Regional Technology Job Opportunities Are in Bloom

Job vacancies for technology workers of all stripes are in demand all over the United States. Silicon Valley has the most opportunities for contract and full-time work in more than two years. Pay rates are also inching up for specialists and technology project managers.

The leaves may be turning toward a winter rest, but technology work is not going dormant. Contract and project-based work is flourishing compared to last year. Silicon Valley technology jobs are at a two-year high on at least one job board.

Technology job vacancies are up across the board in every region of the country, with opportunities in Java developers, virtualization specialists, database administrators and project managers, according to the October report from the technology job board Dice. Job vacancies at Dice have grown by 50 percent from October 2009 numbers with at least one city seeing a 100 percent increase.

"In tech, both full-time and contract hiring have been in lock-step with recruitment activity in both up about 50 percent since the lows in mid-2009," wrote Tom Silver, vice president at Dice in a statement. "Not surprisingly, clients are mixed on whether their markets are favoring more contract or permanent hires."

Seattle has more than 2,300 open technology job vacancies which is up 105 percent from October 2009. Los Angeles (2,791), Boston (2,544) and Philadelphia (1,980) have increased by 35 percent or more from a year ago; Atlanta (2,281) is up nearly 55 percent while Chicago (3,069) and Dallas (2,156) have risen over 45 percent.

Silicon Valley continues to see noticeable hiring demand for technologists with over 4,500 vacancies for a year over year increase of 64 percent.

"In Silicon Valley, one recruiter noted that during the first quarter, companies often switched full-time positions to contract-to-hire when they made an offer," wrote Silver. "Now, they stick with full-time."

The Washington, D.C. area has seen the smallest annual increase for the month at only 13 percent, but this region has consistently seen demand from the federal sector even during the darkest days of the recession. On the Dice job board, D.C. consistently ranks No. 2 in terms of total job opportunity volume and presently has 7,756 job vacancies.

"Experienced project managers, who before the downturn were among the best compensated tech professionals, are back in demand as projects move back to the front burner," wrote Silver. "Their rates are rising, also."

Hiring in technology consulting, professional services and project management grew by 19,500 between June and September, according to data provided by the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics. Software-as-a-service applications and outsourced cloud infrastructure continue to be go-to services for many technology departments who cannot expand full time staff or who want to focus on their core business, according to technology analysts.