America’s Tech Talent Crunch 2013


While the economic recovery in the United States has dawdled since the end of the Great Recession in mid-2009, the job market for tech professionals has stood as an entirely different story during the same time period. Headlines about the U.S. unemployment rate dipping to 7.5 percent in April 2013 meant little to IT pros whose tech unemployment rate hovers near three percent. And when it comes to job creation during the recovery, tech stands alone in contrast to previous economic downturns.

grad-cap-bigComparing recovery timelines for the past three recessions reveals that more tech positions have been created since the June 2009 “official” end of the Great Recession than at similar points following the recessions of 1991 and 2001.

Two years ago, a Dice analysis of tech hiring and the state of higher education – the May 2011 publication “America’s Tech Talent Crunch” – revealed a shortage of computer science and computer information graduates entering the workforce in comparison to the number of available jobs posted daily on Dice.com, the nation’s leading career website for technology professionals. The gist of that report in a single sentence? The United States had a dire need to produce more skilled workers, and quickly, to meet companies’ exponentially growing demand for savvy tech pros.

Now comes a follow-up report showing that the heightened demand for skilled computer graduates has in fact driven the supply of new grads upward across the tech marketplace. According to the U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, the number of computer and information science bachelor’s degrees conferred, which peaked at nearly 60,000 degrees granted in 2004, reached a recent low of less than 38,000 bachelor’s degrees given in 2009. But since then?

The number of IT bachelor’s degrees earned in the United States jumped four percent between 2009 and 2010, then jumped another nine percent (to more than 43,000 bachelors degrees conferred) the year after that. Meanwhile, the number of computer-related associate’s degrees also has surged upward since hitting a trough in 2007 during the decade, when less than 28,000 such degrees were conferred nationally. According to federal statistics, 37,677 IT-related associates degrees were conferred in 2011, a jump of 16 percent year-over-year and an increase of 36 percent over the past four years.

To download the full report, visit America’s Tech Talent Crunch 2013.