Texas Tech Job Market


There is no such thing as a fair and balanced recovery. That’s true for technology professionals in Texas, despite being one of the first states to fully recover the jobs deficit brought on by the last recession.

Generally speaking, recruiting activity for Texas tech talent is up in this year – the nearly 6,800 Texas-based job postings on Dice.com as of July 1st represents a 15 percent increase from 2011.

“A lot of the activity has to do with new employers relocating to Texas,” said Melisa Bockrath, VP, Americas Product Group, IT at Kelly Services. “The number of companies that are setting up operations in Texas is significant.”

Government statistics reported at the state level underscore Ms. Brockrath’s point. Last year, Texas saw the creation of more than 140,000 business entities, according to the Texas Secretary of State’s office. This year so far, the state has added another 82,000 new businesses.

As far Texas cities go, there seemed to be wide agreement on what’s driving opportunity. In Houston, the energy sector is driving the hiring upswing, especially for software developers and project managers. In the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex, abundant corporate headquarters have created opportunities for technology professionals. In Austin, meanwhile, a unique concentration of java development keeps gaming, insurance and payment companies searching for developers.

But mostly, tech job possibilities in Texas depend on which side of the infrastructure/application development divide a tech professional falls. While job possibilities appear plentiful for those with development experience, Texas job markets aren’t running as red-hot for IT managers and other infrastructure tech pros. Ms. Bockrath pegged the market at 3 to 4 application positions for every one infrastructure opening.

This is causing an experience gap. Cyndy Davis, Director of IT Recruiting Solutions with Houston-based Horn Solutions, Inc. said, “There seems to be a glut of infrastructure management candidates looking for positions, but with companies running leaner these days, a senior infrastructure candidate must have the managerial experience without losing their technical edge to land a key role. Overall, there are more tech jobs available and more demand for talent, but fewer qualified individuals in key areas experiencing growth.”

The candidates poised to demand higher compensation as job availability increases? “Those with solid ERP experience, especially in SAP and Oracle, business intelligence remains hot and I see an upswing in demand for anything security, governance, compliance related,” added Ms. Davis.

With recruiting growing, a pay increase is to be expected; that expectation was born out by the most recent Dice Salary Survey figures. Tech pros in Dallas saw an average salary bump of four percent from 2010 to 2011, up to an average of $84,589 per year. In Houston, pay increases averaged seven percent bringing the average annual salary to $89,307. And in Austin, the average pay hike was 13 percent, elevating salaries to a state-topping $89,419 per year.

Peggy Rinehart, a hiring expert with the energy sector’s Texas Reliability Entity, said, “The Austin market seemed to return with vigor early this year. Mid-senior levels appear to be in greater demand and there is definitely more competition for them.”

Ms. Bockrath noted, “Austin can be a challenging market in which to identify talent due to its size, but it’s starting to attract talent from larger cities.”  Not soon enough Ms. Rinehart explains, “It feels like an employees’ market again, at least in Austin.”

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Dice is hosting a Texas Virtual Career Fair for technology and engineering professionals on July 26, 2012 from 10 AM to 3 PM CT.  Candidates can chat directly with employers in a dynamic online environment.