For tech pros considering a move, Charlotte, NC boasts some big-city amenities, including NFL and NBA teams, a symphony orchestra, and a ballet. There’s also the relatively low cost of living, and, for those who like the outdoors, places like the Blue Ridge Mountains within a few hours’ drive.
When it comes to overall employment, the city isn’t red hot: WalletHub ranks Charlotte 64th out of the top 150 cities for jobs in 2017. But, it’s a different story if you have tech skills. According to Payscale, Charlotte-area software developers can make $69,000 annually, and those who specialize in certain technologies such as data science can expect to earn much more. As a financial hub that supports major banks such as Bank of America and Wells Fargo, Charlotte is also hungry for those who specialize in mobile, security, and encryption.
According to the latest Robert Half Technology IT Hiring Forecast and Local Trend Report, 54 percent of Charlotte CIOs say it’s challenging to find skilled tech professionals. Here are the skills at the top of their list:
Desktop support (57 percent)
Windows administration (56 percent)
Database management (54 percent)
“Tech hiring in the area remains active,” said Lucy Marino, regional manager for Robert Half Technology. “New companies are migrating here for tax incentives and to take advantage of the strong candidate pool. As these companies take root and establish themselves in the area, they’re especially interested in desktop support professionals, web developers and network administrators.”
Aside from hiring, some 31 percent of Charlotte CIOs say more businesses are increasing their digital marketing services. That helps drive hiring. Around 23 percent of those CIOs are also concerned about staff retention.
Local companies are hiring for a variety of experience levels. At mortgage and loan company LendingTree, for example, available jobs run the gamut “from entry-level to highly experienced to separate technical manager roles only focused on managing,” according to Chris Black, its manager of recruiting. The company needs “senior software engineers, staff engineers, even entry-level software engineers who are highly skilled.”
Charlotte has companies heading into the cloud as fast as they can. One is Brighthouse Financial, a new annuity and life-insurance company spun out of MetLife. As CTO Jeff Hughes said: “Brighthouse has committed to a fully cloud-based technology model—100 percent of its business applications will be hosted on the cloud, and the vast majority of them will be delivered by commercial vendors in a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model.”
As a result, Brighthouse is looking for technology associates who can build a new environment. Roles include delivery leaders experienced in SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) models, data-management experts, and cloud architects.
And there are other, fast-growing companies in Charlotte doing interesting work. These include PlanIT Group, an IT services company; Tresata, a firm working on predictive analytics about customer behaviors; and Strategic Managment Decisions, which works on workforce cloud-based surveys and consulting.
In short, whether you’re looking for a bread-and-butter tech support job or cutting-edge work, Charlotte might have a tech job for you.