IT Consulting, Staffing Jobs Boost Tech Employment: Dice

Access to emerging technologies is a big draw for tech consultants, according to the April IT jobs report from Dice.

Technology consulting added more than 70,000 positions last year, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. More recently, another 16,000 positions were added in the first quarter, according to a report from online IT careers site Dice.

In the arenas of consulting and staffing, Tom Silver, Dice senior vice president of North America, points out, you get to work for €œtwo men"€”your company and your client. €œCertainly, there are exceptions with some tech contractors charting their own path,€ he said. €œBut, the fact is, companies are using flexible talent more€”creating opportunities.€

On the staffing side, tech revenues are projected to grow in the low double-digits year-over-year, according to Staffing Industry Analysts, with many analysts expecting margins to improve slightly for staffing companies. Among industry verticals, health care IT has so far displayed particularly strong margins. Access to emerging technologies is a big draw for tech consultants, and toiling for different clients on different systems creates challenging and engaging work, Silver points out.

€œThat alone can spark significant job satisfaction. Moving out of the shadows and focusing on business solutions is never bad for a career. If tech professionals can use business language to illustrate solutions to corporate challenges, the audience and career opportunities widen,€ he said. €œLikewise, tech hitters can work on longer-term projects or work for multiple customers at the same time€”virtually.€

Kelly Services noted more software development is being done in virtual teams. While the shortage of software developers is ballooning into quite a saga, it's been lucrative for salaries. Paychecks for software developers are rising at about twice the rate as in the broader tech population, the Dice report found. Not to be outdone, consultants broadly make more than their full-time counterparts; on average, it's at least $20,000 more. €œTech professionals have to look out for their best interests, and considering a flexible arrangement may just be the ticket,€ Silver said.

In Dice€™s monthly IT employment report, as of April 2, the number of available tech jobs was listed at 85,576, with full-time positions standing at 52,008, contract positions standing at 36,545 and part-time positions numbering 1,681. The New York/New Jersey metro area was the top location for tech jobs, with 8,932, a decline of 3 percent from the same period last year. Washington, D.C./Baltimore placed second on the list, with 8,737, an increase of 16 percent from April 2011. Silicon Valley placed third, posting an 11 percent increase from the same period last year, posting 5,711 jobs. Chicago and Los Angeles rounded out the top five, posting 3,742 jobs and 3,385 jobs, respectively.