Local companies feel IT-talent pinch

Data indicate tech-job boom

By Debbie Griffin.  The North Carolina Technology Association recently released numbers on tech-job trends that demonstrate a challenge most businesses face today: Recruit


top talent to meet growing information-technology demands, whatever they may be within a company.

Joy Ugi is a marketing consultant for AMTdirect, provider of a lease-accounting software solution. “The tech-job boom has affected AMT making it extremely difficult to find top-notch talent,” Ugi said. Jim Engel, CEO of Aquesta Bank, said customers expect considerable levels of technology, where it used to be more of a selling point.

Tech flexes its muscle

The local companies are not alone, according to NC Tech’s data, which includes a monthly Tech Talent Trends Alert, a year-end review of tech jobs and the State of Technology


Industry Report. The data are available on NC Tech’s website.

The reports state, in part, “Looking back on 2017, recruiting for IT talent in North Carolina was competitive, with over 89,000 open IT positions throughout the state over the course of the year.”

According to a trends chart, tech-sector jobs in the state reflected growth in 7 out of 12 months in 2018. The year started with 19,028 tech jobs in January; peaked in October with 27,113 positions; and dipped to 24,148 in December.

The December-to-December report showed a total growth in the state’s IT-talent market of 33 percent.

The annual report looks at 10 metropolitan statistical areas and ranks them according to tech-job growth. Here are the top five:

• 15 percent growth in Charlotte/Concord/Gastonia translates into 39,413 tech jobs

• 27.3 percent growth in Raleigh, with 35,416 jobs

• 64.4 percent growth in Durham-Chapel Hill, with 15,371 jobs

• 12.4 percent growth in Fayetteville with 3,684 jobs

• 3.6 percent growth in Greensboro/High Point with 3,597 jobs.

Report statistics show more about where North Carolina stands in the tech nation:

#1 state in employment of women in the technology section at a rate of nearly 36 percent; only the District of Columbia has a higher percentage.

#3 in tech-sector job growth for the past five years at a rate of 17 percent, above the national average of 6.7 percent

#3 in dollars awarded for academic science and engineering research and development

#4 in tech-industry median hourly earnings adjusted for purchasing power

#5 in projected tech-sector job growth by 2023

#6 in number of tech-company start-ups from university, with 41 new companies in 2017

#6 in IT employment growth, with 21 percent since 2012.


NC Tech’s reports show the top 10 technology hard skills or certifications sought:

1.   Java

2.   Software development

3.   Structured query language

      such as Linux

4.    Linux

5.    JavaScript

6.    Python

7.    Systems Development Life Cycle

8.    Application development

9.    Microsoft Office

10.  Quality Assurance.


The report also lists the top 10 IT occupations:

1.   Software developers

2.   Network and

      systems administrators

3.    Computer-user

       support specialists

4.    Computer systems analyst

5.    Information technology

       project managers

6.    Information security analysts

7.   Computer systems


8.   Web developers

9.   Computer information systems

10.  Software quality

       assurance engineers and testers.

A search on the job site Indeed with filters for tech jobs in Cornelius showed 42 possibilities. A search on the job site GlassDoor, using the same filters, shows 75 available positions.

Local translations

Engel said Aquesta is a community bank that has about 75 percent of its lending in the commercial arena. The company has 86 employees; one of those is a full-time dedicated IT person, and there are two or three others who take on enough IT responsibilities to equal approximately another full-time person.

Engel said the company hired its first IT person three years ago and feels the IT-hiring pinch in other ways besides internally. Like many other companies, it uses IT consultants to achieve the right mix of personnel. Engel said the tough part is the consultants are getting busier, so while there seem to be a lot of resources, they’re all well-used.

“Cybersecurity is in high demand,” notes Engel.

Ugi said AMTdirect has 98 employees and 42 of those are IT-related jobs. In line with the state statistics on females in IT jobs, Ugi said there are 16 women and 26 men filling the company’s technology-related positions.

The business specializes in FASB 842 and IASB 16 compliance for public and private companies. Generally, it has a lease accounting solution that helps clients comply with rules set forth by the Financial Accounting Standards Board and International Accounting Standards Board.

“The kind of tech knowledge or skill that is in demand right now is .NET Developers and Extract Transform Load (ETL) along with accounting expertise,” Ugi said, adding AMT also has quality assurance and development roles, along with some in IT operations.


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