IT Staffing

Top Tech Jobs that Will Grow in 2014

by Jeanne Knutzen | January 7, 2014

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Strategic thinking will be king in 2014.  Rote programming skills will not even get you across the moat. Employers are looking for IT professionals who can not only succeed operationally, but can bring a certain level of business acumen to the table. Regardless of your role, starting in 2014 you will need to have an understanding of the strategic business environment that your department (and even your team) works in. The year 2014 is shaping up to be a mirror image of 2013 as far and job opportunities are concerned. According to research firm, Foote Partners, the following three job categories are poised for another stellar year. However, the reasons about it have more to do about strategy and business know-how than with pure, raw programming skills: 1. Cloud Professionals – In 2013, companies hired enterprise architects, cloud administrators and resource planners …outperforming 348 IT skills and 293 IT certifications… according to Foote Partners’ annual survey. It is expected that the demand for cloud architects, solution architects, administrators and integrators will continue to rise. IT professionals that understand not only what the cloud portends but also have the ability to align business requirements or modify business models in anticipation...well, they will be ahead of the curve. 2. Big Data Experts – There is a ton of information on the Internet today...information that is expected to double every 40 years.  Companies are putting a lot of effort into not only capturing it, but putting it to work. With more and more companies using big data, the demand for business data analysts – or big data experts - is increasing rapidly. Business data analysts know how to manage the overwhelming amount of information these systems generate and then put it into a useful form. They are able to assess the data, spot patterns and draw conclusions...making an overwhelming amount of “noise” usable by decision-makers and providing real business value. 3. Mobile App Developers – Some retail companies earn 40% of their revenues through their mobile apps. As businesses are seeing mobile contribute a larger and larger part of their revenues, the demand for mobile app developers will continue to skyrocket.  However, a developer needs to have a working knowledge of the industry being worked in as well as an understanding of in-app purchasing, paid subscriptions and even mobile display ads. If the app is sold, the developer should be able to provide data points on how much should be charged. Another emerging role in the mobility space this year will be device manager. Device managers may work in-house or for third-party firms that oversee “bring your own device policies” and the myriad of security issues involved. No one understands the IT job market better than Seattle IT hiring pros at PACE Staffing Network. If you are looking to make a change and want a new technology job in Seattle WA, contact us today.

Setting Up Your Year-End IT Reviews

by Jeanne Knutzen | November 6, 2013

0 Blog, IT Staffing information technology employment agencies, information technology employment agencies seattle, information technology employment agencies seattle wa, information technology employment agency, IT employment agencies, IT employment agency

The end of the calendar year is just around the corner, which means it’s time for colder weather, quarterly reports, and holiday related festivities and interruptions. It’s also time for performance evaluations, and like it or not, these evaluations are a required part of most standard workplace HR policies. Before you even begin to schedule and sit down for review meetings with each of your IT staff, start weeks in advance and take these important preparatory steps. 1. Choose a structure. If your HR department allows flexibility on this score (or if your own your own business and can do as you choose), you’ll need to find an evaluation format that fits your workplace and your culture. Most IT managers choose a weighted metric system, or a 1-5 scoring mechanism for a list of specific characteristics, like leadership, innovation, commitment, and timeliness. But others choose a nine box or essay style format. 2. Choose who will evaluate each employee. While traditional reviewers are conducted by direct supervisors only, modern IT departments are increasingly relying on the 360 degree evaluation method, which allows each employee to receive a rating from her supervisor, coworkers, and direct reports as well. This method can provide useful insights, but it can be very inefficient (and therefore expensive). 3. Set up self-evaluations that reflect the style of the formal review. Whatever format you choose, provide each employee with self-evaluation guidelines that reflect that format and can measure the answers the employee provides against those provided by her reviewers. Allow plenty of time to complete them and plenty of time to factor them into the formal reviews. 4. Arrange specific meeting times that account for the length of time you’ll need to spend with each employee. Some employees may need more explanation, evaluation, and coaching then others. As a side note, it may help keep the process on schedule if you place at least two managers in the room during weaker or potentially tense reviews. Make sure you allow time to complete the review, measure it against the self-evaluation, and have a detailed and meaningful conversation with the employee about his or her professional goals and milestones for the year ahead. When it comes to planning performance reviews, preparation is essential to successful execution. To learn more about laying the groundwork for a meaningful yearly exercise, reach out to the IT staffing pros at Pace. If you are looking for information technology employment agencies in Seattle, contact us today.

IT Management: Should You Hire Externally or Train Existing Employees?

by Jeanne Knutzen | October 10, 2013

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Almost every business owner or decision maker will eventually face some version of a universal staffing question: Is it wiser and more cost effective to launch an external search for new managers? Or can the best candidates usually be found among existing teams? Should candidates be sourced through national job boards, or groomed and trained through an existing internal pipeline? This can be an especially challenging question in the IT field. Excellent IT employees usually possess strong technical skill sets, some of which can take years to acquire, but technical and programming skills don’t automatically translate into management skills. And IT leaders often make the mistake of promoting employees to management positions based on their technical performance. Before you take this route or decide to do the opposite and focus your search outside the company, ask yourself these three critical questions. How much time do you have to fill the gap? If you have the luxury of time, you can start cultivating leadership skills in high potential employees who won’t officially step into management roles for months or even years. When you’re faced with an open position, you can carefully evaluate candidates drawn from both internal and external sources, and simply chose the candidate that best meets your established criteria. But be cautious; if internally trained and groomed employees know that they’re competing with outsiders for management positions, they may resent taking a subordinate position to the applicant who represents you final choice. Are you dealing with a skills issue or capacity problem? Do you simply need managers to handle budgets, schedules, motivation, and workflow for a growing group of employees? Or do you need managers who can address skill-based performance problems and direct employees on the finer points of specific programming issues? If capacity is your primary concern, outside candidates with no need for management training may be easier to find. But if skills are your focus, trusted and proven internal employees may be a better bet. Will your decision be a short or long term goal? Where would you like this decision to take the company in six months? How about five years? If one matters far more than the other (if, for example, you have a very short term, high-demand project to complete for a single client), then you’ll need to factor this into your decision to mentor and train an internal candidate or hire from the outside, possibly through a respected staffing firm. For more information and guidance that can help you resolve tricky management questions like this one, reach out to the Seattle IT staffing experts at Pace. If you are looking for information technology employment agencies in Seattle, contact Pace today.

How to Take on the Role of an IT Leader

by Jeanne Knutzen | September 5, 2013

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You’ve been immersed in the IT field for several years now, and in terms of technical mastery, you’re excellent at what you do. When you face a programming or troubleshooting challenge, you handle the issue in front of you with speed, competence, and style. But while you may have what it takes to be strong employee, are you ready to step into the role of a leader? If you’re like most first time managers (in every industry, not just IT), the answer is probably no. In the early stages, leadership often comes with struggle and a steep learning curve, especially for employees who have excelled at following orders and doing great work (instead of giving orders and assigning that work). Here are a few tips that can help make the transition to management a little smoother. Know Yourself and Your Leadership Style Learn your leadership style, respect it, and be honest with yourself and with your employees. If you simply aren’t a micromanager, or you need to look over shoulders to make sure things are on track, or you don’t enjoy raising your voice, or you can’t help but raise your voice when things go wrong, recognize these traits and shape your leadership strategy around them. Don’t try to be someone you aren’t. Lead With a Vision Before you take the wheel and start leading your team, know where you’re headed. Long term goals with clear milestones are important for lasting, meaningful success. If you don’t know where you’d like to see your team in a set number of days, weeks, or years, think carefully before you step into the driver’s seat. Present Benchmarks and Goals to Your Employees Once you’ve established long term and short term goals for the team, share these goals, and explain why they matter to the success of the business as a whole. The best way to keep your employees engaged is by keeping them in the loop. Before you present them with a challenge or a difficult project, let them know why this work matters. Be a Better Listener and Communicate Constantly If you expect your teams to listen carefully to your instructions and explanations, you need to listen ten times harder. Keep an open door policy, especially at the beginning of your leadership tenure, and encourage your teams to come to you with issues, complaints, questions, recommendations, or requests for resources that can help them excel at their jobs. While you’re listening carefully, provide detailed feedback and check in frequently to make sure all the members of your group are on the same page. If you are looking for temp agencies in Seattle, contact PACE today. We have the experience and network to help an IT employer attract temp or direct hire candidates.

An Optimistic Outlook for IT Job Seekers

by Jeanne Knutzen | August 20, 2013

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As the economy slowly recovers and the pace of hiring returns to pre-recession levels, some industry sectors are bouncing back faster than others. Some of the fastest growing hotspots are occurring in fields like healthcare, hospitality, retail, and food service, and the pace of hiring in these sectors varies widely by geographic area. But in almost every area of the country, employers are looking high and low for highly qualified candidates in IT. IT hiring is on the rise and is expected to remain strong for the rest of 2013 and most of 2014. New IT jobs are opening up in every industry, and salaries for these positions are on the rise. As employers start dialing up the search for talented candidates, candidates hold a wider range of options, which means a stronger hand at the bargaining table. Why So Much Expansion in IT? There are several reasons why IT hiring seems to be on fire, and some of these reasons vary by industry. In healthcare, for example, IT pros are in rising demand as new regulations like the Affordable Care Act shift into place and patient records become more portable and accessible. These changes mean an increased need for data security and also updated infrastructures to manage patient health information. In other fields, from finance to manufacturing, baby boomer employees are heading into retirement in waves, leaving companies struggling to replace them and looking for ways to transfer institutional knowledge to the next generation. In the meantime, a growing interest in mobile accessibility and cloud computing are taking businesses by storm, and managers are rushing to provide their clients and customers with company information via mobile phones, apps, and tablets. In-Demand IT Skills If you have the IT background to help employers handle the challenges above, your skills are becoming increasingly valuable. At this point, employers seem most interested in IT candidates who can: 1. Understand, maintain and update data security infrastructures 2. Help company leaders choose internet access and data management providers by comparing costs and plans 3. Help companies mobile optimize their websites and marketing platforms 4. Build new mobile applications from the ground up. If you possess any of the skill sets listed above, employers are waiting to hear from you. Make sure your background in these areas features prominently in your resume and other aspects of your job search strategy. For specific help with this process, make an appointment with the Seattle IT staffing experts at Pace.

A Bright Spot in the Software Market: Data Analytics

by Jeanne Knutzen | July 12, 2013

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The global enterprise software market may be experiencing a general slowdown across multiple sectors, but there’s one area that seems to be generating a disproportionate degree of optimism: data analytics. These include data delivery systems, security platforms, CRM applications, collaborative applications, and network management software. While the rest of the software market experienced a 2012 growth rate of roughly half the rate of 2011 and 2010, these areas underwent a surge of about seven percent. The market for new technologies and software solutions is becoming increasingly multi-layered, with certain selective areas experiencing higher demand while others stagnate. Big Data, led by Microsoft, IBM, Oracle, and SAP, appears to be one of these focused areas. The desire to manage and leverage information is driving this demand, and in their hunger for reliable infrastructures, companies are pouring vast investments into network-management tools. The firms listed above have been spending the last two years increasing their storage software offerings and adding customization options and scalability to their existing infrastructures, security tools, and product suites. These efforts were launched in anticipation of burgeoning growth in these areas, and they seem to be paying off. Companies taking advantage of increasingly sophisticated CRM platforms, for example, are turning their software investments into hard conversions and appear to have no regrets. According to the same types of ethnographic research and marketing studies that predicted these outcomes, the next wave of both data management and customer management will happen in the areas of social business software and mobile optimization. This may be a wise moment to consider adopting social business strategy, or a redirect of social media tools for business use. Meanwhile, businesses are also scrambling to bring their ecommerce platforms and CRM tools to mobile devices, including smartphones, tablets, and e-readers. The Seattle staffing experts at PACE can help you attract talented IT professionals to help develop your data analytics. Contact PACE to utilize our network and resources in the Seattle tech industry.

The Secret to Landing a Job in the Cloud: Training

by Jeanne Knutzen | June 11, 2013

0 Blog, IT Staffing information technology jobs in seattle, it jobs in seattle, it jobs in seattle wa, it jobs in washington, it jobs seattle, it jobs seattle wa, tech jobs seattle wa

As of 2013, experts estimate that tech employers are struggling to staff as many as 1.7 million open positions related to the growing cloud computing industry. And the number of workers needed for these positions will probably grow by about 26 percent each year between now and 2015. Why are so many cloud jobs going unstaffed? And why is this gap holding steady even in the face of high unemployment numbers? The answer appears to lie in one word: training. Tech professionals are lining up for work in every region of the country, but too many of them don’t possess the training and certifications they need to take on cloud-related jobs. So what does this mean for both hiring managers and job seekers? Open Positions in the Cloud: Job Seeker Considerations Companies are now in desperate need of employees who can create new software for the cloud and develop applications from the ground up. They also need infrastructure experts who can help employers make decisions about vendor contracts, oversee the fulfillment of these contracts, and handle data migration from old systems to new ones. Talented enterprise architects can also help employers manage their growing need for computing capacity and help employers understand how newer cloud based technologies can fit into their existing structures. Cloud based risk-management and trouble-shooting experts will also be in high demand during the next several years. Staffing Cloud-Based Positions: Employers Employers with a strong need for cloud skills and data architects will face a growing tide of staffing challenges in the years to come, but solutions are available for every one of these challenges. And some of these solutions are already on the team and are simply awaiting the opportunity to step into much needed and currently vacant roles. Instead of conducting long, expensive and fruitless global searches for outside sources of talent, managers might be wise to start at home and sponsor training and development programs for existing employees. Then reach out to a staffing firm who has the resources and network to help you land qualified candidates. Industry and university systems are in the process of teaming up to share the cost and benefits of training programs for cloud skills, and in the meantime, employers are recognizing the benefits of tuition reimbursement programs and onsite courses taught by outside teachers and training experts. For more information on how to sponsor these courses and create continuing education programs from the ground up,  reach out to the Seattle IT staffing  experts at Pace.

Opportunities and Challenges – IT and Engineering Staffing

by Jeanne Knutzen | May 28, 2013

0 Blog, Human Resource Roles, IT Staffing Engineering Jobs, Inavero, IT Jobs, IT Professionals, IT Staffing, PACE Staffing Network, Seattle Staffing, Seattle Staffing Agency, TechServe Alliance

With the demand for skilled IT and engineering professionals showing no signs of slowing down, a new study from TechServe Alliance and global survey firm Inavero is poised to help IT and engineering staffing firms, clients, and consultants understand and address the myriad of opportunities and challenges faced by all stakeholders in the talent engagement process. The recently released IT & Engineering Staffing Firms, Clients & Candidates: A 360-Degree Perspective examines the flexible IT and engineering workforce from three perspectives—1) clients, 2) candidates, and 3) staffing companies. The findings were based on 700 survey participants. Here’s a snapshot of the findings: Clients look for value. The study showed that clients look to their staffing providers to help them 1) reduce risk, 2) increase flexibility, and 3) supplement their core competencies with specialized skills. While the right skill match is the number one factor in placement success, clients also ranked their staffing providers knowledge of their industry as second most important to ensuring a successful placement. Staffing companies need to be experts at understanding a client's business. Clients #1 Pain Point – ONBOARDING. The number one pain point for companies working with IT and engineering consultants is the onboarding process—the time it takes to get new talent up to speed. Staffing firms need to continue working with the client and the candidate after the hiring decision is made to ensure an effective onboarding process. Top Talent Is Snatched Up Quickly. One of the studies findings is that both the staffing firm and their clients must move quickly if they want to hire top IT and engineering talent. Eighty-four percent of the IT and engineering professionals surveyed found their current job in less than three months, and nearly one-third (32 percent) found their most recent position in less than two weeks. IT and engineering professionals affirmed their preference to work flexibly. They value the opportunity they receive to gain expertise across multiple platforms and industries through staffing firm engagements. For a free copy of the executive summary of the TechServe/Inavero study, visit http://www.techservealliance.org/research/360-degree-study.cfm### To request specialized IT or Engineering talent from the PACE Staffing Network, contact infodesk@pacestaffing.com.

Technical Interviews: Make the Most of the Process

by Jeanne Knutzen | May 7, 2013

0 Blog, IT Staffing IT development jobs seattle, Make The Most Of Technical Interviews, Respond To Technical Interview Questions, Seattle IT Staffing, Seattle Staffing, Seattle Staffing Agencies, Seattle Staffing Agency, Seattle WA Staffing, Technical Interviews

Technical interviews are a common part of the job selection process within fields that demand programming skill. While no responsible hiring manager bases an entire hiring decision on technical questions alone, they nevertheless provide employers with a few key insights into a candidate’s readiness, insights that can’t be drawn from a resume, a cover letter, a work sample or a set of questions dealing with personality and behavior. Technical interview questions may begin with a candidate being handed a marker and a whiteboard and asked to solve an algorithm problem. Candidates might be asked to write the binary search algorithm or write code that will rotate an array in place without requiring additional memory. Sometimes candidates will be asked to find the longest palindrome in a string, or solve troubleshooting problems. The First Rule of Technical Interviews: Keep a Cool Head The entire concept of a technical interview often upsets, intimidates, or makes candidates feel a little resentful. After all, most experienced code writers and programmers know that when these problems arise on the job, the answers can easily be looked up. Even the most talented and experienced employees don’t usually carry these solutions and algorithms around in their heads. But when employers ask these questions, they aren’t just looking for straightforward answers. In fact, simply pulling the solution out by rote or from memory won’t really do anything to win them over. Instead, interviewers are presenting these questions in order to expose a candidate to a real world problem and observe the steps she takes to break the problem down and find a solution on her own. So the best way to prepare for this kind of interview won’t come from memorizing every possible answer to every coding problem imaginable. Instead, candidates should keep a cool head and call upon their experience, basic logical ability, and reasoning skills. Prepare for your interview by practicing with a friend, preferably a friend with some relevant technical experience. And remember that even if your potential employers put you on the spot by presenting you with real-time coding problems, they’ll balance your response to these questions with the details of your entire profile. If you looking for IT development positions in the Seattle area, contact the staffing experts at PACE today!

H-1B Visas 2014!

by Jeanne Knutzen | March 26, 2013

0 Blog, IT Staffing, What's New in Staffing?

Here is a heads up to our customers and suppliers in need of employees working on H-1B Visas. We received the following information in regards to the process used in applying for 2014 Visas. The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin accepting H-1B petitions for FU 2014 cap on Monday, April 1st, 2013. The cap, which is the numerical limitation on H-1B petitions that will be accepted for 2014, is 65,000. The first 20,000 H-1B petitions from individuals who have received a master’s degree or higher will be exempt from this cap. If USCIS receives more petitions than it can accept, they will use a lottery system to randomly select the number of petitions allotted to reach the numerical limit. The lottery method was last used in April, 2008. In light of the volume of petitions that are anticipated to be filed in the first few days of April, USCIS has temporarily adjusted its current premium processing practice. While petitioners may still request premium processing for cases filed on April 1st, the 15-day adjudication period will not begin until April 15th, 2013. For more information about how your company can access high quality IT talent, with or without H-1B status, contact our infodesk@pacestaffing.com.

5 Tips for IT Managers: Hold Onto Your Millennial Employees

by Jeanne Knutzen | March 9, 2013

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Having members of the millennial generation on your team can provide an incredible boost to your bottom line and plenty of intangible benefits for your workplace culture. Millennials—the post collegiate workers at the youngest end of the age spectrum in the professional world—are generally a delight to have on board. Young workers need managers with a distinct approach to retention, one that may not apply as well to mid-career, gen X, and older workers. Here are a few steps that can help keep talented young workers on your team as they gain experience.

Tips for Retaining Millennial IT Employees

1. Pay attention to where they’re headed. Most post collegiate workers don’t expect to stay with their current employers for very long. A first job is first job, and you can expect your millennials to get restless and make a move within one to five years. If you want to hold onto them, be ready for this, stay in touch with their personal career goals, and make sure you have room available for in-house advancement when the time comes.

2. Offer flexibility. Younger workers usually prefer freedom and flexibility over money, retirement plans, and job security. This doesn’t mean you have carte blanche to underpay and exploit them in exchange for offering dress-down Fridays. But it does mean you’ll get positive results if you let them work from home whenever possible and allow them to use their personal devices on your network.

3. Respect their devices. Let them use their iPhones and tablets while at work if this use doesn’t undermine productivity. (This doesn’t mean you can expect them to use their own devices to accomplish work related tasks. If you do this, you’ll need to contribute to their data plans.)

4. Listen to their crazy ideas. Young people don’t know very much about how the world, or this business, really works. But their ignorance sometimes makes them brilliant. Tune in. Encourage them to express their ideas, risk failure, try new things, and speak up when they may have something to offer.

5. Provide them with structure. Just because they seem bold and free spirited doesn’t mean they are. All young people experience uncertainty now and then, but the members of this generation in particular are known for their highly sheltered, over-validated upbringings. They may sometimes chafe against the training wheels and restrictions placed on them, but before you send them out on their own, give them very clear instructions, rules with consequences, and the assurance of support.

Hire millennial workers who will make you proud, and once you bring them on board, take all the steps necessary to train them, encourage them, and retain them as their skill sets grow. Pace Staffing can help. Reach out to our office for more ways to get the most out of your post collegiate workforce.

IT and Healthcare – Where the Jobs Are!

by Jeanne Knutzen | March 8, 2013

0 Blog, IT Staffing, What's New in Staffing? Healthcare, Healthcare Industry, Healthcare Jobs, IT, IT Job Market, IT Marketplace, IT Professionals, PACE Staffing Network, Seattle Staffing, Seattle Staffing Agency

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the IT job market added 62,500 jobs in 2012, a good start, but not yet a number that returns the sector to its pre-recession highs. But for those of us staffing IT professionals for the healthcare industry, we have seen an exceptionally robust demand for IT talent over the last three/four years. In 2012, IT jobs in healthcare and healthcare insurance lead the way as the fastest growing segments of the IT marketplace. 2013 is shaping up to look the same. Part of the reason for healthcare-related IT growth is driven by an overall growth in healthcare services in general—the growing patient population fueled by our aging baby boomers. Overall healthcare employment rose by 338,000 jobs in 2012, and is expected to surpass that number in 2013. According to the Center for Health Workforce Studies one in nine Americans will be working in a healthcare related job by the year 2020.  IT growth is also being fueled by changes directly impact the healthcare industry. Two of the primary drivers of growth in healthcare IT have been the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and the 2010 Affordable Care Act, (ObamaCare). The Recovery Act set new technology standards for medical providers, requiring that hospitals, clinics and insurers adapt standardized electronic systems for storing and sharing patient health records. The new ICD-10 billing and coding standards are being implemented now. In similar fashion, the Affordable Care Act has created a whole new set of IT jobs stemming from the state-based online health insurance marketplaces that must be operable by January, 2014. By all counts, the basic infrastructure that needs to be in place just to meet the new service needs of the millions of new patients/consumers who will be entering the healthcare marketplace between 2013 and 2020 ensures strong growth in the IT job market for several years to come. As healthcare providers have been turning more and more to new forms of virtual care as a way to lower their operating costs, IT professionals have been expanding the quantity and quality of ways patients and providers can interface virtually. In the last two years, those interfaces have had to accommodate an increasingly mobile population of healthcare customers, requiring constant changes in mobile friendly interfaces. Other IT projects have been focused on improving clinical data searches, business intelligence, and the development of systems to allow various software, apps, databases and clinical hardware to share and exchange information. Big data has definitely been a trend alive and well in healthcare IT. With some variation between surveys, IT salaries have been slated to grow somewhere between 1-5% over the next 12 months, with the bulk of the higher percentage increases being earned by the IT professionals who are involved with healthcare. For more information about jobs in IT, healthcare, insurance and financial markets in particular, contact infodesk@pacestaffing.com—please include IT jobs in the subject line.

IT Employment Grows Briskly in January

by Jeanne Knutzen | February 19, 2013

0 Blog, IT Staffing, What's New in Staffing? Information Technology, IT Employment, IT Employment Opportunities, IT Staffing Seattle, Seattle IT Staffing, Seattle Staffing Agencies, Seattle Temporary Staffing

According to a press release from TechServe Alliance, a collaboration of IT service firms, clients, consultants and suppliers, IT employment set another all-time high in January with an increase of 15,800 jobs. IT employment has grown by over 4% since January 2012. "Despite the lingering uncertainty with the U.S. and global economies, I anticipate demand for IT professionals will remain robust throughout 2013," said Mark Roberts, CEO of TechServe.