5 Job Titles That May Be in Trouble
We don't want to alarm anyone, but there are a handful of IT job titles that our data suggest may be on the decline. This isn't to suggest these jobs are vanishing across the country altogether. But it's entirely possible that they're going out of vogue.
If you're looking for work in the IT career field, you may find it helpful to get a sense of which jobs are on the rise, which are remaining steady, and which seem to be disappearing or at least becoming less popular.
After searching through job posts, job descriptions and data from Google about where and how frequently searches are happening for specific IT-related jobs, we've come up with this list of five IT job titles that are seeing low and declining interest:
- Financial systems analyst
- Business systems analyst
- Application systems analyst
- Director of IT
- Application developer
We've been analyzing data about IT jobs across the country in many different ways in an attempt to deliver to you interesting and helpful context about your IT career. If visualizing all of the IT jobs in the country, filtered by certification and ZIP code, could help you, you'll want to check out our State of IT Jobs interactive map.
Financial Systems Analyst
Running contrary to some of our findings elsewhere, which indicates that data analysts rank among the IT jobs with the most job postings available, financial systems analyst postings declined throughout the entire year. During the start of the year they were among the most frequently mentioned IT jobs, but by the end of the year had declined significantly.
It's unclear why financial systems analyst did so poorly in our data. There's evidence to indicate that business analysts and financial analysts are still needed throughout the country, but Google searches do seem to suggest that the interest in the term and the job are very low. As a search term, it was most popular in April 2019, but declined in interest from that point with only occasional and small rises in interest throughout the year.
California seems to be the only state in the U.S. where financial systems analyst is a reliably popular search term. Relative to other IT jobs, financial systems analyst didn't register high enough to attract attention anywhere in the country throughout 2019.
Business Systems Analyst
Like financial systems analysts before it, business systems analyst being on our list of IT jobs seeing a downward trend of interest is another surprise. Our data indicates that positions for data analysts are reliably at the top of the charts for number of IT jobs on a state-by-state basis, yet business systems analyst jobs started 2019 with a decent showing only to experience a steady decrease after August.
The data about business systems analysts from Google is highly similar to the findings we have about the job numbers. According to Google, business systems analyst as it relates to jobs and job searches was its most popular in the early months of 2019. But after May, the term's popularity degraded significantly until it ended the year at nearly the lowest it had been all year, which is in keeping with the data we have about the number of jobs referring to the position.
Rhode Island, Minnesota, Virginia, Massachusetts, and California were the states that retained high interest in business development manager throughout 2019. San Francisco/Oakland, Boston, Providence, Nashville, and Washington, D.C. were the metro areas where the search term managed to remain popular relative to the rest of the country.
Applications Systems Analyst
The presence of so many different systems analysts positions appearing on our list of IT jobs on a downward trend could indicate a shift in the IT community away from job titles that reflect specialization in specialized systems and toward a more generalized job title of data analyst.
Because for financial systems analyst, business systems analyst and applications systems analyst to be appearing in downward trends despite other data showing that jobs for data analysts are regularly in most state's top 3 or 5 IT jobs seems to be contradictory.
Applications systems analyst is also a very, very unpopular search term according to Google, coming in well below business systems analyst in relative popularity and search frequency.
Director of IT
The number of positions that referred to or talked about being a director of IT declined throughout all of 2019. October was the only month that saw even a slight uptick in an otherwise steady downward trend for jobs about Director of IT.
As a search term on Google, the term also had a lackluster 2019. Relative to many other IT-related search terms and jobs, director of IT never came close to enjoying some of the high amounts of interest that other highly popular IT jobs did. While early summer and mid-fall had relatively high levels of interest in director of IT throughout the country, interest fell throughout fall and ended the year low.
This is particularly interesting compared to one of the IT positions that we identified as one of the fastest-growing positions in the country for 2019: chief technology officer. Perhaps the rise of CTO positions has been at the expense of Director of IT positions in companies throughout the country.
Relative to the rest of the country, interest in director of IT seemed to be highest in Kansas, Washington, D.C., Oregon, and Massachusetts. Despite it being a job term that had low interest nationwide, and didn't have a strong showing in number of job posts for the position, Director of IT positions are very likely still strong in those areas.
Jobs that make reference to application developer were at their year-long high point in September, but abruptly turned downward in October, until they all but disappeared in November. These troubling results for application developer jobs may not be a strong indicator of a decline across the board — it could be an outlier in the data or a brief hiccup in the winter months. But nevertheless, application developer jobs enjoyed a strong 2019 only to enter 2020 on an abruptly low note.
Unfortunately, analyzing Google's results for frequency and popularity of searches related to application developer doesn't shed light on why job postings declined so sharply at the end of the year. In fact, application developer as an IT job search saw an uptick in popularity in November. Then, despite a short, rapid decline, there was a steady increase through the end of the year. Eventually, application developer started 2020 with higher searches related to the job than at any time throughout 2019.
These Google results for application developer may not have to be at odds with our data about job postings, if we consider that maybe developers looking for work searched more frequently in the months when jobs became less available. Google suggests that in Louisiana, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Minnesota and Virginia, application developer was a popular search term relative to the rest of the country's average.
What Does This Mean?
This list of IT jobs on the decline isn't meant to surprise anyone who's currently holding one of these positions, or discourage someone who aspires for one of the positions. But hopefully seeing some of the data about IT jobs throughout the country can help an IT professional make a slightly more informed decision about their career and where to take it. Our interactive map of IT jobs, State of IT Jobs, can also help contextualize IT jobs throughout the country.