The information technology (IT) jobs landscape is never static. It reflects the steady state of innovation and the vast array of tech-driven changes taking place across the economy. At a macro level, it’s relatively easy to get a sense of the size of the IT workforce and the key roles involved in developing, deploying and supporting technology. CompTIA’s IT Industry Outlook and Cyberstates reports are good sources for this type of data. However, when attempting to drill down to a more granular level, alternative approaches are needed.
Information Technology is now used so pervasively by businesses of all types across the U.S. economy, IT workers can be found in just about every corner of the country. Whether at the state level or any one of the 381 metropolitan statistical areas, the depth and breadth of the IT workforce is evident in the data.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics there are 4.2 million core IT workers employed by various types of businesses as of May 2014. Note: this classification does not include self employed or sole proprietor workers. As a percentage of the total base of IT workers, Software Developers for Applications holds the top spot, followed by Computer User Support Specialists. The top 5 IT occupations account for 60% of the total.
IT Occupation as a % of the Total Base of IT Occupations
- 16% Software Developers for Applications
- 13% Computer User Support Specialists
- 13% Computer Systems Analysts
- 9% Software Developers for Systems Software
- 9% Network and Computer Systems Administrators
While Software Developers for Applications (blue-shaded region on the map) represents the single largest type of IT occupation, there is slightly more geographic diversity with Computer User Support Specialists (red-shaded regions on the map). When analyzing the top IT occupation by state, as determined by the number of workers, 35% of states have Computer User Support Specialists as their top IT occupation.
Frequency of IT Occupation Ranked as Top IT Occupation by State
- 35% Computer User Support Specialists
- 33% Software Developers for Applications
- 12% Computer Systems Analysts
- 8% Other Computer Occupations
- 6% Network and Computer Systems Administrators
- 6% Software Developers for Systems Software
This pattern becomes even more pronounced at the MSA level, as 56% of MSAs have Computer User Support Specialist as their top IT occupation. The Software Developers for Applications category falls to 17%. This effect is largely due to a number of regions with very high concentrations of Software Developers. These are sometimes referred to as tech hubs because of the heavy software component of innovation today, even among devices. Silicon Valley, represented by the San Jose MSA, typically comes to mind when thinking about tech hubs or innovation centers.
MSAs with the Largest Number of Software Developers for Applications
- 63,590 New York
- 46,010 Seattle
- 34,700 Washington, DC
- 33,990 San Jose
- 27,280 San Francisco
- 26,480 Boston
- 25,610 Chicago
- 25,370 Los Angeles
- 17,490 Atlanta
- 14,890 Philadelphia
- 14,810 Denver
The time period 2001-2014 saw an incredible amount of innovation, as well as some ups and downs in the tech space. One the heels of the dot.com bust and the economic challenges associated with 9/11, over 216,000 IT jobs were lost from 2001 to 2002, a drop of -5.5%. IT job growth picked up slightly over the next few years until hitting a wall with the onset of the Great Recession. In 2009, 150,000 IT jobs were lost, representing a decline of -3.8%. A combination of a strengthening economy and increased demand for emerging technologies such as mobility, cloud computing and big data, spurred the largest IT job gains of the past 15 years. From 2011-2014, more than 440,000 new IT jobs were created, yielding a CAGR of 2.8%.
Aggregate % Change in IT Occupations 2001-2014 [Top 10 by % Change]
- 32% Washington
- 32% District of Columbia
- 25% Utah
- 23% Texas
- 22% North Carolina
- 20% South Carolina
- 19% Arizona
- 19% Nevada
- 18% Montana
- 17% Virginia
This map depicts data compiled by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statics as part of its Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) program. The data covers only workers within employer firms – those with payroll. Self-employed workers are counted separately and are not included in this data set. The data time period is May 2014, with comparisons made to May 2011 data.
Metropolitan statistical areas (MSA) are geographic entities delineated by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for use by Federal statistical agencies in collecting, tabulating, and publishing Federal statistics. A metro area contains a core urban area of 50,000 or more population. The OMB currently lists 381 MSAs, which account for 86% of the population of the United States.
In some cases an MSA may be roughly equivalent to a city region, while in others, the MSA may be significantly broader, such as the New York City metropolitan area. In addition to metropolitan areas, the OMB also uses a categorization for micropolitan areas, or towns with populations between 10,000 and 50,000. The map found on this page depicts metropolitan statistical area (MSA) data only.
CompTIA is responsible for categorizing the data into segments reflecting the information technology (IT) workforce, as well as data analysis and map creation. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.