4 Job Titles on the Rise
4 Job Titles on the Rise
| career | job search - Ross Heintzkill

4 Job Titles on the Rise

To keep ahead of the furious pace of IT, you’ve have to keep an eye on growing trends. With that in mind, here are six IT job roles primed for big growth.

The job market for IT professionals can fluctuate rapidly and seem intimidating. If you’re an IT professional looking for work, wouldn’t it be helpful to have a sense of which IT jobs are gaining in popularity throughout the country – and learn where the biggest job growth is happening in information technology? What are the IT jobs that are gaining in popularity?

After importing data about IT jobs from widely diverse data sets like job descriptions on professional social sites, direct imports from the web’s most popular job sites, and scraped job postings from all over the country, it’s clear that there are some IT jobs that are on the rise compared to others.

There’s simply no single way to present all the data, but be sure to check our visually interactive country map with job data broken down by ZIP code: the State of IT Jobs.

In analyzing all the job descriptions, job posts, Google searches and results about IT jobs throughout the country, it’s clear there are four IT job titles that stand out from the rest as being not only attractive, but had a steady increase in popularity throughout 2019 and show no sign of dipping in 2020. The four IT job titles that are on the rise right now are:

  • Chief Technology Officer
  • Security Architect
  • IT Support Engineer
  • Project/Program/Product Manager

Chief Technology Officer

The data suggests that jobs for chief technology officer ended 2019 on a high, but they were steadily rising to their December high point from as early in the year as August. Job postings for chief technology officers, or posts about them, rose from August straight through to the end of the year.

An analysis of the popularity of chief technology officer as a search result for Google tells an interesting counter-narrative, though. The term dipped in August, and then reliably stayed low through the end of the year. It was only very briefly in fall when the popularity of chief technology officer as a search result rose above its year-long average. This seeming contradiction could indicate that while posts seeking chief technology officers rose throughout the year, searches being done on Google by candidates were low in the latter part of the year.

Searches for chief technology officer were most popular in Illinois, Oregon, Washington, Massachusetts, and North Carolina. The metropolitan areas where chief technology officer was a popular search result were Boston/Manchester, San Francisco/Oakland, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Washington D.C..

Security Architect

Security architect showed the strongest, steadiest increase in job posts and descriptions throughout 2019 compared to almost any other job title analyzed. Not only were there many job posts throughout the year, but they continually climbed — nearly every week had more results than the one before it.

Breaking news about network security holes and bugs happens all the time, and is very likely why jobs for security architects continually gained in popularity for the year. For example, in the middle of 2019, it was reported that nearly a third of all private VPNs are secretly owned by six Chinese companies. Following this, people and companies all over the world scrambled to confirm that their data was still secure and there were no holes in network security.

According to Google results, security architect had a steep rise in popularity at the beginning of 2019 that was followed by a steady trickle of interest. The summer months saw some highly erratic returns for the popularity of security architect as a search term, but by the time early fall came around, security architect was once again extremely popular.

Security architect was most frequently searched for in Maryland, Oregon, Georgia, New Jersey, Texas. When compared by metropolitan area, Washington DC, San Francisco/Oakland, Dallas/Ft Worth, Chicago, and Atlanta were where security architect was searched most frequently.

IT Support Engineer

IT support engineer was one job title with many postings and available positions all throughout 2019. But data shows that it was toward the end of 2019, when IT support engineer job positions and descriptions surged. That surge remained steady through the winter months and started 2020 very strong.

The popularity with which IT support engineer was searched on Google holds up this finding. Although at the start of 2019, the search term was only searched with intermittent frequency, in March there was a surge of interest which then became the new normal afterward. As a search result, IT support engineer saw a sudden increase in the summer months that then steadily increased through fall and into the new year.

The states where IT support engineer was most popular on Google were Maryland, California, Texas, New York, and Oregon. The metro areas where searches for IT support engineer occurred most frequently were San Francisco/Oakland, Portland, New York, and Los Angeles.

Program Manager and Product Owner

This entry is in fact a combination of several different IT job titles for simplicity’s sake. It covers program manager, product owner, and other variations. The results for all these entries had something in common: jobs for all of them were extremely common throughout 2019, but the number of jobs rose all throughout the year too.

The digital world is rapidly approaching a turning point in the use of data automation, artificial intelligence and machine learning. The entire IT industry is poised not just to make use of big data, but to expand operations and management with algorithms and machines. Program managers are essential both in making that transition, and following through with it: trained PMs are the only people who can keep large-scale projects on-task and make sense out of chaotic changes.

In terms of jobs throughout the country, special mention should go to technical project manager, which had both the steadiest increase as well as the highest volume of results, as well as senior product manager, which saw a very steep rise throughout 2019. Product owner had a steadier increase in job interest throughout the year, seeing a spike in the middle of 2019 which declined back to its normal levels by the end of the year.

New York, Virginia, New Jersey, Oregon, and California all saw the highest number of searches relative to the rest of the country for these collective terms. Meanwhile as far as metro areas, Washington DC, Seattle/Tacoma, Los Angeles, San Francisco/Oakland, and New York led the nation in searches for these terms.

Special Mention

Throughout 2019, two jobs caught our eye as being borderline cases that didn’t quite fit classification as clearly on the rise or clearly holding steady.

  • Splunk Engineer
  • Associate Software Engineer

Splunk engineer is a particular skill set and applies to only one software set, but it’s a software that’s rapidly growing in popularity. And it had steady interest all throughout 2019 right up until the end of the year when there was a sudden spike upward in interest about the job.

Associate software engineers, on the other hand, saw a sudden rise at the start of the year and then remained steady at newly elevated levels.

The way that these two IT job titles performed throughout 2019 was so notable that we wanted to make sure we brought it to the attention of any Splunk engineers or associate software engineers looking for where their job falls relative to others.

The steady interest in Splunk is almost certainly thanks to its successful year insinuating itself into all corners of business. Splunk spent the year purchasing several companies to make itself even more valuable to the ever-popular Internet of Things. Splunk isn’t yet to the point of being needed by every IT company, but some of the biggest corporations are increasingly reliant on it for making sense of machine-generated log data.

A downside for any Splunk engineers who want to bring their expertise throughout the country is that searches for Splunk engineers happen overwhelmingly most often in California. In fact, according to Google, no other region was significantly likely to move the needle in search results for the job.

Not only is software engineer one of the most numerous IT jobs in the country, but when the number of jobs available in every state is tallied up, software engineer averages out as the No. 6 IT job nationally. It stands to reason that entry-level software engineers would be in high demand as well — the pipeline has to start somewhere.

California, Texas, and New York were where interest for associate software engineers was highest. And in terms of metro areas, San Francisco/Oakland, and New York City had the most common searches for associate software engineer by far.

Explore the State of IT Jobs Map

There you have it, the country’s four most popular IT job titles based on available job posts, currently held job descriptions, search results and more – plus two honorable mentions. Hopefully, seeing these four job titles measure up on the national scene gives a small sense of where to look for jobs, and maybe even where to take your career.

To get even more data about IT jobs throughout the entire country, check out our interactive map, State of IT Jobs.

Data source and methodology: The data in this post was aggregated from active job postings on major U.S. job sites and represents February 2019 to February 2020. Any job counts actually represent job postings queries by keyword rather than actual jobs.

Duplicates. While we filter for duplicates in weekly batches of jobs, it’s possible jobs that remain posted on the job boards may be counted each week. The map is updated weekly. 

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