When we look at the Southern California tech industry, we see exceptional job growth and continually improving unemployment rates. But what does that mean for the typical IT jobseeker in LA and the surrounding metro area? It’s a sentiment we hear all too often as an LA-based IT staffing firm. No matter what the experience level, people are asking about how to find a tech job in LA.
Supply and Demand
The LA tech scene has been headlining for the last couple of years, boasting a boom in tech jobs, tech start-ups, and tech industry leaders. In fact, according to the LAEDC, high-tech jobs grew a huge 13.5% from 2003 to 2013, and that growth has yet to slow down. Those jobs span a range of industries, from architecture and aerospace to engineering and manufacturing.
While most experts say there’s still plenty of room for improvement, it’s clear that the demand for tech professionals is high – and still climbing. This is consistent with the national growth in IT jobs, of which the BLS projects a 12% growth from 2014 to 20124 – faster than many other occupations.
But what about the supply of top tech talent to fill that demand? Across the US, we’re more than used to seeing a supply that simply can’t match the demand, meaning that competition is high among companies for attracting and recruiting top IT professionals.
However, LA has seen a 51% drop in that talent gap in the last two years. With an increasing number of start-ups and an ever-increasing average salary (get our 2016 Southern California IT Salary Guide here!), it appears that more tech talent is flocking to the area than ever before.
While that’s great for companies, that means more competition when it comes to finding a tech job in LA.
Top Technologies on the LA Scene
With competition heating up, it makes sense to dig into the data and find out what skills are most in demand. Overall IT demand and supply ratios are only half the picture; there are definitely skill sets that are going to get jobseekers ahead of the crowd and into the hands of the companies that need them most. So what are they?
On a national level, the most in-demand tech skills include: Spark, Big Data and Cloud skills, Salesforce, JIRA, Hive, Cassandra and Juniper. Not only have the number of job postings with these skills exponentially increased over the last year, the average salaries related to these technologies are highly attractive – another sign that companies are desperately trying to attract and recruit talent with these skill sets.
LA IT jobseekers should get as much exposure to the latest technologies in their field as they can. Keeping resumes clean of outdated technologies and conducting thorough research on companies in the area they’ve interested in will help IT pros uncover the best opportunities.
How to Find a Tech Job in LA
With a thorough understanding of the LA tech scene and freshly brushed up tech skills, finding a tech job in LA will be substantially easier. From there, the next step is, without a doubt, to focus on networking. While job boards will always be flooded with jobs and crowded with job seekers, experts across the board agree that networking and referrals are almost always the best way to find a new opportunity.
Consider this statistic: a recent survey showed that 63% of developers aren’t actively looking for a new position, but are passively open to new opportunities. Only 15% of them were actively seeking a new job. Furthermore, almost a third of respondents had been referred to their most recent positions by a friend. This all suggests that actively seeking IT jobs via job boards and career fairs isn’t necessarily the most successful strategy.
In fact, some experts believe that a massive 95% of people land a new position through internal promotions and networking.
At KORE1, we’ve spent years building our network of IT professionals and leaders throughout the Los Angeles metro area. We know how vital it is to make the right connections.