's explosive growth, less than one-in-five (17 percent) technology professionals have published a mobile app. Of that group, just more than a quarter (27 percent) work on mobile initiatives full-time. And, interestingly there are definitive splits between those who live and breathe mobile development, as opposed to part-timers or hobbyist.
In terms of which mobile platform devlopers prefer to work with, Hill says iPhone wins for full-time developers, and Android takes the prize for those who undertake mobile efforts more as an avocation. But employers are clearly searching more and more for Android developers, she noted. In fact, the gap is widening between Android and iPhone job postings on Dice. For every request in search of iPhone experience, users will find 1.4 requests for Android - which was more even in March when Android took a very slight lead.
Money is another scorekeeper, Hill said. More than one-third (35 percent) of tech professionals who have dived in and developed an app have made $1 or more. But, those who prefer developing on iPhone reported nine times more income from apps, than those working on Android. Some of this can be explained by the full-time focus of those who prefer iPhone development. And as app advertising revenue grows, so too should Android income, she said.
"The mobile app industry is no game. For tech talent, taking on a mobile app project is a great way to broaden skills in an area that is primed for more growth. Likewise for employers, giving an "A" player on your team a mobile project is a great retention tool," Hill explained. "The bottom line? Publishing a popular app can be the ticket to a better job whether you are working for an employer or not."
Dice is also going mobile, offering a job search application for the iPhone and for Android-based smartphones. With the Dice app, technology professionals can search more than 80,000 technology jobs using keywords and GPS location, apply to jobs by accessing resumes and cover letters from Dice accounts, share job opportunities with colleagues via email or save postings on the app, and learn about hiring trends and technology news.