Where IT Jobs Are Expected to Grow in the Next Five Years

Published on Nov 3, 2015

Updated on Nov 3, 2022

Written by Emsi Burning Glass

image of Lightcast gradiant

With the explosion of the tech economy, the need for information technology talent has risen. Nationally, IT jobs grew 15% between 2010 to 2015 and are expected to grow 9% more by 2020. These jobs offer an influx of career opportunities for both high- and middle-skill workers, and they pay well too (median hourly wage: $40.08). Still, these positions can be difficult to fill, if businesses don’t know where to look.

With this in mind, EMSI dove into Analyst, our labor market and education data software, to determine where IT jobs are expected to grow and decline the most by 2020. This information can help businesses find talent, universities and colleges make informed program planning decisions, and workforce development professionals prepare jobseekers for growing opportunities.

We built the following interactive Tableau map to help you visualize the expanding IT labor market. Note we only included metros with at least 1,000 IT jobs in 2015. And if you’d like to learn about how EMSI calculates projections, check out this Knowledge Base article.

<a href='#'><img alt='Dashboard 1 ' src='https:&#47;&#47;public.tableau.com&#47;static&#47;images&#47;Wh&#47;WhereareITJobsProjectedtoGrowtheMostby2020&#47;Dashboard1&#47;1_rss.png' style='border: none' /></a>

This map shows that the highest IT job counts are in large northeastern metros: New York City, Washington DC, and Boston. Among these, only Boston is expected to grow IT jobs faster than the nation in the next five years (11%). West coast metros are also expected to beat out the northeast for IT job growth—just check out San Francisco (14%) and Seattle (13%).

But the fastest IT job growth is due to occur outside large metros. These five metros are expected to see the largest growth:

  • Dubuque, Iowa (24%): This growth will likely spawn from the local computer systems design services industry, which specializes in planning and designing computer systems that integrate computer hardware, software, and communication technologies. IT makes up 47% of this industry’s total jobs. However, IT professionals work in nearly all industries, including those industries that don’t seem directly computer-related. Major employers in Dubuque include John Deere, IBM, and Dubuque Works.

  • Midland, Texas (24%): Nearly 20% of IT jobs in Midland are in the crude petroleum and natural gas extraction industry. These businesses may want to rally with local education institutions to get IT completions up; in 2014, there were only nine completions from local IT-related programs and 81 openings, which could result in hiring difficulty.

  • San Luis Obispo, California (21%): Custom computer programming services and software publishers are driving this growth; these industries combined are expected to add over 250 jobs by 2020.

  • Naples, Florida (20%): Similar to San Luis Obispo, Naples’ IT occupations are largely employed by custom computer programming services and software publishers. IT completions are also low in Naples (75 completions in 2014, 116 openings).

  • Provo, Utah (20%): Among these top five metros, Provo has the highest IT job counts and the highest concentration of IT jobs (a location quotient of 1.58, indicating Provo has 58% more IT occupations than the nation average).

Very few metros are expected to lose IT jobs. However, a few of these declines are quite significant:

  • Dalton, Georgia (-35%): Dalton has suffered massive job loss and is in danger of losing 8% more jobs by 2020. Many of these losses have occurred in the town’s carpet and flooring industries—the heart of the local economy. But job losses have also spread to other industries, including computer facilities and management services, which is home to about 60% of local IT jobs and is expected to decline 64% between 2015 and 2020.

  • Rochester, Minnesota (-14%): Known for its health care economy, the labor market in Rochester is expected to do well over the next five years. However, IT jobs are largely tied to its electronic computer manufacturing industry, which is expected to see a 50% decline. This decline could be particularly damaging because Rochester’s concentration (1.56) and wages ($42.57) for IT jobs are higher than national averages.

  • Binghamton, New York (-8%): Binghamton also has a struggling economy, having lost 5% of all jobs between 2010 and 2015. But its luck is projected to change with a 1% increase in employment over the next five years. Unfortunately, many local IT jobs are concentrated in manufacturing industries, which are expected to continue to decline. This is especially true of Binghamton’s electronic computer manufacturing industry (-98% between 2015 and 2020).

Which IT Occupations Are Driving This Growth?

With the above map in mind, it may not be a surprise that all IT occupations are expected to see some amount of growth in the next five years. However, certain occupations will grow faster than others—with information security analysts leading the pack (16%) and computer network support specialists trailing behind (3%).

Check out the table below to see projections for different occupations as well as how much they pay and what the typical education level would be for an entry-level position.

SOCOccupation Name2015 Jobs2020 JobsProjected ChangeProjected % ChangeMedian Hourly EarningsTypical Entry Level Education15-1122Information Security Analysts85,13399,05213,91916%$42.74Bachelor's degree15-1132Software Developers, Applications727,753814,98687,23312%$45.92Bachelor's degree15-1121Computer Systems Analysts556,922622,97066,04812%$39.76Bachelor's degree15-1134Web Developers130,161144,21114,05011%$30.52Associate's degree15-1133Software Developers, Systems Software403,542443,88440,34210%$49.46Bachelor's degree15-1151Computer User Support Specialists645,478708,47562,99710%$22.89Some college, no degree15-1111Computer and Information Research Scientists26,87329,2582,3859%$52.09Doctoral or professional degree11-3021Computer and Information Systems Managers347,810376,07328,2638%$61.37Bachelor's degree15-1141Database Administrators117,964126,8028,8387%$38.60Bachelor's degree15-1143Computer Network Architects146,387156,2379,8507%$47.32Bachelor's degree15-1142Network and Computer Systems Administrators381,001404,05123,0506%$36.44Bachelor's degree15-1131Computer Programmers313,997330,76916,7725%$37.28Bachelor's degree15-1199Computer Occupations, All Other226,690237,27110,5815%$40.10Bachelor's degree15-1152Computer Network Support Specialists191,651197,8876,2363%$29.72Associate's degreeTotals4,301,3624,691,926390,5649%$40.08Source: EMSI 2015.3 Beta (wage-and-salary employees)

Further Reading

For more on EMSI data—available at the county, MSA, and ZIP code level—or to see data for your region, contact us. Follow EMSI on Twitter (@DesktopEcon) or check us out on LinkedIn and Facebook.