Two of Next Decade's Top Six Best-paying Jobs Are in IT

Don Tennant

If you're one of those people who's still discouraging your kids from pursuing an education and career in IT because you see that path as a dead end, at least give them all the facts. Let them know that of the top six best-paying jobs they'll be able to find through 2018, two of them are projected to be IT jobs.

 

That finding is based on an analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics figures conducted by 24/7 Wall St., a provider of analysis and commentary for equity investors. No. 4 on the list was software engineer, and the No. 6 spot was systems analyst. Here's the write-up for the software engineer job category:

4. Computer Applications Software Engineers

 

  • Total new jobs (2008-2018): 175,100
  • Pct. increase: 34 percent
  • Median income: $94,180
  • States with most jobs per capita: Washington, Colorado, Virginia

 

In the age of the mobile app and cloud computing, few positions are becoming as essential as software application developers. In 2008, 514,000 people worked in this position. By 2018, the BLS National Employment Matrix projects there will be 175,000 additional positions. According to the BLS's description of the job prospects for software developers, "As a result of rapid employment growth over the 2008 to 2018 decade, job prospects for computer software engineers should be excellent. Those with practical experience and at least a bachelor's degree in a computer-related field should have the best opportunities." Those willing to put in the time to get certified will be well compensated. The median annual income is nearly $100,000.

And here's the write-up for the systems analyst job category:

6. Computer Systems Analysts

 

  • Total new jobs (2008-2018): 108,100
  • Pct. increase: 20.3 percent
  • Median income: $77,740
  • States with most jobs per capita: Virginia, Delaware, New Jersey

 


Computer systems analysts build and manage computer networks for companies for use in file sharing and inter-office communication. They also maintain web security within the network. This position, only 30 years old, is expected to grow by 20%, adding nearly 110,000 jobs before the end of this decade. While an increasing number of businesses are requiring bachelor's degrees, it is still very possible to get a job as a systems analyst with just a high school diploma and some certification. The median annual income, $77,740, is also one of the best salaries one can get without a college degree.

In case you're interested, here's the methodology

24/7 Wall St. reviewed Bureau of Labor Statistics' National Employment Matrix, which provides projected growth between 2008 and 2018 for the Bureau's 750 major job categories. We then identified the jobs that are going to add the largest number of new positions - at least a 20% increase - and then selected those that had a median annual income of at least $60,000. These reflect the best-paying jobs that will also have the highest demand for new workers in the future.


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Sep 8, 2011 4:17 AM hoapres hoapres  says: in response to R. Lawson

The BLS has an abysmal track record in predicting IT employment and at one point quoted Robert Half as one of their sources.

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Sep 8, 2011 4:43 AM hoapres hoapres  says: in response to hoapres

We have been hearing talk about STEM shortages for decades with the end result that one never occurred.  One of the more infamous studies was the 1988 NSF study which resulted in the H1B program.  The scientist and engineering manpower shortage never materialized.

You have to take these claims of STEM and IT labor shortages with a grain of salt.  In many cases, the study is from one with an agenda (CompeteAmerica) or having a poor track record on accuracy of predictions(BLS, NSF). 

What would be interesting is to check the accuracy of the first 3 years of the 2008 to 2018 BLS prediction.  We don't have to guess as the 2008 to 2011 IT employment data should be available with the ability to compare it with the 2008 to 2011 BLS prediction of IT employment.

Test before you guess.  I suspect that BLS is way off base for 2008 to 2011.

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Sep 8, 2011 5:09 AM hoapres hoapres  says: in response to hoapres

Another false assumption used by many claiming a "booming high tech job market" is to take "job counts" most notably Dice and claim that is an accurate representation of the number of jobs that exist.

Only problem is that a job ad is not always a job.  With regards to Dice's claim of 80,000 tech jobs then most likely as pretty convincingly documented 90% of the job ads are fake.

Companies often do a "broadcast" which is described in more detail responding to Mr. Vizard in his ITBusinessEdge blog on the IT job market.

A "broadcast" is when a client sends a job ad to multiple agencies.  Dice counts EACH job ad as a job.  Cisco broadcasts to over 15 agencies and if 15 agencies run ad for the same job then Dice claims 15 jobs when in reality only 1 job exists. 

The latest and greatest is apparently Mitt Romney claiming that 1.5 million science and engineering jobs go unfilled which is complete nonsense given the number of unemployed scientists and engineers that can't find a job.

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Sep 8, 2011 10:30 AM R. Lawson R. Lawson  says:

This is an area I've done quite a bit of analysis on.  The problem with the BLS projections is that THEY ARE ALWAYS WRONG - at least in IT.

This is a claim very easily proven. 

Look at each of the 10 year projections since the late 90s.  Look at where we are today versus where they said we would be.  The problem is that not only have they been wrong, they have been VERY wrong.  They would claim massive growth, and we would see decline or stagnation.

I don't have time to do it today, but I've already got this in Excel (the projections vs actuals) and the chart is alarming.  I don't know how the BLS can be so wrong, so many times in a row.  I believe their projections are based on anecdotal data - such as what industry says.  Often what industry says they will do and what they actually do are very very different.

These particular BLS studies really anger me because they are highly cited by politicians who claim shortages and use that to justify actions based on wrong information.

Don, since you reported this I would challenge you to do the math yourself and report what you find, based on all the prior projections and actual numbers.  I would love to see someone besides me actually challenging this data.

My question for the BLS is that they have been very wrong many times before in these IT jobs projections.  Why should we trust their findings in this report considering their past history of missing the mark by such large numbers?  Why don't they audit their own success rate?

I am a big supporter of the BLS, but they need to be held accountable for their horribly wrong projections.

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Sep 9, 2011 6:24 AM George Alexander George Alexander  says:

Rob,

That was a great presentation. It's sad when parents discourage their kids from getting into IT especially if the kid has a lot of potential and flair for it. Let them do what they like and encourage them to get better at it.  IT is s rewarding career if you love it and realestically, there are a lot of things that offshoreing and outsourcing cannot replace.

Back in my day, my parents tried to ban me from computers when I was a kid because that was back in the day when computers didn't hit mainstream yet and doing your homework and getting great grades for engineering or medical studies was the least they could expect. Programming and playing games was the same thing for them.

Now we joke about it.

Interesting on what shapes perspectives over the decades. During my much older cousins' time, mechanical engineering was hot and no one wanted to go for computer science.

I never trust any of these studies... the best studies are the ones you do by your self. My hunch was pretty good during the dotcom bust... I saw less and less programming ads in newspapers (old fashioned ones on real paper) and knew something was wrong when colleges and professors were still swearing on IT.

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Sep 9, 2011 6:37 AM hoapres hoapres  says: in response to George Alexander

Young people should pursue whatever career they feel strongly about because you are only young once.

However, I do advise young people that IT is a field that is highly overrated with claims of a "booming high tech field" and that there is no shortage of qualified applicants competing for every job.

Realistically unless you are extremely good then it is going to be real hard of it it to make a go out of it in IT.

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Sep 9, 2011 9:46 AM R. Lawson R. Lawson  says: in response to hoapres

If I could summarize my message, it would be that you can make a good living in IT - but the media has looked at it through rose colored glasses for a long time.  If I did it just for the money, I would have quit a long time ago. 

It's a very challenging and demanding profession - especially in consulting.  So the love of money just isn't enough.  You've got to have some passion about what you do.

I love what I do and that's why I do it.  I hope my kids have the same chance I had.

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Sep 9, 2011 12:48 PM R. Lawson R. Lawson  says: in response to R. Lawson

Here is a presentation I did last year where I go over the metrics that look at the BLS projections you cite and compare to actuals:

mms://media.poly.usf.edu/video/IT_Colloquium_04-21-10_Lawson.wmv and a summary can be found here: http://www.poly.usf.edu/News/20100419-April-IT-Colloquium.html.

The topic is how do we THRIVE in IT.  So I have a positive spin and I try to encourage students to pursue IT.

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Sep 10, 2011 1:47 AM hoapres hoapres  says: in response to R. Lawson

The problem is that people peddle "the booming high tech field" on faulty assumptions being faulty studies among which are BLS and NSF along with using bogus job counts from bulletin boards.

I am always extremely reluctant to tell people particularly the young what to do but definitely have no qualms and strongly encourage everyone to ask the right question being WHY ??

Just because someone says something does not necessairly make it so. Not picking on Don but when you see the phrase "give them all the facts" then the FIRST question that should come to mind is "What are the factual bases for the alleged facts?".  The FIRST question coming to mind is "What is the track record of prior BLS studies?", "What assumptions are made in the BLS study".  To determine the accuracy of the study then you have to READ the study and NOT merely quote it. 

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Sep 10, 2011 3:40 AM hoapres hoapres  says:

Nor am I picking on Don and to be fair unlike Dice he has not censored those with different viewpoints. 

A general problem is the trend towards LAZY journalism better put bloggers taken to be journalists.

One of my major gripes is that people just quote "facts" without checking the factual basis for the alleged "facts".  It doesn't appear that many check the factual basis and those that can correctly show that the alleged "facts" are wrong are implied to be nuts.

With regards to Don

>> If you're one of those people who's still discouraging your kids from pursuing an education and career in IT because you see that path as a dead end, at least give them all the facts. <<

It's just possible the "doom and gloomers" on IT are giving them a better picture of accuracy than those peddling the "booming high tech field".

The other problem with this sentence is implying the "facts" that follow are really facts

The "facts" that follow are BLS projections which may or may not turn out to be accurate.  As pointed out before, BLS has been woefully wrong in the past and while the past is no guarantee of future predictions, if you are wrong in the past then you are likely to be wrong in the present and future.

>>  Let them know that of the top six best-paying jobs they'll be able to find through 2018, two of them are projected to be IT jobs. <<

Projected is not a "fact".  I might tell people about BLS studies but I am also going to tell them that they are very unreliable with the real data to back up that claim.

>> That finding is based on an analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics figures conducted by 24/7 Wall St., a provider of analysis and commentary for equity investors. No. 4 on the list was software engineer, and the No. 6 spot was systems analyst. Here's the write-up for the software engineer job category: <<

Notice an analysis of quoting another analysis being the BLS study.  Why not READ the BLS study along with checking prior predictions to see if the study is accurate in the first place ???

The few "doom and gloomers" for the most part to which I am one appear from my admittely biased viewpoint seem to have "their act together".  We just don't "hand wave" quoting BLS studies, bulletin board job counts, but rather show that said studies and bulletin board job counts are WRONG.

It is just a recurring pattern nowadays of LAZY journalism.  No one seems to "dig around" anymore.

Another example is Don' post "quit whining and get back to work"

http://www.itbusinessedge.com/cm/blogs/tennant/advice-from-an-over-50-it-pro-stop-whining-and-get-to-work/?cs=46647

If you read the comments then you find that I among others pointed out that the "success" story was based on the person getting a $10 to $14 "throw away" CSR job.  Nor is this to belittle the CSR job or the person taking it as all honest labor is of value but it is hardly a "success" but more likely just survival when you take a job paying close to minimum wage. 

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Sep 10, 2011 4:10 AM hoapres hoapres  says: in response to hoapres

Another example of "Garbage In, Garbage Out"

The Silicon Valley work to the future report on the state of the IT job market

http://www.work2future.biz/images/documents/TechStudyFullReport_03.pdf

If you look at page 23 then it claims that 3,164 jobs for field applications engineers and 2,981 jobs for software engineer based on listings from Indeed dot com and then says "These are jobs that are available right now"

Unfortunately a job ad does not translate to a job.  As stated before 90%+ of job ads are fake with multiple agencies responding to companies broadcasts.   A broadcast is when a company uses multiple agencies for a single job.  Cisco broadcasts to over 15 agencies and if all those agencies advertise for that job then it is counted as 15 jobs.

Then the work2future study goes on

>> Yet there are hundreds, if not thousands, of un- employed or underemployed field applications and software engineers in the area. It is a reality that must be enormously frustrating for the many job seekers who are unsuccessfully looking for work in these occupations as well as the WIB professionals trying to help them find jobs. <<

Perhaps the answer is very simple and we don't have enough jobs to go around.  The study goes on and mentions training for these (non existent) jobs.  The jobs are based on bogus job counts and not by actually pounding the pavement DIRECTLY calling up prospective eimployers.

The study mentions that we should bring in more foreigners to alleviate the high tech shortage.

That is the problem with all these studies of "high tech labor shortage" is that they are all based on "Garbage In"

The "Garbage In" being based on : 1. High tech companies complaining of labor shortages to justify bringing in more low cost H1Bs. 2. Bogus job counts from job boards with the "Garbage In" assumption being that every job ad is a legitimate offer of employment.  For those of you that followed me on Dice then you know that I thoroughly disproved with very convincing evidence that Dice's claim of "80,000 tech jobs" was bogus. 3. Manpower studies such as BLS and NSF which have been thoroughly discredited with prior past predictions.  NSF predicted a STEM shortage in the late 1980s justifying the H1B program and the STEM shortage never materialized.

As I said before, LAZY journalism abounds in today's world and what is sorely needed today is TRUE INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM which means "pounding the pavement" and ASKING QUESTIONS.

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Sep 10, 2011 5:37 AM hoapres hoapres  says:

Additional problems with the BLS study

>> Those willing to put in the time to get certified will be well compensated. The median annual income is nearly $100,000. <<

Sounds like an ad to go out and get certified.  Notice the hand waiving without backing it up.  To simply say "...will be well compensated" doesn't prove anything.  How about EXPLICITLY naming some certs what a TRACK RECORD of being "well compensated" with said compensation for each cert listed.

With regards to the median annual income of $100,000 to which I have my doubts how about listing the size of your sample distribution along with its standard deviation as well.

>> It is still very possible to get a job as a systems analyst with just a high school diploma and some certification. <<

Not likely.

Talk to almost any in staffing and technical manager as well about getting a job with just a high school diploma and some certification and the answer you are going to get is "Not very likely.  All our jobs require a BS degree."  Again BLS hand waives and doesn't back it up.  How about actually NAMING some certifications that would give you a reasonable probability of getting a decent job.  The one that comes to my mind would be a CCIE but most companies with networking jobs require a BS degree.  Don't waste your time with an A+ cert as that is most likely going to get you just a "throw away" help desk job close to minimum wage.  

Nor is this too much to ask for. This is after all the Bureau of LABOR STATISTICS.

The sad thing about BLS is that it is well respected and quoted by many especially for profit schools peddling most likely worthless AA degrees to lure students into the "booming high tech field".  I am amazed at the number of people graduating with over $20K in student loan debt for a worthless AA degree in IT.  The IT job market is so competitive right now that a minimum of a BS degree (and some require a MS) preferably from a TOP 10 school with internship experience is required to have even a chance of geting interviewed for a decent job.

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Sep 10, 2011 6:17 AM George Alexander George Alexander  says: in response to hoapres

>>The sad thing about BLS is that it is well respected and quoted by many especially for profit schools peddling most likely worthless AA degrees to lure students into the "booming high tech field".  I am amazed at the number of people graduating with over $20K in student loan debt for a worthless AA degree in IT.

True. I've noticed this too. Many of these studies are used or commisioned by colleges and universities to increase student enrollment. Student enrollment means more student loans (the next big bubble after housing) to stimulate this lucrative market. For example back in 2007/2008, there was a lot of media hype + college reps saying that there would be a shortage of pharmacists. This led to a sudden rush for pharmacy enrollment. The market for pharmacists has been saturated for quite sometime and it's pretty hard to get a good break unless you try really hard.

>>The IT job market is so competitive right now that a minimum of a BS degree (and some require a MS) preferably from a TOP 10 school with internship experience is required to have even a chance of geting interviewed for a decent job.

I had this problem when I started out after college. It was hard to get a break into the industry. My break came when I offered myself for free to a company for three months.  During that time, my intention was to build a strong impression, gain some real world experience and see if I could make the team dependent on me. If not that, then atleast use this experience and apply for other jobs. Sure enough, three months later they started giving me a stipend and promised to hire me in two months once the new quarter starts and they have a new budget.

I encourage college kids to engage in projects in their free time, open source and build a portfolio of what they've done in the community or for freelance. Go to user groups and network and who knows who might notice you. You will also be aware of employers that have requirements and you could apply.

I'm pretty much convinced with what I've seen in my years over here that inspite of all the outsourcing and offshoring realities, there's a lot of scope in IT in atleast the business districts in America as long as people are passionate about it. Don't be fooled with promises of lot of money, good life etc.... certifications are not to be promoted with promises of jobs. They are only meant to "certify" that you know something. Getting that initial break is hard but once you have something to show, companies are more inclined to take you in as interns or junior developers. Once that happens, hardwork will take care of the rest. There will be ups and downs but passion can help drive you ahead in any profession. And one of my heros, Joel Spolsky, says the same thing

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Sep 10, 2011 6:35 AM hoapres hoapres  says: in response to George Alexander

The big problem with IT is that employment is notoriously unstable and age discrimination is rampant.  The return on investment is extemely poor.  In the 1980s one with a solid BS degree from a decent not top 10 school could land a job paying $100K in today's dollars and quite likely have multiple job offers without making a full time profession of getting the first job.  Nowadays you need a degree from a top 10 school and some employers don't only require a MS degree but want a PhD as well.  Google is pretty strict and has a strong preference for PhDs.

The dot com meltdown made the matter worse as lots of unemployed students with BS degrees decided to go out and get an MS degree to avoid the stigma of unemployment.  Unfortunately we never had a real recovery in IT after 2001 so jobs that used to require only a BS degree now require an MS degree as well.

Also, it is becoming more and more common to do a year unpaid internship as well before getting a "real" job.

College is a LOT more expensive so coupled with 4 or more years of lost income by not working then you may very well end up with over $50K of student loan debt without being able to find a "real" job.

I am not just convinced that even being "passionate" about IT is going to be enough to make a "decent living" at it.

Nor am I convinced that "hard works take care of the rest".  A depressing trend is for companies to use "throw away" interns for a year and simply disposing of almost everyone along with getting a new batch of interns.

It used to be get out of college and start off with a decent paying job.  Now you get out of college then maybe go back to get an MS degree because you could not find a job.  Then with the MS degree get an unpaid internship for a year.  Then by the time you are 35 age discrimination starts to kick in and you can't find another job.

While the above paragraph may sound extreme, I suspect it is more common than one would like to admit.

While I repoect Joel Sposky, the simple fact of the matter most of the "IT real world" doesn't work the way he runs his business.  Sposky is right to the extent that unless you are among the best then IT (or better put software engineering) is going to be a very difficult place to make a living. 

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Sep 10, 2011 8:27 AM R. Lawson R. Lawson  says: in response to hoapres

"Nor am I picking on Don and to be fair unlike Dice he has not censored those with different viewpoints. "

I believe that Don should have a reasonable expectation that the BLS projections would be far more reliable.  It's unfortunate that they have such a poor track record in IT projections and that the numbers shouldn't be trusted.  Given how bad the numbers are, I think the BLS should release a revised report after auditing the prior reports and adjusting their methodology, because clearly their current methodology is not working.

I don't know if he's had time to watch my video on the matter (he's got some other things cooking so I understand), but hopefully if he blogs further on the subject he'll check it out first.

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Sep 10, 2011 11:13 AM hoapres hoapres  says: in response to R. Lawson

>> I believe that Don should have a reasonable expectation that the BLS projections would be far more reliable. <<

I agree but the point was that people should not just BLINDLY take something as being accurate.  As I said before in this case it appears that the "doom and gloomer" crowd has "their act together" with regards to the "facts" over the "booming high tech field" crowd who for the most part just "copy and paste" somebody elses flawed study.

>> It's unfortunate that they have such a poor track record in IT projections and that the numbers shouldn't be trusted.  <<

Agreed.

>>  Given how bad the numbers are, I think the BLS should release a revised report after auditing the prior reports and adjusting their methodology, because clearly their current methodology is not working. <<

Can't argue with that.

>> Given how bad the numbers are, I think the BLS should release a revised report after auditing the prior reports and adjusting their methodology, because clearly their current methodology is not working. <<

That would be a good idea.

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Sep 10, 2011 11:33 AM R. Lawson R. Lawson  says: in response to hoapres

"The FIRST question coming to mind is "What is the track record of prior BLS studies?""

Yes, and that was really my first question.  There are other projections that are also very wrong, but I chose to focus on the most current.

Even the current projection is off.  If you draw a straight line between 2008 and 2018 and plot where jobs were suppose to be and where they are today, not only are we not on course for +30% growth we are currently in negative territory (because of current economic conditions not seen when the report was released).

Personally I think 10 year projections in IT are useless.  Technology is evolving so rapidly and globalization is such a major factor that it's impossible for anyone to predict a 10 year trend right now.  My linear projections based solely on the BLS OES numbers are pretty accurate - but of course can't predict recessions. 

I think they should attempt 5 year projections, and update them every year.  We need more timely information here, and they need to be auditing their track record so they can adjust their methodology.

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Sep 11, 2011 1:33 AM Vincenzo Vincenzo  says: in response to hoapres

I have to agree with hoapres on this.  Don has lectured his readership on more than one occasion about not blindly taking things at face value and the need to get to the facts. Yet does the same thing.  I think he needs to answer to this BLS misinformation.

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Sep 11, 2011 9:18 AM press release distribution press release distribution  says: in response to Vincenzo

Nice post! I'm a huge fan of issue sponsorship as a way to get things done for clients and benefit the community. We've done it a number of times, and had nothing but awesome experiences with maintainers!

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Sep 12, 2011 1:29 AM hoapres hoapres  says: in response to R. Lawson

>> He knows very little, and he asks "why" allot. <<

The best question to ask is WHY ? If you get the right answer to that question then you are much more likely to get a handle on the truth.

>> The BLS projections data said that the only direction was up - break out the champaign. <<

BLS was proven wrong.

>>   Many people in IT were saying "the sky is falling" and to duck for cover. <<

Many but not enough.

Mostly proven correct.

>> The truth is that for some people, the sky was falling.  <<

To be more precise.  That is your version of the truth based on your data analysis.

While I believe "some" should be replaced by "many" or "most" that is really not the issue, the use of the word "truth" is the issue.

>> For some niche skills (SharePoint . . hint hint) the only direction was up. <<

Maybe or maybe not.

I know of LOTS of Sharepoint people that can't find a job. 

The other issue is the longevity of these alleged "niche" skills.  If the niche skill is only hot or in demand for a year or even less then you will make some good money only for a short period of time.

>> And for the majority of the people, things were relatively unchanged. <<

May or may not be accurate.  I suspect the better answer is that if you were able to hold onto your job then the above is accurate.  If you were always looking for work then I have my doubts.

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Sep 12, 2011 1:41 AM R. Lawson R. Lawson  says: in response to hoapres

"I know of LOTS of Sharepoint people that can't find a job. "

Please let me know who if they are in or willing to move to the Tampa area.  I go to (and run) user group meetings.  High demand for SharePoint developers and I don't know any unemployed.  Only reason I don't do SharePoint is that I'm not excited enough about it... the big rewards aren't enough. 

Seriously, if you know SharePoint developers with over 1 year experience in it let me know.  I'll easily get them a job.

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Sep 12, 2011 2:28 AM hoapres hoapres  says: in response to R. Lawson

>> Please let me know who if they are in or willing to move to the Tampa area. <<

General observation about labor shortages ??

Are the companies willing to pay for the relocation ??

This would be a pretty good indicator if a real demand exists.

I am going to take it as an offer of proof that companies in Tampa have a real shortage of Sharepoint developers.

If companies in Tampa are looking for IT workers and are willing to pay to get them they could try running advertisements out in Silicon Valley.

>>  I go to (and run) user group meetings.  High demand for SharePoint developers and I don't know any unemployed.  <<

How well do these jobs pay ??

>>  Only reason I don't do SharePoint is that I'm not excited enough about it... the big rewards aren't enough.  <<

Are the salaries for Sharepoint developers going up ?? Are people currently employed in Sharepoint moving on to better paying jobs ??

Or is it possible that the reason there is a shortage of Sharepoint developers is that companies are not willing to pay for them.

>> Seriously, if you know SharePoint developers with over 1 year experience in it let me know.  I'll easily get them a job. <<

O.K.

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Sep 12, 2011 2:56 AM George Alexander George Alexander  says: in response to hoapres

SharePoint is super hot right now and it's been that way for quite sometime. The main driver is that Microsoft is great at getting organizations to adopt SharePoint and they provide excellent support for developers and IT administrators. With more organizations implementing and customizing SharePoint, it'll be a pretty hot niche skill for quite sometime. I get calls almost every week from recruiters who look for even average skills. For developers, it's great because it's just an extension of their ASP.Net skills while for administrators, they can carry it over to operation and database roles. So it's a win-win whichever way you look at it. Because of the dearth of SharePoint resources, companies pay  good premiums for SharePoint skills. It's easy for ASP.Net developers to ramp up once they get the concepts of SharePoint server. You can install a dev version on your local machine and learn it using Microsoft's free dev center online programs (http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/sharepoint/ee513147.aspx).

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Sep 12, 2011 3:02 AM R. Lawson R. Lawson  says: in response to hoapres

In the Tampa market, SharePoint developers should be easily earning $85k+.  Most of the people I know with more than a couple years SharePoint experience (with prior experience outside of SharePoint) are earning over six figures.

That may not sound like much if you're from Silicon Valley and a 3BR home costs a million dollars.  It goes a long way here in Florida.  $300k puts you in a comfortable house on a channel where you can boat into the Gulf from your backyard, if you're into that.  Same amount puts you in a nice home on  a golf course in a gated community.  Want to live on the cheap?  If you $50-75k cash on hand, buy yourself a very nice condo that sold pre-recession for $250k.  Banks aren't lending for condos and there were so many foreclosures you can get them cheap if you have the cash.  Difficult to get a loan on the condos these days because banks consider them risky investments.

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Sep 12, 2011 3:20 AM hoapres hoapres  says: in response to George Alexander

>> SharePoint is super hot right now and it's been that way for quite sometime.  <<

I will have to take your word for it.  Based on my limited Silicon Valley observations that doesn't seem to be the case.

>> The main driver is that Microsoft is great at getting organizations to adopt SharePoint and they provide excellent support for developers and IT administrators. <<

The main driver is more likely companies just stick around with Microsoft. 

>>  With more organizations implementing and customizing SharePoint, it'll be a pretty hot niche skill for quite sometime. <<

I don't see many more organizations implimenting Sharepoint but that might be somewhat biased as I am in Silicon Valley.

>> I get calls almost every week from recruiters who look for even average skills. <<

This doesn't tell me anything. Most recruiters are newbies that don't survive very long and the company broadcasted their openings to multiple agencies with recruiters calling one for almost everything in a vain effort to avoid getting laid off due to lack of production.

If your recruiter calls are from those that have been in the business over 10 years with real jobs then you might have a point.

>> For developers, it's great because it's just an extension of their ASP.Net skills while for administrators, they can carry it over to operation and database roles. So it's a win-win whichever way you look at it. <<

O.K.

>> Because of the dearth of SharePoint resources, companies pay  good premiums for SharePoint skills. <<

If you say so.  In Silcion Valley about a year ago, HP launched a nonproject offering Sharepoint developers $25 an hour.  What surprised me is that I was told HP was swamped with qualified applicants.  The nonproject never got started because the word got out on the street that HP was too cheap and the management was concerned that the contractors were always going to be looking for another job.

>>  It's easy for ASP.Net developers to ramp up once they get the concepts of SharePoint server. You can install a dev version on your local machine and learn it using Microsoft's free dev center online programs (http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/sharepoint/ee513147.aspx). <<

Which is why I am somewhat skeptical that Sharepoint is such a skill in shortage as it is pretty easy to get started with using it.

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Sep 12, 2011 8:13 AM hoapres hoapres  says: in response to hoapres

Another problem with these types of articles being blogs is that they don't have long lives and the best one cna hope for is that other viewpoints get some publicity.

http://www.itbusinessedge.com/cm/blogs/vizard/the-coming-it-labor-crisis/?cs=48527#comments

You will note that a dispute arose on the claim of 400K jobs and the statement was made "Dice claims 80,000 jobs". 

Then it is pointed out that quite likely 90% of Dice's job ads are fake due to massive overcounting by company broadcasts.  A broadcast is when multiple agencies compete for the same job.  The multiple ads are counted as jobs even though only 1 job exists.  If 10 agencies compete for the same job then it is considered as 10 jobs.

Usually the blog dies off.  What one has to hope for is that somebody else read the posts and starts investigating the factual claims for themselves.

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Sep 12, 2011 9:11 AM R. Lawson R. Lawson  says: in response to Vincenzo

I think that Don blogging on this first before writing an article (which should has a higher degree integrity) is a good thing.  Blogging is still this grey area for journalists, but I think it can be used for good.

For example, Don finds a study he believes suggests excellent growth in IT.  He blogs about it.  People who have spent time researching that same data and giving it more scrutiny respond to the blog.

My guess is that Don will view that same data with more scrutiny when he goes to press with an article - which has a much wider distribution and readership than the blog.

This isn't exactly open-source journalism, but if journalists take the time to read comments to their blogs perhaps they will learn something.  This of course doesn't work with breaking stories but it can help with followup stories.

I pointed out problems with this blog entry because the source data is not historically reliable.  I try not to make it a "tisk-tisk, shame on you Don" type of commentary.  Put yourself in the shoes of Don or any other journalists.  They aren't always experts on the subject they are writing about.  They quote experts (like the BLS) and ideally other sources if it is more than just a blog. 

There is a story here on the BLS and their historically bad data.  I wouldn't mind writing a blog on it or submitting an article to ITBusinessEdge if they would accept something from a guest-blogger or writer.  I think it's information that people should know about.  Or maybe co-write something with an experienced journalist.

Actually, I just want to get an article approved by an editor - secret dream of mine.  One of my passions before college was journalism.  I let money sway me, and fortunately I became passionate about IT and software.  But I've always wanted to write.  Even with all the media consolidation I truly believe that journalism - and more importantly GOOD journalism - is a key ingredient to being a good country to live in.

I almost think that "knowing too much" on a subject is a recipe for bad journalism.  For example, let's take this issue.  Because of my research and speaking on the matter, I know quite a bit about the subject and I've formed my own views (bias). 

Maybe what I'm saying is reaching given my lack of true experience writing, but I think it would be better to approach the article like my 10 year old does.  He knows very little, and he asks "why" allot.  He can then explain the issue to other people who also know very little about the matter.  And he may say things like "dad said this, but mom said this".  I'm a natural skeptic and I've found that usually there is truth in both sides.

The BLS projections data said that the only direction was up - break out the champaign.  Many people in IT were saying "the sky is falling" and to duck for cover.  The truth is that for some people, the sky was falling.  For some niche skills (SharePoint . . hint hint) the only direction was up.  And for the majority of the people, things were relatively unchanged.

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Sep 13, 2011 2:00 AM Richard Head Richard Head  says:

It is a shame that one has to read the comments following bad story to get the full truth on an issue. An it is even more a shame that there will be no retraction of this poorly researched article.

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Sep 13, 2011 8:49 AM R. Lawson R. Lawson  says: in response to hoapres

"HP launched a nonproject offering Sharepoint developers $25 an hour. "

Keyword: non-profit.  And, if I wanted to be a SharePoint developer I myself would have probably taken then $25 hour job to gain experience if I didn't have much.  Once you gain some experience your salary expectations go way up.  Perfect job for someone unemployed who has outdated skills and wants to learn something more current and get back in the game.

I think you mentioned this before, so I agree with you that companies are not doing enough to train employees.  They are essentially shifting 100% of the burden on employees.  Any of the claimed lack of skills could in most cases be gained relatively quickly with training and on the job experience.  They got so use to being able to scour the globe for the exact skills they wanted that they stopped investing in educating people.

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Sep 13, 2011 8:51 AM R. Lawson R. Lawson  says: in response to R. Lawson

Ah, I misread the sentence I think.  Did you mean non-profit or non-project?  What is non-project?  Support? 

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Sep 13, 2011 9:50 AM George Alexander George Alexander  says: in response to hoapres

>> SharePoint is super hot right now and it's been that way for quite sometime.  <<

"I will have to take your word for it.  Based on my limited Silicon Valley observations that doesn't seem to be the case."

SharePoint is mainly used in enterprises. Since you're in Silicon Valley, I'm assuming you maybe in a company creates products. I'm pretty much in the services and solutions space.

>>>> Because of the dearth of SharePoint resources, companies pay  good premiums for SharePoint skills. <<

"If you say so.  In Silcion Valley about a year ago, HP launched a nonproject offering Sharepoint developers $25 an hour.  What surprised me is that I was told HP was swamped with qualified applicants.  The nonproject never got started because the word got out on the street that HP was too cheap and the management was concerned that the contractors were always going to be looking for another job."

I'm surprised to hear this. If this is true, HP certainly does seem to be low balling. In the software space, HP is primarily a consultancy company. Could this be for junior developers? A "nonproject" sounds like an internal project which does not get billed. HP could be hiring juniors for internal stuff at 25$/hour (which is still around $4000 a month) so this could be for junior developers. HP has its offices in Plano, TX and starting salaries are nothing compared to silicon valley. I worked in a services company and essentially they put juniors in internal projects initially before having them work for clients. Just my guess.

>>  It's easy for ASP.Net developers to ramp up once they get the concepts of SharePoint server. You can install a dev version on your local machine and learn it using Microsoft's free dev center online programs (http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/sharepoint/ee513147.aspx). <<

"Which is why I am somewhat skeptical that Sharepoint is such a skill in shortage as it is pretty easy to get started with using it."

Microsoft provides great developer support. I think what may be missing is drive.

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Sep 13, 2011 10:38 AM R. Lawson R. Lawson  says: in response to George Alexander

"Microsoft provides great developer support. I think what may be missing is drive."

I sometimes grind my teeth when Microsoft gets involved with politics.  Clearly they aren't always on "my side" as a professional when they enter the political arena.

That said, as a developer I am very pleased with their technologies, development tools, and support.  I'm sure they know that we aren't always on the same side politically, but they are great supporters of my user group providing us with books, software, and information needed to educate ourselves.  They also give away tools to students, small business, and entrepreneurs.  I use their MAPS program through their partner program so for $300 a month I get all the Microsoft software I need to do business. 

Checkout their DreamSpark and BizSpark programs.  Very supportive of students and startups.  I just don't see that level of support from other companies. 

That doesn't mean I agree to all of their political demands, but I'm also not an "enemy" of Microsoft and going to fight them on every issue like some of the "full-time Microsoft haters" out there.  We disagree on some things and I'll fight strongly for my political interests, but at the end of the day I'm going to support their products because on balance they are a good company and they have good solutions.  They aren't always good, but on balance they are IMHO.

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Sep 13, 2011 11:59 AM hoapres hoapres  says: in response to R. Lawson

THis was an HP nonproject.

Rogue HR decided that it wanted to move off an inhouse system and the HR person without authorization thought that Sharepoint developers were just like clerk typists and to be paid $25 an hour.

Rogue HR broadcasted the project to multiple agencies for senior sharepoint developers and surprisingly so I was told had no problem in finding qualified applicants.   Of course, I could have been told a bunch of lies from people saying HP had no trouble finding people.

Senior management squashed the nonproject especially after word was getting out on the street that HP was being cheap.  $25 an hour doesn't go very far in Palo Alto with studio apartments going for $1200 a month. 

The end result of the canceled nonproject is that a lot of newbie recruiters hired to staff the nonproject were laid off due to the lack of production.  Many of the recruiters went back to their past life of working at the strip mall, bartending, real estate sales, car sales, etc.

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Sep 14, 2011 1:10 AM Vincenzo Vincenzo  says: in response to Richard Head

@Richard Head

Yes, it is a shame.  And it appears as if he's now trying to bury this blog post by adding more blog posts - three more in the last three days.  Usually it's one blog post a week (with exceptions, of course).

While blog posts like this one irk me, overall I do appreciate Don.  He's been a popular punching bag for a lot of people, yet he continues to give his readers the opportunity to express their opinions with little to no censoring.

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Sep 14, 2011 1:16 AM Vincenzo Vincenzo  says: in response to Vincenzo

In my previous comment, I said:

"And it appears as if he's now trying to bury this blog post by adding more blog posts - three more in the last three days.  Usually it's one blog post a week"

I would like to retract this part of my overall comment.  Looking back it's now obvious to me that I'm wrong.

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Sep 15, 2011 9:06 AM sam sam  says:

I do see there are good number of openings in IT field, even in our company they have added 20+ openings in last 1 month of which I do interview for few positions.

As per BLS unemployment in IT field (which is part of computer and mathematical occupations)  is 3.7% as of August 2011 which is considered as there is a shortage of the right people to hire and there is no shortage of jobs.

Market seems to be good for IT industry as a whole as per some of the recent articles I came across and also from my experience

"Hiring demand for Computer Programmers and IT professionals grows every month. More than 147,000 new jobs were advertised online by direct employers in August, a 28% year-over-year increase. However, with continuously growing high demand for a limited talent pool, Recruiters are struggling to fill jobs and leaving ads online for longer periods of time."

http://www.wantedanalytics.com/insight/2011/09/12/ad-age-for-computer-programming-and-it-jobs-growing/

Also

"Computer Systems Analysts-over the past 90 days, there have been almost 110,000 new job ads placed online for Computer Systems Analysts.  This position currently is in the red on the Hiring ScaleTM, indicating that it will be challenging for Recruiters to fill Computer Systems Analysts job openings."

http://www.wantedanalytics.com/insight/2011/09/15/alternative-locations-for-finding-computer-programmers-it-specialists/

All it takes is good preparation and look at right place for jobs. But not all who are looking for job come with great preparation.

My experience in last 1 month (interviewing candidates),

- 50% candidates are really bright and good to hire same day. Those are looking only looking for really challenging jobs as they tend to get drained in typical jobs which they work currently. But those who have good knowledge and experience come with list of 'must have' to join like specific job location (if it for consulting position), title and/or higher salary (10 - 20% hike from current salary). After going through all the hurdles 1 in 10 shortlisted candidate join, of those joined 2 out of 10 won't come back next day. They know market is there so won't care much (which I agree...when market is bad corporate won't treat them nicely...its pay back time for them)

- 50% candidates we can say not prepared for interview in any form, usually they come with huge list of technologies in their resume but can't speak on 10% of those if you ask any question (entry level)

or

come with informal dressing or looks distracted (won't stay or answer to the question). Usually they would have worked on those technologies but never try to learn the basics on those technologies.

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Sep 15, 2011 11:39 AM hoapres hoapres  says: in response to sam

>> I do see there are good number of openings in IT field, even in our company they have added 20+ openings in last 1 month of which I do interview for few positions. <<

You do.

I don't.

The IT job market is extremely grim and getting worse.

>> As per BLS unemployment in IT field (which is part of computer and mathematical occupations)  is 3.7% as of August 2011 which is considered as there is a shortage of the right people to hire and there is no shortage of jobs. <<

The BLS has been thoroughly discredited. 

>> Market seems to be good for IT industry as a whole as per some of the recent articles I came across and also from my experience <<

It's not.

I would NOT trust any article on the "booming high tech field"

>> Hiring demand for Computer Programmers and IT professionals grows every month. More than 147,000 new jobs were advertised online by direct employers in August, a 28% year-over-year increase. However, with continuously growing high demand for a limited talent pool, Recruiters are struggling to fill jobs and leaving ads online for longer periods of time.

http://www.wantedanalytics.com/insight/2011/09/12/ad-age-for-computer-programming-and-it-jobs-growing/ <<

Nobody who is hiring is struggling to find qualified applicants.

Also

>> Computer Systems Analysts-over the past 90 days, there have been almost 110,000 new job ads placed online for Computer Systems Analysts.  This position currently is in the red on the Hiring ScaleTM, indicating that it will be challenging for Recruiters to fill Computer Systems Analysts job openings.

http://www.wantedanalytics.com/insight/2011/09/15/alternative-locations-for-finding-computer-programmers-it-specialists/ <<

Another useless article.

>> All it takes is good preparation and look at right place for jobs. But not all who are looking for job come with great preparation. <<

Got that wrong too.

>> My experience in last 1 month (interviewing candidates), <<

Now the following is more valuable than quoting press articles

>> - 50% candidates are really bright and good to hire same day. Those are looking only looking for really challenging jobs as they tend to get drained in typical jobs which they work currently. But those who have good knowledge and experience come with list of 'must have' to join like specific job location (if it for consulting position), title and/or higher salary (10 - 20% hike from current salary). After going through all the hurdles 1 in 10 shortlisted candidate join, of those joined 2 out of 10 won't come back next day. They know market is there so won't care much (which I agree...when market is bad corporate won't treat them nicely...its pay back time for them) <<

Translation.

Nobody is really hiring.  We don't see rising salaries to get applicants. 

>> - 50% candidates we can say not prepared for interview in any form, usually they come with huge list of technologies in their resume but can't speak on 10% of those if you ask any question (entry level)

or

come with informal dressing or looks distracted (won't stay or answer to the question). Usually they would have worked on those technologies but never try to learn the basics on those technologies. <<

Translation

Prerejected.

Most likely too old.

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Sep 16, 2011 8:09 AM sam sam  says: in response to hoapres

Translation for comments "everything is ME"...other than myself no one is trusted.

You have any source other than BLS...may be they are not 100% correct also they are not 100% wrong?

Only one thing I have to say for your comment...come out, try for yourself in the job market and then comment....which I seriously doubt you have done.

For your "Prerejected Most likely too old" comment.....fortunately I am in my 40ish...and company I work never look at age to recruit...we have many people done their career in Federal government and join us when they get tired of Fed...avg age of employees are in 35+ (with 300+ employees).

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Sep 16, 2011 9:41 AM lalabi123 lalabi123  says:

This is a very education meaning of the article, the article deeply about the truth that be an upright person, very few have the guiding significance, the author is a moral research deep people, the people of some behavior has a deep research, education of people how to get along with people, some basic standards of behavior, the story is very good.

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Sep 17, 2011 1:18 AM hoapres hoapres  says: in response to sam

>> Only one thing I have to say for your comment...come out, try for yourself in the job market and then comment....which I seriously doubt you have done. <<

I have been in the job market and it is extremely grim. 

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Sep 17, 2011 4:47 AM hoapres hoapres  says: in response to Vincenzo

>> Yes, it is a shame.  And it appears as if he's now trying to bury this blog post by adding more blog posts - three more in the last three days.  Usually it's one blog post a week (with exceptions, of course). <<

That is typical of blogging.  Burying the blog is just a fact of life but one can hope that people read your viewpoint and hopefully start to ask questions.

>> While blog posts like this one irk me, overall I do appreciate Don.  He's been a popular punching bag for a lot of people, yet he continues to give his readers the opportunity to express their opinions with little to no censoring. <<

Agreed.  Don has been extremely good about letting people respond to his posts and while it would be nice if he would respond to those disagreeing with his view at least he doesn't shut you up.

The best recent example would be Dice's recent very heavy censorship and banning of those that refuse to drink the koolaid of "booming high tech field".  While Dice can do what it wants on its discussion board, the deletion of posts along with summary banning of posters without warning from my point of view is tacky.  Objectively, I can see why Dice would ban me given that I was able to produce convincing proof that the claim of 80,000 tech jobs was bogus with 90%+ of the jobs being fake.  Understandably if you are claiming that you have 80,000 jobs with someone saying that you likely only have 8,000 jobs is hardly going to be well received.  Banning said poster might be reasonable although I thought it was tacky for Dice to say that multiple warning were given when I was banned without receiving a single warning.

We have companies complaining about shortages and people complaing about not being able to find jobs.  The empirical evidence supports my belief that we don't have a shortage of people but rather of jobs.

If my theory is correct that 90% of job ads posted on bulletin boards are fake mostly as a result of companies broadcasting to multiple agencies then you have only 10% of the jobs claimed by those using job counts from Dice, Craigslist, Careerbuilder, monster, etc.

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Sep 17, 2011 8:16 AM George Alexander George Alexander  says: in response to hoapres

I call it "SEL"  - Skillset, Experience and Location (SEL). What's your's? These are the starting parameters that affect an applicant once in the market.

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Sep 17, 2011 10:37 AM hoapres hoapres  says: in response to George Alexander

>> I call it "SEL"  - Skillset, Experience and Location (SEL). What's your's? These are the starting parameters that affect an applicant once in the market. <<

The problem with SEL.

Skillset - Assuming that you are qualified in general but don't have the latest and greatest "skill set" or "the flavor of the month" then even if you retrain since companies want experience then you can retrain all you want but you won't get the job.

Experience-Age discrimination is rampant so the ideal experience seems to be 5 to 7 years.  Although not as common as a year or two ago, many ads ran saying 3 to 5 or 5 to 7 years of experience.  Also companies can get fresh college grads or even low cost H1B labor.

Location-If you are in the wrong location looking for a job then even if you are willing to move then you are not likely to find an employer willing to pay your relocation costs and you are going to be reluctant to move for a low paying job that might last only a few months.  No area of the country has a labor shortage to the extent that they are willing to advertise outside their locality along with offering paid relocation.

I am skeptical to say the least when we hear at the same time talk of IT labor shortages and people having trouble finding work at the same time.  I suspect the answer to that dilema of shortage and surplus is very simple in that we don't have enough IT jobs to go around to those qualified to do them.

If you accept the theory that Y people are competing for X jobs with Y greater than X then Y - X people are going to not be finding work.

And most of these claims of shortage are based on bogus job counts as previously discussed with companies broadcasts.  A broadcast is when companies use multiple agencies compete for the same job.  If 10 agencies are advertising for the same job then the job boards count that as 10 jobs when in reality you are dealing with only 1 job.

The claim of leaving ads on for a long time only supports the contention that many of the jobs don't exist as the company is looking for a nonexistent purple squirrel.  Let's get real. IT is not theoretical physics.  If you are really serious about hiring someone then you can do so and not take 2 years.  You may have to offer more money or pay to relocate someone but if a job ad is running for 2 years then realistically the job really doesn't exist.

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Sep 18, 2011 4:04 AM hoapres hoapres  says: in response to sam

>> Translation for comments "everything is ME"...other than myself no one is trusted. <<

Partly accurate.

I trust myself to gather the information to determine the best possible course of action for myself.

As for YOU or anybody ELSE, YOU AND ONLY YOU are RESPONSIBLE for gathering the information to determine the BEST course of action for YOUR particular circumstances.

If anything is learned from this thread is that you should be EXTREMELY SKEPTICAL of ANY advice given particularly those from anonymous posters.

However those that just don't "hand wave" and BACK IT UP with some factual basis for supporting their claims get a lot more credibility.

Of course I have a subjective opinion but if I say something is dubious then I try to back it up with at least a plausible theory.

And another thing that improves credibility is that if I know someone has been censored from posting opposing views then he is much more believable than those making the claim.  As previously mentioned and only those long timers at Dice would know best but my being banned from Dice is likely to support my contention that the 80K+ Dice tech jobs is a bogus claim. 

Again, it is YOUR responsibility to check the facts.

>> You have any source other than BLS...may be they are not 100% correct also they are not 100% wrong? <<

Sure do.

With regards to BLS the best evidence would be to compare the actual results of past predictions which is extremely poor along with noting that at one point BLS cited Robert Half as a source for the evidence of a "booming high tech field"

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Sep 18, 2011 9:19 AM sam sam  says: in response to hoapres

Unemployment data is not prediction it is actual data, I was expecting your source of to disapprove 3.7% unemployment in IT.

Your comparison with past prediction (seriously!!! you never understood the meaning of prediction...try same comparison for your local meteorologist) with current unemployment data is no starter.

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Sep 18, 2011 11:18 AM hoapres hoapres  says: in response to sam

>> Unemployment data is not prediction it is actual data, I was expecting your source of to disapprove 3.7% unemployment in IT. <<

You have not figured it out.

I don't really have to prove anything to be a skeptic.

BLS has been thoroughly discredited in the past and if you want to believe someone with an extremely poor track record then certainly you can do so.

IT unemployment is nebulous at best.  What counts as an IT person ?? Is an IT person only one that has been or is currently employed in IT ?? What about new unemployed graduates of IT programs ?? Are new unemployed IT graduates having never worked in IT considered as part of the unemployed ?? What is a new IT graduate ?? Does an ITT Tech grad count as an IT person ?? Does a UC Berkeley grad counts as an IT person ?? What is considered an IT graduate ?? Does an EE degree count as IT ?? Does a CS degree count as IT ??

I can easily have an IT unemployment rate of 0% by simply defining an IT person as someone currently employed doing it.

So statements such as "Unemployment data is actual data" does not really say anything.  What would be good to see is the ACTUAL DATA with the analysis.  Then YOU can conclude whether or not the organization in this claim BLS is accurate or not.

>> Your comparison with past prediction (seriously!!! you never understood the meaning of prediction...try same comparison for your local meteorologist) with current unemployment data is no starter. <<

If you say so.

To me, the results of past prediction is probably a good indicator of the liklihood of future predictions being proved accurate.

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Sep 19, 2011 12:25 PM Roy Lawson Roy Lawson  says: in response to sam

"Unemployment data is not prediction it is actual data, I was expecting your source of to disapprove 3.7% unemployment in IT."

It is the number of people COLLECTING UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS.  So if you aren't collecting unemployment benefits (they expire, and some people don't qualify) you aren't considered unemployed.

A number of people are also "under-employed".  Meaning they are doing side work or part-time work and considered employed.  Or they are in jobs that pay far less than they have earned historically.

There are two BLS unemployment figures in IT - management and non-management.  So I could cherry pick data based on what "I consider IT" and make the numbers look terrible or great.

If you are going to cite a statistic, please also cite your source.  I believe that figure is low...but I'm not sure exactly what you are citing so I can't be sure.

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Sep 20, 2011 7:43 AM sam sam  says: in response to Roy Lawson

BLS monthly report is something everyone looks for and you need source for that? If you don't read monthly reports how you pass judgment on their results. If you stopped reading their reports then better stop criticize them.

People discredit a whole organization based on prediction result sounds absurd...

Predictions always have 100's of changing variables and there is limitation with any prediction. When technologies changes super-fast (no one knows what can be successful after 10yrs from now....no one thought Iphone apps will be great business 10yrs back) those predictions may not match with the reality and if you need someone to tell that then you really has no basis to comment about them.

No one can give 100% accurate data unless they stop sampling and get data from every single person which in real world not possible.

Everyone who understands BLS data knows their assumptions or criteria they consider and read with some grain of salt rather than blaming them for not predicting 100% accurately.

When we read BLS data from past decades (to compare provided those assumptions stays same or with minor changes here and there) so any decrease or increase in particular data gives you the direction in which that particular data/issue travels.

When a particular sector is @ 3.7% (I look for "Computer and mathematical occupations" http://www.bls.gov/web/empsit/cpseea30.pdf)  unemployed comparing to 13.2% unemployment rate is nothing€..when the assumptions stays same (€œIt is the number of people COLLECTING UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS.€)...hope you understand what I meant...

Also, I'm not sure anyone is out of unemployment benefit with congress extended up to 99weeks and planning to increase for more weeks..which means this could be more authentic (when compared) than historic data.

If you have to guide kids, you won't ask them to choose industry which is around 13% unemployment rate instead you need to point them towards industry where unemployment rate is super low (compared to 13%) and unemployment rate is going down (for example€legal occupations are at 3.3% but still they increased from 2.2% to 3.3% which shows trend is towards increased unemployment).

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Sep 20, 2011 8:49 AM Roy Lawson Roy Lawson  says: in response to sam

"BLS monthly report is something everyone looks for and you need source for that?"

BLS has volumes of data.  The figure you cited could have been from a particular year, occupuation, management vs worker, cherry picked.  The 3.6 is low, so I want to know exactly what data you are looking at.

Your comments reflect those of someone unfamiliar with BLS data aside from what is reported in the media.

If you bothered to watch the video of my presentation on the matter, you will see that I have looked at many different aspects of BLS data - from multiple surveys.  Based on predictions vs results of projections, criticism of the BLS is quite justified.

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Sep 21, 2011 8:47 AM hoapres hoapres  says: in response to sam

>> Also, I'm not sure anyone is out of unemployment benefit with congress extended up to 99weeks and planning to increase for more weeks..which means this could be more authentic (when compared) than historic data. <<

More than 518,000 Californians have exhausted their 99 weeks of benefits and new proposals do not increase the maximum number of weeks of employment benefits

http://www.edd.ca.gov/Unemployment/Federal_Unemployment_Insurance_Extensions.htm

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