While employers continue to seek cybersecurity professionals and software developers at a brisk pace, the demand for data processing professionals cooled a bit in September.
According to information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of hires for data processing, hosting and related services improved by a modest 300 jobs last month. But that was offset by hiring for information security professionals, largely in response to well-publicized data breaches, and custom software development.
Overall, the U.S. information technology sector added an estimated 3,200 new jobs in September, countering employment slowdowns in other areas of the economy, according to an analysis by CompTIA, the leading technology association.
Computer and electronic products manufacturing recorded its best month for employment in 2017, adding 3,000 jobs, the monthly “CompTIA IT Employment Tracker” reveals. New hiring in the computers and peripheral equipment and semiconductors and electronic components manufacturing categories paced the growth.
IT services and custom software development had another strong month, adding an estimated 4,200 jobs, according to CompTIA. For the year, 106,600 net new jobs have been generated in this category.
“Because postponing digital business transformation is becoming an increasingly risky proposition, businesses of all sizes seek the expertise and tools to modernize their legacy systems,” said Tim Herbert, senior vice president, research and market intelligence, CompTIA.
Across the entire economy, employers added an estimated 105,000 IT occupations in September, Herbert noted. On the downside, other information services, including search portals, shed an estimated 2,400 jobs and telecommunications declined by 1,900 positions last month.
Demand for cybersecurity professionals
While the monthly BLS employment report does not break-out cybersecurity occupations, job posting data and surveys of business leaders suggest continued strong demand for cybersecurity expertise across the economy.
“Whether short-term job numbers rise or fall, there is simply no question that IT and specifically IT security specialists are going to remain in extremely high demand,” said Corey White, senior vice president of professional services at cybersecurity software firm Cylance, and chairman of the CompTIA Cybersecurity Advisory Board.
“The increase in extremely damaging data breaches has certainly led to an increase in demand for skilled cybersecurity workers and leading-edge services,” White continued. “We are among many companies who will always be looking to hire highly qualified, well-trained professionals.”
According to the cybersecurity jobs supply and demand map CyberSeek.org, there were nearly 300,000 job postings for cybersecurity positions in the roughly 12-month period from mid-2016 to mid-2017.
“Additionally, because every IT worker, and even most knowledge workers, have some level of involvement in cybersecurity, demand for cybersecurity skills is much broader than the dedicated cybersecurity roles reflected in the job posting data,” Herbert stressed.
The importance of cybersecurity readiness is heightened during October, designated as National Cyber Security Awareness Month by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Job postings for IT positions experienced their largest drop of the year, falling nearly 40,000 in September from, the previous month. There was little change in the occupations employers are hiring for: software developers, computer system engineers/architects, computer systems analysts, IT support specialists, and web developers.
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