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IT Workforce Snapshot 2013

TEKsystems’ IT Workforce Snapshot is designed to provide a high-level view of trends impacting IT spending, IT employment, workforce supply and demand, compensation and geographical demand within the industry. This report can help organizations and IT decision makers create benchmarks for comparing their IT goals with industry peers and provide a reality check for potential challenges related to securing the right IT professionals.

IT Spending Projections

Recent research indicates 48 percent of IT leaders expect their budgets to increase in 20131, which is down slightly from 53 percent in 2012.1 twenty-seven percent of IT leaders expect their budgets to stay the same and 16 percent expect their budgets to decrease1, compared to 17 percent in 2012.1

The 2013 projected spending on IT in the U.S. is expected to be $958 billion.2 total IT spending is broken down into computing hardware ($110.5B), software ($71.5B), IT services ($220.7B) and telecom ($555.4B).2

Approximately half of IT leaders anticipate spending on IT applications (49 percent) and IT infrastructure (47 percent) services to increase in 2013. IT leaders expect healthy increases in IT applications and IT infrastructure spending with 30 percent and 28 percent, respectively, anticipating a rise of 5 percent or more.1 

The majority of IT decision-makers expect spending to stay the same in IT outsourcing (39 percent) and IT education and training (44 percent) in 2013.1

"The trends affecting IT leaders in 2013 are similar to those from the past couple of years. However, organizations feel more comfortable making investments in new technologies because they better understand the challenges, the solutions and the type of return on investment (ROI) they can deliver to the business. It’s a sign organizations realize IT is a business generator, not just a cost center,” says TEKsystems Market Research Manager, Jason Hayman. “While leaders expect spending, especially in applications and infrastructure, to increase, the size of their budgets are likely to shrink. IT leaders need to manage the demands placed on them by prioritizing initiatives that will deliver the greatest business ROI.”

Impacts to IT

IT leaders expect operations, marketing/sales and finance/accounting to have the biggest increase in IT needs in 2013. The trends with the biggest impact on the organization include business intelligence (BI), cloud computing and security.

Biggest Increase in IT Needs in 2013

  • Operations
  • Marketing/Sales
  • Finance/Accounting
  • Research and Development
  • Risk Management/Legal and Compliance
  • Human Resources
  • Purchasing

Biggest Impact on Organization in 2013

  • Business Intelligence
  • Cloud Computing
  • Security
  • Shortage of IT Workers
  • Mobility
  • Big Data
  • Enterprise Resource Planning
  • Data Center Consolidation
  • Virtualization
  • Consumerization of IT/ BYOD (Bring Your own Device)
  • Social Networking
  • Other
“Every function of an organization benefits from investing in IT, but a few have the greatest need for IT. Operations, marketing/sales and finance/ accounting are the functions that can best benefit from investments in new technologies. If done effectively, organizations can leverage BI to open doors to new markets, better understand existing customer bases and improve effectiveness of marketing and sales campaigns,” comments Hayman. “Further, businesses today better understand how the cloud helps companies improve efficiencies and save money. While leveraging trends like BI and the cloud provide great benefits for the business, security is a major concern. Cyberspace is a battleground that poses serious threats to the personal information and corporate data businesses manage and collect on a daily basis. the technologies companies invest in are important, but ensuring security IT teams stay current on changing tactics and technologies, like investing in employee training, is essential to long-term protection.”

IT Hiring Expectations

Hiring expectations in 2013 for permanent and temporary IT workers are positive. Forty-two percent of IT leaders expect permanent IT headcount to increase, while 40 percent expect temporary IT headcount to increase. slightly more, 45 percent, expect temporary IT headcount to stay the same, versus the 43 percent that expect permanent IT headcount to stay the same. Fifteen percent of IT leaders believe IT hiring will decrease for both permanent and temporary IT workers.

“The majority of IT leaders expect IT headcount to increase or stay the same this year, which really speaks to the strength of the industry and the demand organizations have for great IT workers. as IT becomes more essential to business success, organizations need to leverage both permanent and temporary hiring models to get the best talent depending on the state of their IT initiatives.” states Hayman.

Supply and Demand for IT Professional

Demand for IT professionals remains high. The IT unemployment rate has hovered below 4 percent, averaging 3.5 percent in the first quarter of 2013. In 2012, U.S. IT unemployment averaged 3.6 percent, down from 4.1 percent in 2011. Meanwhile, U.S. IT employment reached approximately 4.3 million, accounting for about 2.6 percent of the entire U.S. workforce. The IT industry added approximately 81,000 new jobs in 2012 and IT employment was up 4.7 percent, a growth rate more than two and a half times the national rate of job growth of 1.5 percent.3

TEKsystems’ research corroborates this steady demand. IT professionals report receiving, on average, 23 job solicitations per week from professional recruiters.4 Additionally, the number of job requisitions for IT professionals increased 14 percent from 2011 to 2012. During this time, demand for IT professionals increased the most in healthcare (53 percent), energy and utilities (28 percent), and transportation (24 percent).

“The IT resource pool is not keeping pace with the demands almost all industries have for great IT talent. Organizations show no signs of slowing down on their IT investments, making workforce planning critical to future success. If businesses can not hire the right IT professionals, they risk settling for the B-team,” says Hayman. “there is a lot that can be done to help close the supply and demand gap. For IT professionals, continual investment in your education and getting certified in the hottest technologies can help you keep pace with the new advancements and open up career opportunities for years to come. Organizations can partner with colleges and universities to promote IT as a great career field to invest in and help develop and ensure curriculums focus on teaching students about current industry challenges and the skill sets needed to solve them.”

Hot IT Skills

With major initiatives like BI, cloud computing and security at the top of most CIOs’ project lists, experienced IT professionals with related skills are in high demand. IT leaders identify developers, architects and workers with analytics skills to be the most difficult to fill skill sets.

Most Difficult to Fill Skill Sets

  • Developers
  • Architects
  • Analytics (BI, Big Data, etc.)
  • Engineers
  • Cloud
  • Security
  • Project Managers
  • Business Analyst
  • Mobile
  • .NET
  • Help/Desktop Support
  • Social Media
“In-demand skills are related to the fact that organizations undertake many of the same IT projects at the same time,” comments Hayman. “to secure the necessary talent, proactive, strategic talent management programs are essential. Organizations with the strongest programs will have a leg up in attracting and retaining the necessary talent. Only relying on the local labor market can stifle a company’s hiring effectiveness. Reaching into regional and national pools is a tactic for organizations to consider if IT is difficult to find the right IT talent locally.”


In 2012, IT professionals experienced an average 3.6 percent increase in compensation—nearly double the average 1.5 percent increase all private and public sector workers received in 2012.5 Further, IT professionals expect to see salaries increase by 3.1 percent or more in 2013.1

IT decision-makers anticipate salary increases for most IT skill sets, but the most in-demand skills, like developers and engineers, are likely to receive the greatest increases.

“While monetary compensation is always important to IT professionals, organizations should also evaluate other components to the overall employee value proposition in order to attract the right people,” says Hayman. “To find and keep the best talent, companies need to create a full package of benefits that sets your organization apart from the competition. The IT professionals we pulse on a quarterly basis say opportunities to develop and enhance their skills, as well as career advancement opportunities, are just as important as salary. These attributes need to be detailed and incorporated into the strategies used to attract IT candidates.”

Geographical Demand

Over the past year, each region in the U. S . experienced at least a 12 percent increase in demand for IT professionals. According to TEKsystems, the largest increase in demand from 2011 to 2012 was in the West region, where job requisitions rose 24 percent. The Northeast region (19 percent), Central region (12 percent), southeast region (10 perent) and Midwest regions (10 percent) saw lower, but positive, increases in demand.

"No matter where a company is based, IT professionals are critical to successful implementations and effective programs. While some regions see higher demand for IT professionals than others, the war for qualified IT talent is extremely high and prevalent in all industries and regions of the U.S. to avoid pitfalls during IT projects, organizations should evaluate existing in­house skills, identify gaps and ultimately determine the most effective strategy to attract, develop and retain the best people,” concludes Hayman.


1TEKsystems Annual IT Forecast, January 2013
2Gartner IT Spending & Staffing Report 2013, January 2013
3Techserve alliance, January 2013
4TEKsystems IT professional perspectives survey, December 2011
5Bureau of Labor statistics national Compensation survey December 2012