Information Systems and Technology Professionals Continue to Be in High Demand
Have you been weighing the benefits of potential degree paths recently, or perhaps pondering a career change? Technology may be the way to go! A recent survey by Information Systems professors Jeffrey Cummings and Thomas Janicki in the Cameron School of Business at UNCW report that Information Systems professionals continue to exceed the average growth rate of all business occupations.
Their results match the growth and findings from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2018), where computer and technology jobs are expected to grow by 13 percent between 2016 and 2026. The Bureau also details the growth by occupation titles within IT. These include Information Security Analyst (+28%), Software Developer (+22%), Web Developer (+15%), Data Base Analyst (+11%) and System Analyst (+9%).
Closer to home, the UNCW survey reported on the IT professionals demand for North Carolina versus the nationwide by IT occupation. The following table reports the hiring expectation by occupational area, not the overall growth rate.
|1||Software Developers||Software Developers|
|2||Business / System Analysts||Business / System Analysts|
|3||Other IT Skills||Other IT Skills|
|4||Network / Security Specialists||Data Analyst|
|5||Project Managers||Project Managers|
|6||Data Analyst||Network / Security Analysts|
This survey is completed every five years; this year, software developers and business analysts continue to lead the demand for IT professionals in North Carolina. Moving up in demand were Network and Security Analysts (matching the highest growth percentage nationwide); dropping in the latest survey was the need for IT Data Analysts.
Another implication for IT professionals is that, while many IT professionals seek additional training in their technical skills, employers indicate additional non-IT skills should be included in their tool kit. These include: general communication skills, enhanced writing skills, overall knowledge of data analytics concepts and basic accounting knowledge.
UNCW offers an innovative M.S. Computer Science & Information Degree designed to provide its graduates with the knowledge and practical skills to land a career in the technology field of their choice. Advanced study areas of the degree include Biometrics, Software Development and Information Security, among others.
Locally, the demand for IT professionals continues to grow as does the total number of regional IT professionals. Evidence of this growth in the occupation can be seen in the increased popularity of the annual Wilmington Information Technology eXchange (WITX). WITX started 15 years ago with only 65 IT professionals in attendance, while the 2018 conference had over 560 IT professionals attending. This year’s WITX will be held on Tuesday, April 9th on UNCW’s campus. It will feature learning sessions and keynotes on the recent trends in the IT field, including Cyber Security issues, Agile Development, Cloud Computing and IT Entrepreneurship as well as other IT topics. In addition, UNCW will be announcing its new Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education and its impact on the region. More details and registration can be found at https://uncw.edu/witx.
By, Drs. Tom Janicki and Jeffrey Cummings, UNCW Cameron School of Business