Future U.S. job market trends

August 10, 2011

How will the U.S. job market evolve in the next seven years in computing? What are the main job trends for computer science and computer information systems graduates? What are the expected fastest-growing jobs in computing? Some of the answers for these and other related questions are available in the latest “2010-2011 Occupational Outlook Handbook,” which was written by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

According to the BLS report, two of the fastest-growing occupations are in the computer specialist occupational group. Network systems and data communications analysts are projected to be the second fastest-growing occupation in the U.S. economy in terms of the number of new jobs and percent change. The BLS projects that this profession is expected to grow by 53.4 percent to almost 448,000 workers in 2018.

“Demand for these workers will increase as organizations continue to upgrade their information technology capacity and incorporate the newest network, software, Internet, and mobile technologies. The growing reliance on wireless networks will result in a need for more network systems and data communications analysts as well,” according to the report.

According to an engineering article in Fortune, the third fastest-growing occupation in the United States is software engineers; it is expected to grow by about 34 percent to 689,900 by 2018 (details are available at http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2010/pf/1009/gallery.jobs_future.fortune/3.html). “Computer applications software engineers also are expected to grow rapidly until 2018. Expanding web technologies have spurred demand for these workers, who can develop innovative Internet, intranet, and web applications,” according to the BLS report.

Additionally, according to the article “11 hot skills for 2011” in ComputerWorld, (http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/351231/11_hot_skills_for_2011), “talented programmers and project managers will be at the starting line.” The following ranked skills in the computing area are in high demand by industry in 2011:

  • programming and application development
  • project management
  • help desk/technical support
  • networking
  • security
  • data center
  • web 2.0
  • telecommunications
  • business intelligence
  • collaboration architecture
  • business acumen and communication skills

Some of this information is available on the department website, which is in the process of a university-wide makeover.