Job Tip: Demand for Tech Pros in Nashville �Far Outstrips Supply'

Don Tennant

I stumbled upon an article on the Nashville Business Journal site on Friday that carried one of the most uplifting IT employment-related headlines I've read in a long time: 'Nashville's demand for technology workers much higher than supply.'

No doubt some people will read that and find a black lining, but the article just might boost the spirits of others. Check this out:

Nashville needs some tech support. A strong demand for programmers, analysts, developers and other information technology positions far outstrips the region's supply, frustrating existing businesses' recruitment and efforts to attract the types of companies economic development officials covet. The problem is made even more acute because two of Nashville's largest industries, health care and music, are in the midst of broad digital evolutions.
The number of high-tech establishments in Tennessee increased 9.6 percent in 2008, according to a recent study by TechAmerica Foundation, but high-tech employment lagged with a growth rate of 3.7 percent. According to a Nashville Technology Council analysis of advertised jobs in Middle Tennessee, there were nearly 900 technology job openings in the second quarter. Area universities and technical schools turn out 300 to 400 graduates in the field a year.

If relocating to Nashville seems out of the question because you're convinced that employers don't pay for relocation expenses anymore, there's more good news to share: According to an article in the August 2010 issue of HR Magazine (print edition), the relocation industry is rebounding. An Atlas Van Lines survey of 274 HR professionals with relocation responsibilities found that 20 percent of respondents expected their relocation volume to increase this year, compared to no increase in 2009. Bottom line:

There may be cause for what Atlas Van Lines President and Chief Operating Officer Jack Griffin qualifies as 'guarded optimism,' due to signs of growth in corporate relocation budgets as well as healthier relocation activity overseas.

Optimism, guarded or otherwise, is a good thing. There's good news to be shared, and reason to be optimistic, if we can just get over the negativism that seems to constantly drag the IT employment discussion down into a morass of hopelessness. We need more readers to share whatever good news they happen to come across, like the news I stumbled upon about Nashville. Maybe if more people see a glimmer of hope, they'll be less inclined to give up.

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