CompTIA: 400K IT Jobs Unfilled

By Jessica Davis

About 400,000 IT jobs are unfilled in the United States today, even as the unemployment rate remains at over 9 percent. Where’s the disconnect?

CompTIA president Todd Thibodeaux told Channel Insider that much of the problem boils down to geography. Hot markets such as New York and Silicon Valley can’t fill all the job openings they have. Meanwhile, other geographic areas have unemployed workers looking for jobs and those people can’t necessarily pick up and move.

In boom years, employers sometimes would pick up the cost of moving, selling a house and buying a new house to lure an employee to a new location. But years of tough economic conditions together with a housing market that has many homeowners under water has changed all that.

Thibodeaux told Channel Insider that the top markets for IT jobs right now are New York, Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Washington DC and San Francisco. A great deal of those are entry level jobs, and that is always the than jobs for experienced IT professionals. But certain skill sets are commanding premium pay such as cybersecurity experts, mobility experts and systems integrators who can make one cloud application work well with another, he said.

To help address the issue of unemployment, CompTIA announced a new initiative, The Global IT Workforce Council, that calls for a new council made up of CompTIA member companies and other IT leaders; members of the academic, education and training communities and government advocates interested in developing new waves of IT workers.

The idea is to address the coming shortage of IT workers that will hit in about 10 years when baby boomers retire.

"Although many individuals and organizations are addressing the workforce issue, these efforts are narrowly-focused on immediate, short-term needs," Thibodeaux said in his keynote address at the CompTIA Breakaway conference in Washington DC this week.  "The council will take the best of these individual efforts and turn them into a broader, more unified strategy that extends beyond a single corporate boardroom or national border."

For those displaced IT workers today, Thibodeaux told Channel Insider that there’s one thing they can do to improve their chances of landing work – networking. Networking is not often a comfort area for engineers, but it’s essential to help them get ahead.

Thibodeaux especially recommended doing informational interviews. Get hiring managers on the phone for just 15 minutes to find out what skills they will be looking for in their next IT hire. That kind of networking and research can put you ahead as a candidate.




This article was originally published on 2011-08-02