Tech Skills in Short Supply

There is a significant gap between the number of open jobs and the tech-skilled graduates coming out of universities and into the American workforce, according to a new report by technology jobs website

The report, "America's Tech Talent Crunch", found that 18 states and Washington, D.C., have a shortage of graduates when comparing job openings to associate's and bachelor's degrees conferred in 2009.

Dice took a one-day snapshot of its job postings and compared that to the number of computer science and computer information graduates recently entering the workforce. The snapshot shows a 60 percent jump in the number of job postings since the lowest point in the recession two years ago, Dice found.

At the same time, the number of students receiving computer science-related degrees is down since 2003-2004, when the number of such degrees peaked at 59,488. Since then, lack of interest, the market's volatility and the recession have furthern driven down the number of IT graduates, which now stands at about 38,000 per years, Dice noted.

A survey released late last week by the National Association of Colleges and Employers reaffirms the heightened demand for IT pros: more than 56 percent of computer science majors who have applied for a job have received an offer, making it the major with the highest offer rate from the class of 2011.

Meanwhile, the one-day snapshot of Dice job postings also showed that the fastest growing skills for technology professionals are for cloud and software. Companies also are demanding tech professionals with skills in Oracle; J2EE/Java; C, C++ and C#; project management and SQL, the report notes.

Still, with the supply of IT pros not keeping up with demand, many would assume that salaries for such workers are up. But Dice's most recent Salary Survey indicates otherwise: the average pay raise for tech workers last year was less than 1 percent, with average salaries jumping from $78,845 in 2009 to $79,384 in 2010. Average salaries for those with less than two years of experience are down 6 percent since 2008, dipping down to about $47,000 per year field-wide, Dice found.