What’s New This Quarter
Given all the recent stories about the NSA’s efforts to collect communications data, you’d be justified in thinking you can jumpstart your technology career in the Washington metropolitan area by becoming a Big Data specialist. After all, someone has to sort through the 6.1 trillion text messages the world generates every year.
The truth isn’t so simple. A recent Meritalk survey found that none of the 17 government agencies it looked at have successfully embraced Big Data yet. But looking forward, more than two-thirds of the study’s respondents think Big Data will be central to fulfilling their missions within five years.
In the meantime, the overall IT climate looks good. According to Heather Raines, Recruiting Director for Randstad Technologies in the Washington area, “In the last few years, as the rest of the county has seen increasing unemployment rates, the D.C. market has remained recession-proof.” She sees a “strong presence” of high-level IT jobs open in both government and non-government organizations. Local startups are looking for people with the newest skills and technologies to keep their projects on the bleeding edge of IT. “People continue to relocate to D.C. because it’s been a hotbed for IT jobs,” she says.
Skills in Demand
Local recruiters see the strongest demand for software developers in areas such as .NET, SharePoint, ERP and Java. Network administration, database management, and desktop support are also strong categories.
IT recruiting firm Robert Half Technology recently reported that 12 percent of the region’s technology executives expect to expand their teams in 2013’s third quarter. That’s down from 16 percent in the second quarter. However, 59 percent plan to hire to fill open roles. Some 85 percent were optimistic about their companies’ prospects for growth, and 64 percent felt confident in their firms’ third-quarter investment in IT projects.
Tech salaries in the area are strong, as well. According to TechAmerica, IT workers there earned an average salary of $102,000 in 2012, 106 percent more than Virginia’s average private-sector wage. Technology companies employed 9.8 percent of the area’s private sector workers, the highest in the country.
- Defense Contracting
- Outsourced Government Services