In Atlanta’s Job Market, Software Is Supreme

A wide array of skills
are in demand as the Peachtree
City works its way toward
economic recovery.

In Atlanta's Job Market, Software is SupremeAs home to several Fortune 500 companies, a thriving
academic community, and a respectable history of technological success, Atlanta has the
ingredients to be a tech leader.

Through the recession, it’s continued to push forward.
"We’ve been lucky because the overall IT climate here has
been improving this year," says Danielle Pasley, branch manager for IT
recruiter Sapphire Technologies Atlanta. "We’ve seen an increase in demand
for both contracting and, more surprisingly, permanent placement recruiting.
The Atlanta
market has recovered faster than many other markets."

The numbers on Dice back up Pasley’s assertion.

In Atlanta's Job Market, Software is SupremeIn October, Atlanta job listings were
up 1.4 percent month to month, with more than 2,000 jobs posted. That total is
actually up 55.8 percent year to year, the fourth best performance of all the
metropolitan areas Dice tracks. (Atlanta’s
overall unemployment rate stood at 10 percent, a little worse than the current
national average of 9.6 percent.)

As for compensation, the latest Dice Salary Survey pegs the
average salary at $78,914, up 1.1 percent over last year.

Who’s in Demand

What sorts of skills are most in demand? "We’ve seen a need
for Drupal and other content management system developers, PHP developers, and
Flash developer," says Pasley. "Other areas are in the data
warehousing/business intelligence space (ETL developers, SSIS/SSAS/SSRS, Ab
Initio, Informatica, Teradata) and various positions within the security space."
In addition, Pasley notes a change from earlier in the year, when .NET
developers and ERP experts were more in demand.

Cloud computing has a lot of buzz in Atlanta – there’ve been a lot of major
networking events dedicated to it. Companies taking cloud service offerings to
market need both the technical and functional teams to do that successfully. Job
titles associated with the cloud range from VMware architects and server
administrators to solutions architects and product managers.

Finance is a $34 billion industry in Georgia, so Atlanta is also seeing action within its
financial sector, specifically within banking. Pasley notes that the media and
entertainment industry has also been booming this year, but telecom, the
traditional leader, has been slow, with hiring only now starting to pick up.

Statewide, the Technology Association of Georgia notes the
state ranks 10th in the country in terms of high tech employment, with software
and IT services yielding most of the new jobs. Security, a $4.7 billion
industry, is another local leader.

Through 2010, the T.A.G. had identified network systems
analysts, computer software engineers in both applications and systems software,
computer systems analysts, and database administrators as the hottest jobs.
When exploring the local job market, the group advises, be sure to check out
all the venture capital activity to look for opportunities at start-ups. VC
money tends to come and go with economic cycles, but there’s always something
new happening.