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Coding Is Back At The Top of the IT Job Heap

According to a recent (December 6, 2013) item on the Dice.com job search website -- a natural purveyor of job market information, trends, and news, as you might well image -- software development is currently the skill in highest demand for technology jobs in the USofA. According to the site, more than 230,000 jobs have been posted there in the past three months. This represents a jump of 3 percent for the same sector from a year ago, and a 120 percent jump from 2009, when the job market was at its most recent lowest ebb.

What kinds of jobs does this general "software developer" label cover? Think about positions that might be called Web developer, systems analyst, software QA (quality assurance), computer programmer, programmer, or IT project manager. All of these things will involve such job-holders in working with software, if they're not actually banging out lines of code day-in and day-out on the keyboard.

By geography, the hottest locations for developers are in New York city, San Francisco and San Jose (California), the Washington, DC metro area (which includes northern Virginia and a large chunk of Maryland), and the Seattle (Washington) area. Various ranking schemes for the difficulty of finding IT specialties produce metrics that show software development is in high demand right now, and relatively short supply.

And just to make things more interesting a recent Forbes survey of the "Top 10 Jobs of 2013," placed software developer at the very top of that list in the number one position. Statistics from the US Bureau of Labor statistics aren't quite as extreme, but still put software developers as occupying the third best job in the country, according to a study from CareerCast quoted in the Dice article.

Within the general category of software developer, two sub-specialties shine with particular intensity there. First, anything mobile is white-hot, for anything and everything from designing and building mobile apps, to securing, testing, maintaining, and deploying such apps and the infrastructures that support them. A close second is health care IT, which reflects an insatiable demand for IT professionals savvy in the way of electronic health records (EHR), healthcare IT (HIT), and the various security and privacy regimes required by the Healthcare Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996. For info about certs in these popular areas, see my stories for Tom's IT Pro entitled "Best Computer Programming Certs for 2014" and "Top 5 IT Certifications In Healthcare."