The tech jobs still begging to be filled

Java, mobile, and .Net developer jobs lead the pack, but even less sexy positions remain hard to fill

Hey there, Java developers: The Q&A website Ask wants you. In fact, lots of companies want you, as they struggle to fill their open positions, according to a July survey of 866 hiring manages by jobs board Dice.com. It's not just Java developer jobs that are going begging. There are many more openings for mobile and .Net developers than there are qualified applicants. If you're a developer, those are the skills you need -- and fast.

Developers aren't alone: Other parts of the technology industry are also desperate for qualified candidates. Oracle, J2EE/Java, C, C++, C#, project management, and SQL positions round out the greatest areas of want. Meanwhile, the segments where demand is growing the fastest are iPhone, cloud, Android, mobile applications, and Ruby on Rails positions, says Alice Hill, Dice's managing director.

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Despite its status as the heart of the tech industry, Silicon Valley ranks third in the number of jobs available on the Dice jobs board, with 5,684 openings (an increase of 6 percent over last year). The most high-tech job openings (8,871) are in the New York/New Jersey metro area, followed closely by Washington, D.C./Baltimore with 8,334 open positions. Interestingly, New York leads the market despite the fact that job listings in the region decreased by 9 percent from a year earlier, likely because the financial services industry, which employs huge numbers of IT workers, has contracted sharply.

Finding a plum tech job is no longer about who you know
Companies are getting desperate -- the number of positions rose 3 percent compared to a year earlier, despite an economy that is flat overall. In fact, the desperation to hire has caused many companies to advertise for open positions, signalling a big change for an industry where jobs have long been filled through word of mouth.

For example, an ad on the home page of the news aggregation site Techmeme features 13 major companies and newer businesses seeking candidates, including Facebook, Google, Amazon.com, Zynga, Square, and Tumblr. San Francisco-based Square, for example, is looking for 12 software engineers, six hardware engineers, and three support specialists. Facebook's software engineering team has 58 open positions for engineers in Menlo Park, Calif., New York, Seattle, and London.

When jobs were tight and companies had legions of wannabe employees in reserve, there was little reason to advertise. Now a small company like San Francisco-based DoubleDutch, which develops enterprise engagement apps, has to advertise though it has only a handful of open positions to fill. The return to advertising may help job-seekers land some of those open positions they previously would not have been able to discover.

Why isn't the market fixing the talent gaps?
You'd think with such high demand that the supply of talent would increase, with more college students learning the needed skills and tech workers expanding their skills to include the hot new areas. Many are. But it's not enough.

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