Demand ‘Far Outweighs’ Raleigh’s Available Tech Talent


What’s New This Quarter

In April, MetLife executives told the Raleigh, N.C., area’s Triangle Business Journal that their local expansion plans are proceeding quickly. The company is hiring ahead of projections for its new global technology and operations hub and is receiving 1,000 resumes a week. To date, about one third of the 1,200 jobs MetLife promised to create at the new campus in Cary have been filled.

Lenovo’s activities in the area are also growing as it absorbs its latest acquisitions: the $2.1 billion purchase of IBM’s low-end server line and the $2.9 billion purchase of Motorola Mobility from Google. Lenovo bases its Americas division in Morrisville, and plans to move its enterprise business into Research Triangle Park buildings once occupied by Ericsson when the server deal is complete.

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Three other companies have announced big news for the Triangle tech crowd:

  • Cisco Systems announced plans to expand its campus and create 550 new jobs by the end of 2017. The California-based company, which already employs about 5,000 workers and contractors in RTP, will build a new datacenter on campus. North Carolina offered Cisco an economic development incentive package worth $12.9 million that will be payable if employment goals are met over the next 12 years. The state beat out Georgia and Texas for the expansion, and the company currently has about 150 finance, operations and advanced network services positions listed.
  • Novozymes will establish a new R&D office dedicated to its bioagriculture business. It will be located in Cary, where the company will invest $36 million over the next three years and create 100 new research and development jobs.

Cary approved AT&T’s plan to bring its GigaPower fiber service to the town, following Raleigh’s lead. AT&T’s North Carolina Next Generation Network partnership means fiber-based networks will come to community centers and public facilities. It also means that current and new U-verse subscribers will have the option to upgrade.

And finally, the latest report from the North Carolina Technology Association found a 1.7 percent monthly improvement in technology job listings for March, the most recent month analyzed. Financial and banking employers and IT services had more job openings in March than they had in February, while defense positions slowed. Despite the good news, the 3,030 IT jobs that were posted statewide in March represent a 22.9 percent drop from one year ago.

Skills in Demand

“An uptick in automation projects and software upgrade initiatives is driving the need for skilled IT professionals in Raleigh,” says Zane Sosna, Raleigh branch manager of recruiter Robert Half Technology. “A number of healthcare and SaaS companies, in particular, are adding to the opportunities available, especially for tech professionals with Microsoft-oriented software development skills and a deep knowledge of automation or process improvement skills.”

According to Mary Bailey, Durham-based senior account manager for recruiting firm Randstad, the area’s IT job market is extremely hot. “The demand for project managers, business analysts, data analysts and developers far outweighs the talent available here,” she says. “Employees have more options than ever before. In most cases, the best candidates are only on the job market for three to five days and then have several offers to choose from.”

Sixty percent of the Raleigh technology executives surveyed by Robert Half Technology said that desktop support is among the skill sets in greatest demand within their IT departments. Network administration and wireless network management followed. Local recruiters say demand remains strongest for database managers, Web developers specializing in Java and .NET, business intelligence experts and data warehousing experts.

According to Robert Half Technology, 15 percent of Raleigh-area CIOs plan to expand their teams in the second half of 2014. Another 76 percent plan to hire for only open IT roles. Eighty-nine percent of Raleigh-area chief information officers (CIOs) were optimistic about their companies’ prospects for growth in the second half, and 66 percent feel confident in their firms’ plans to invest in IT projects.

Salary Trends

According to the 2014-2013 Dice Salary Survey, the average salary for a Raleigh-based IT professional is $85,559, up 2.3 percent from the previous year but 2.6 percent below the national average of $87,811.

Leading Industries

  • Biotech/Science
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Financial Services
  • Information Technology
  • Healthcare

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