North Carolina Continues to See IT Job Growth

The Tar Heel state has seen three straight months of technology job opportunity expansion, with two months seeing double-digit growth. A North Carolina industry trade group which sponsors a monthly report is tempering the growth with regional caution.

For two straight months, the state of North Carolina has seen double-digit growth in jobs for technology professionals. Home to many technology-rich university research facilities, technology startups and a plethora of technology-centric enterprises, North Carolina saw 14.9 percent more technology job openings in August, according to data compiled by the North Carolina Technology Association in conjunction with local staffing firm TekSystems and information provided by the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The monthly average of openings increased to 4,560 from July's average of 3,970. Similarly, NCTA reported the state saw an increase of 18.5 percent between June and July of the year. By comparison, August 2009 saw only 1,130 technology job openings, which is four times less than August 2010.

Despite the growth, there is an air of unpredictability in the NCTA report given the economic swings in specific months in the year and the lack of growth in neighboring states.

"After the strong run-up since the beginning of the year this may be the beginning of slower growth ahead," wrote officials with the NCTA in the report. "Job markets in some other states, including neighboring states to the north and south, have already leveled off, suggesting faltering expectations for an economic recovery. Local job markets in Raleigh and Charlotte stayed flat. Hi-tech and defense industries continued to gain while IT services and financial services held steady."

Top job categories in demand include: systems engineers/systems support (1,400), IT architects/technology consultants (900), IT managers (680), IT sales/marketing (470), systems administration (250), and business process and design (110). Top specific technology skills in demand in North Carolina include Windows, Oracle DBMS, Business Analysts, Java, SQL, Unix, A+, Linux, MS SQL Server, C++/VC++, SAP, XML, Windows Server.

The two largest job category gainers included systems engineering/support--up 27.3 percent--and IT architects/consultants--up 20 percent in August.