The IT Market

This page is divided into two parts:

  1. An overview of the job specializations in the Information Technology field, and
  2. High-tech/computer Job Reports published by major government and news organizations.

Overview of IT Specializations

The first thing someone considering entering the IT field should know is what the IT field is what it consists of. Information Technology, or IT, is a term used to describe the the industry and the careers related to computer software, hardware, and telecommunications. This includes software development, programming, networking, information security, web development, PC support, and IT management. Those who work in the IT field often obtain their education in college degrees such as Computer Information Systems (CIS), Management Information Systems (MIS), Computer Science (CS), Computer Engineering (CE), or Electrical Engineering (EE).

Because the field of IT is so diverse and each specialization within it, in many ways, distinctly different from the other specializations, many IT professions become very skilled and knowledgeable in one or two areas and then maintain general knowledge and skill in the other specializations. Therefore, it is important for those entering the IT field to begin thinking about a specialization. Below is an overview of 6 areas of IT and further specializations within each. If you would like to discuss any of these areas with a CIS faculty member, please do not hesitate to contact the department.

1. Programming and Software Development

Programming and software development remains a very hot IT career. While some programming jobs are outsourced, many still remain here in the U.S. In fact, there are areas so hot in programming employers can find enough qualified professionals for the jobs (see articles below for more information).

Within Programming and Software Development, there is even a further level of specialization. These specializations include:

  • Microsoft .NET: Visual Basic, Active Server Pages, C#
  • Java, J2EE, JSP, Struts
  • C and C++
  • See web development for more (web-specific) programming area

2. Web Design and Development

As the IT Job Market articles below show, web design and development is popular and in-demand career area. "Web design" is a term used to describe jobs that deal more with the look-and-feel, design, layout, and artistic elements of a Web Site. "Web development" is a term used to describe more of back-end programming of a Web Site that make it work.

Within Web Design and Development, there is even a further level of specialization. These specializations include:

  • Web Design: PhotoShop, Dreamweaver, Illustrator, HTML, CSS, Fireworks
  • Web Design/Developer/Multimedia: Adobe Flash, Shockwave
  • Web Programmer: PHP, MySQL
  • Web Programmer: Ruby on Rails
  • Web Programmer: Web 2.0, AJAX
  • Web Programmer: ColdFusion
  • Miscellaneous other skills: XML, JavaScript, Python

3. Database Development and Administration

Database development and administrator is one of the hottest and well-paid IT areas and the administration work within it is one of the least likely to be outsourced. Within database development and administration, there is even a further level of specialization. These specializations, which are usually based on the vendor/company who makes the database software, include:

4. PC Support and Networking

Networking is one of the most in-demand areas within IT. One can enter the IT field as a network administrator, although many work there way there by starting as a PC Technician. The fields of PC Support and Networking are often chosen by individuals who prefer not to program (although some networking professions do program and like it).

  • PC Support Technician, Desktop Technician, HelpDesk Technician, Dept Technician
  • LAN/Network Administrator
  • Network Architect
  • Cisco Network Engineer
  • Server Administrator
  • Network Engineer
  • Wireless Network Engineer

5. IT Security

In a world networked together that includes corporate data, health care data, personal data, and government data and infrastructure, IT security is a fast-growing, in-demand specialization. Among the areas within IT security are the following:

6. IT Management

There are a number of different business and management-related paths in IT. Among these are the following:

  • System Analysts and Business Analysts (programmers often become systems analysts or work in both capacities)
  • Quality Assurance (QA) and Testing
  • Project Management
  • Enterprise Resources Planning
  • IT Auditor
  • IT Training
  • IT Sales
  • Other IT consulting


Job Market Reports

Money Magazine 2018 Best Jobs in America Report. # Data Scientist. #2 Devops Engineer. #8 Mobile Developer. Web Site | PDF

MI Bright Future Handout on SE Michigan High Tech Job Market. 2017. Shows 17 to 1 ratio of IT job openings to IT graduates. Web Site | PDF

Ivanka Trump, experts talk STEM education in Detroit. Fox 2. Sept. 26, 2017. Includes 1.5 hour video. of event. "Right now less than half of American schools have even a single computer science course so we have to do better - we are going to do better and this is a giant leap forward in that direction.... Computer science and coding are a priority for the administration as we think about pathways to jobs," Ivanka said... This is the answer - it is just flat out the answer - if you put technology skills into these urban schools. ... It's just such a win-win for society - creating wealth, creating jobs and creating confidence and optimism," he said. "And so I don't know if there's anything better we can do than training people in technology jobs in this country right now." Web Site |  PDF

Ivanka Trump talks up computer science education in Detroit Free Press. Sept. 26, 2017. "A $300-million commitment from the private sector will help boost computer science education programs across the nation... And it came a day after President Donald Trump signed a presidential memorandum directing the U.S. Department of Education to steer at least $200 million annually toward STEM and computer science education in U.S. schools." Web Site |  PDF

2017 CNN / Money Magazine Best Jobs in America Report - IT jobs 5 of top 14 in 2017 best jobs to have in America are in the IT field, including the #job!.  Web Site (full list) | #1 Job |
 2017 PDF Version | #1 Job PDF Version

The 2017 Top Programming Languages IEEE. July 28, 2017. #1 Python. #2 C. #3 Java. #4 C++. #5 C#. #7 JavaScript. #8 PHP. Web Site |  PDF

College Degrees With the Highest (And Lowest) Starting Salaries In 2017. Michigan State University Study. Computer Science/Software Design/IT among highest. Web Site |  PDF

CNN / Money Magazine IT Jobs summary from last five years

2017 CNN Money Magazine Best Jobs in America Report
IT jobs 5 of top 14 jobs
#1 Mobile Application Developer
#5 Information Assurance Analyst
#9 Database Analyst
#13 Information Technology Director
#14 Webmaster

2015 CNN Money Magazine Best Jobs in America Report
IT jobs 4 of top 10 jobs
#1 Software Architect
#2 Video Game Designer
#8: Database Developer
#9 Information Assurance Analyst

2014 CNN Money Magazine Best Jobs in America Report
IT jobs 5 of top 12 jobs
#1: Software Developer
#2 Computer Systems Analyst
#9 Web Developer
#11 Information Security Analyst
#12 Database Administrator

2013 CNN Money Magazine Best Jobs in America Report
IT jobs 4 of top 10 jobs
#4 Computer Systems Analyst
#6 Database Administrator
#7: Software Developer
#9 Web Developer

2012 CNN Money Magazine Best Jobs in America Report
IT jobs 5 of top 12 jobs
#2: Software Developer
#5 Database Administrator
#6 Web Developer
#7 Computer Systems Analyst
#9 Computer Programmer

Want college to pay off? These are the 50 majors with the highest earnings. Washington Post. October 17, 2016 and Fortune. Engineering and Technology have top-earning entry-level jobs. Computer Science #1. Web Site #1 
Web Site #2 
PDF #1PDF #2

Half of the high-paying jobs in America now require this skill. Market Watch. Aug 12, 2016 12:39 p.m. ET

A few quotes from the article:

  • Roughly half of the jobs in the top income quartile — defined as those paying $57,000 or more per year — are in occupations that commonly require applicants to have at least some computer coding knowledge or skill,
  • In-demand programming languages include SQL, Java, JavaScript, C# and Python.
  • Indeed, everyone from business people who work with data to designers and marketers who create websites to scientists who conduct research now need at least some coding knowledge.
  • Employers and employees — even those who aren’t in the technology field — say the same. Jake Lane, a growth analyst at lawn care company LawnStarter, says that “having some knowledge of coding is essential for job seekers these days"
    an understanding of how programming languages work provides a job seeker with clear advantage over the others
  • Other reasons that coding skills are so in demand: They can help workers “automate trivial tasks”
    Indeed, some say that nearly every job in the future will require some knowledge of coding: Richard Wang, the chief executive officer of coding boot camp Coding Dojo, who has a vested interest in people brushing up on their coding skills, notes that “knowing how to code is an essential skill for workers wanting to get ahead in today’s digital economy
    Web Site
     | PDF Version

    The 9 Most In-Demand Programming Languages of 2016. January 27, 2016  Coding Dojo.  
    Glassdoor recently published a report on the top 25 lucrative, in-demand jobs. More than half of the jobs listed are in tech and require programming skills.
    Web Site

    2015 CNN / Money Magazine Best Jobs in America Report - IT jobs 4 of top 10 in 2015, including #1 and #2 best job to have!.  Web Site | 2015 Part 1 PDF Version | 2015 Part 2 PDF Version | 2015 Part 3 PDF Version

    Center for Michigan report that cites the State of Michigan is graduating 20% too few computer and math professionals, 14% too few health professionals and 3% too few engineers. , Center for Michigan, January 4, 2015.  
    Web Site

    Most Popular Programming Languages - TIOBE Index for January 2015  Web Site
    January 2015: #1 - C, #2 - Java, #3 - Objective-C, #4 - C++, #5 = C#, #6 - PHP, #7 JavaScript, #8 - Python, #9 - Perl, #10 - PL/SQL  
    PDF version   
    October 2015: #1 - Java, #2 - Objective-C, #3 - C++, #4 = C#, #5 - Python, #6 PHP, #7 - Visual Basic.NET, #8 - JavaScript, #9 Perl, #10 - Ruby  
    PDF version

    The 10 hottest jobs in Michigan in 2015 , Detroit Free Press January 4, 2015.  
    Web Site | PDF version 

    Georgetown University Study on Certificate Programs: CERTIFICATES: GATEWAY TO GAINFUL EMPLOYMENT AND COLLEGE DEGREES,  
    Full-Report (PDF) | 
    Executive Summary (PDF) | 
    Certificate Major Media Converage | 
    Another Kind of Higher Education (American RadioWorks) | 
    Another Kind of Higher Education (PDF) | 
    College Certificates Remain Popular in the Current Economy (PDF) | 
    Research Supports Work of Community Colleges | 
    Research Supports Work of Community Colleges (PDF backup) | 
    New York Times: "How Certificates Can Lift Income," by Motoko Rich (6.6.12) | 
    New York Times: "How Certificates Can Lift Income" (PDF backup) | 

    Meet Cobol's hard-core fans , ComputerWorld, August 21, 2014.  Web Site 

    2014 Money Magazine / U.S. News and World Best Jobs in America Report - IT jobs 5 of top 12 in 2014, including #1 and #2 best job to have!.  Web Site | 2014 Part 1 PDF Version | 2014 Part 2 PDF Version

    25 Hot Skills That Got People Jobs In 2013 - almost all of them in IT/web, e.g. social media marketing, perl, web programming, java, C++, etc. (Business Insider, December 31, 2013)  Web Site | PDF Version

    President Obama calls on every American to learn code (video/speech). (YouTube, December 8, 2013)  Web Site

    Change Agents: The Menlo App Academy wants kids to code - Amazing story of two 14 year old with goal to teach USA to code. Gwertzman says the statistics that trouble him include the fact that "100% of Chinese kids K-12 learn coding, but here only 5% do, and many aren't given science credit in school for doing so." He adds that in 2020 there will be 1.4 million programming-related jobs in U.S., but only an estimated 400,000 qualified graduates to fill those positions.. (USA Today, September 15, 2013)  Web Site | PDF Version

    CNN / Money Magazine - Web Developer: Make $30 an hour, no bachelor's degree required.  Web Site | PDF Version

    Money Magazine / U.S. News and World Report - IT jobs 4 of top 10 in 2013, 5 of top 10 jobs in 2012.  2012 PDF Version | 2013 PDF Version

    Top Jobs in Demand for 1st Quarter of 2013 in Metro Detroit - 5 of top 10 in Computers (WINS - Workforce Intelligence Network (WIN) - A southeast Michigan collaborative), May 8, 2013) Web Site | PDF Version

    2013 Highest Paying College Majors - 7 of top 10 in Engineering, 3 of top 10 in Computers: #2 - Computer Engineering: $71,700, #4 - Computer Science: $64,800, and #8 - Management Information Systems/Business: $63,100 (Yahoo Finance, April 29, 2013) PDF Version

    Best and Worst Jobs of 2013,’ from - Best Jobs - #3 Software Engineer, #10 - Computer Systems Analyst, #24 - Web Developer, #38 - Computer Programmer (Wall Street Journal , April 22, 2013) Web Site | PDF Version

    Ten Recession-Proof Jobs’ - 2 of the top 10 recession-proof jobs in IT: Network Administrator and Software Engineer, with specific mention of Web ( , April 13, 2013) Web Link #1 | Web Link #1 | PDF Link #1 | PDF Link #2

    Detroit among ‘fastest-growing cities for tech jobs,’ CNN Money says. (MLive , March 25, 2013) Web Site | PDF Version

    Go Boom or Best: The Need for Tech Talent in Southeast Michigan.: Information Technology (IT) jobs "fastest growing regional occupation cluster... In fact, based on job postings, Southeast Michigan has seen some of the fastest growth in information technology occupational demand in the nation, nearly 55 percent in five years. This outpaces growth in well-known tech hubs like Silicon Valley (San Jose), Austin, Boston and others. (Crain's Detroit Business, March 21, 2013) Web Site | PDF Version

    CNN article on Community college grads out-earning bachelor's degree holders with specific mention of IT jobs.  (CNN, February 26, 2013) Web Site | PDF Version | PDF Version 2

    Wikipedia article on metro Detroit economy writes: "Metro Detroit accounts for the State's national ranking in emerging technology fields such as life sciences, information technology, and advanced manufacturing; Metro Detroit's technology sector is fifth in the U.S. for total employment and fourth in the percent of employment concentrated within the sector. In 2010, the Detroit area became the fastest growing region in the U.S. for high technology jobs.[58] Downtown Detroit maintains a wireless Internet zone and has seen an influx of information technology jobs.[59] A report by the Silicon Valley based TechNet group found Michigan to be the leading state for stimulating demand for broadband, positioning it during the early 2000s."   (Wikipedia, retrieved February 24, 2013).  Web Site | PDF Version

    Fastest-growing area for tech jobs is… Detroit?: Detroit ranks highest - higher than Silicon Valley, Chicago, Seattle and others as fastest growing area for tech jobs - job data from Dice.  (SmartPlanet, February 9, 2013 ) PDF Version

    Detroit Tech: Automation Alley 2012 Report Says Engineering, Technology Jobs Growing In Southeast Michigan  (Huffington Post, February 5, 2013) Web Site | PDF Version

    GM To Hire 1,500 IT Pros In Michigan  (Information Week, October 8, 2012)  PDF Version

    GM Plans to Hire About 10,000 IT Workers Over Five Years  (Bloomberg, September 7, 2012) PDF Version

    2012 Best Jobs - Money Magazine / U.S. News and World Report - #2 Software Developer, #5 Database Administrator, #6, Web Developer, #7 Computer Systems Analyst, #9 Computer Programmer (2012).  PDF Version

    Metro Detroit-based Quicken Loans set to 500 new hires, many in IT field. (Detroit Free Press, September 13, 2011). | Full List PDF VersionJobs from Quicken Web Site

    Scarcity of smartphone app developers stifles a growing industry in Michigan. (Detroit Free Press, August 30, 2011).  | Full List PDF Version

    CNN Money Magazine's 2010 List of the Best Jobs in America. (CNN / Money Magazine). IT industry has 16 of top 50 jobs including the #1 job and 26 of their top 100 jobs. Web Site | Full List PDF Version | By Sector PDF Version

    10 Jobs That Didn't Exist 10 Years Ago (New Technology Jobs/Careers). (Yahoo Finance, January 28, 2011). 10 Jobs That Didn't Exist 10 Years Ago. PDF Version

    Where the jobs are: The right spots in the recovery. (Time Magazine, January 6, 2011). Tech jobs lead the way: Network-System and Data Analysts second fastest growing. Good candidates even hard to find in southeast Michigan.Web Site | PDF Version

    Jobs with the Greatest Salary Gains. (Bloomberg BusinessWeek/Yahoo, September 17, 2010). Occupations with the fastest rising salaries between 2000 and 2009 from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Computer and Information Systems Managers ranked #3 with average salary $113,720 per year up 44% from 2000.  | PDF Version

    Software company on target to hire 500 software and internet developers in Detroit. (Detroit WXYZ News, June 3, 2010). New Jersey based medical software company GalaxESolutions has opened shop in Detroit and is on a hiring binge. Web Site | PDF Version

    Best and Worst College Degrees for 2010 Grads. (Fox News, Business, May 17, 2010). Research/studies shows engineering, computers science, accounting, retail, advanced manufacturing, health care and management as best careers. PDF Version

    5 High-Paying, Low Stress Jobs.. (May 10 2010). Computer Software Engineers listed among top 5 high-paying, low stress jobs. Average pay: $54,000 to $130,000.  PDF Version

    5 Dream Jobs that Pay from Yahoo Careers. (February 2010). A Cyber-Security Worker is among the five careers listed and of the five this careers pays the most, i.e. average of $69,570. Cyber-Security Workers protect data and computer systems connected to the Internet. Web Site | PDF Version

    CNN - Money Magazine 2009 Best Jobs in America Report, IT field has 14 of top 100 jobs: #5, 8, #12, #16, #17, #30, #39, #40, and more.  PDF Version

    A Report on Salaries: Web Site Manager, (Parade Magazine, April 12, 2009) - Eileen Coleman, 35 PDF Version

    Contractor Seeks 'Cyber Warriors' to Help Defend U.S., (Fox News, July 25, 2009) - Want to be a "Cyber warrior" defending your country? If so, there are plenty of well-paid jobs available.Web Site | PDF Version | Job Postings (PDF)

    U.S. Department of Labor: Bureau of Labor Statistics. Occupational Outlook Handbook (2008-2009).

    • Professional and related occupations - main Web Site for job descriptions: PDF Version
    • Computer Programming job information: PDF Version
    • Software Engineering job information: PDF Version
    • Computer Support Specialists and Systems Administrators job information: PDF Version
    • Computer Systems Analysts job information: PDF Version
    • Computer Scientists and Database Administrators job information: PDF Version
    • Tomorrow's Jobs Report: Chart 7 lists networking and computer software engineers as fasting growing fields, 2006-2016. PDF Version

    The 10 Hardest Jobs to Fill in America, (Forbes, June, 2009) - Information Technology Staff is listed by Forbes and staffing firm Manpower, Inc as one of the top 10 hardest to fill jobs in America. Others include nurses, engineers and teachers. Web Site | PDF Version

    $75,000 Salary Secrets: 5 Careers that Pay Well Even in a Recession (Yahoo HotJobs article). This article describes how "nearly 150,000 new jobs for computer systems analysts are expected from 2006 through 2016" and that "median salaries for computer systems analysts were just over $73,000 in 2007, but the highest-paid professionals in this field raked in well over $100,000."  PDF Version

    20 Highest-Paying Careers, (CareerBuilder, April 3, 2009) - Four of the top 20 (40%) in IT, specifically Systems and Programming Managers, Lead Systems Analysts, Lead Computer Programmers, and Computer Programmers.  PDF Version

    Five High-Demand Jobs in 2008, (Yahoo, 2008) - Two of the top five (40%) in IT, specifically Lead Applications Developers and Web Design Professionals.  PDF Version

    IT/computer jobs among top careers for 2008 according to U.S. News and World Report. Systems Analyst, Data Miner, and Simulation Developer career those cited.Web Site | PDF Version

    State [of Michigan] short tech workers. Detroit News, August 2008..PDF Version

    Highest Paying Majors in College, (Yahoo, 2008) - Computer and Computer Science among top 3.  PDF Version

    The 8 Hottest Skills for '08 - AJAX, .NET, XML, PHP, Web 2.0, etc. (ComputerWorld, December 31, 2007) (you will have to click 'Skip this ad' several times). PDF Version

    Seven Hot Tech Skills That Employers Need. Wireless, application and web development (PHP, .NET, C#, Visual Basic, Java, Web 2.0, etc.), network and windows administration, helpdesk. (IT Management, September 10, 2007).

    Tech Salaries: Ten Leading Jobs, (IT Management, June 26, 2007) - Sr. Java Developer. Average salary: $92,570.  PDF Version

    Hot jobs for 2007, exaggerated claims of outsourcing (only 5% of all IT jobs displaced by foreign workers), survey of 140 chief information officers by the Society for Information Management (SIM), nearly two-thirds of technology executives plan to maintain or increase the size of their IT staff in 2007, hot jobs in Java, XML, network administration, .NET, Linux, etc. (Certification Magazine, January 2007) PDF Version

    What Tech Skills Are Hot for 2006? Developers, security experts and project managers will be in demand. Despite the notion that hordes of U.S. IT jobs are being sent offshore, in reality, less than 5% of the 10 million people who make up the U.S. IT job market had been displaced by foreign workers through 2004, says Scot Melland, president and CEO of Dice Inc., a New York-based online jobs service. (ComputerWorld, January 27, 2005) (you will have to click 'Skip this ad' several times). PDF Version

    The 2006 Cnn/Money Magazine "Best Jobs in America" report listed the #1 job as "Software Engineer" and the #7 as "Computer IT Analyst", which both fall under the CIS degree.  PDF Version

    The following article titled "Not adding up: Schools faced with an enrollment drop in computer-science students" describes how enrollment in Computer Science is dropping, while demand for graduates is increasing. The drop in enrollment, says the article, is due to incorrect perceptions that there are no jobs in the IT industry due to offshoring and lay-offs when, in fact, there is a shortage of IT professionals in many areas and all job market indicators (i.e. U.S. government, state governments, employers, etc.) show IT has among the most in-demand careers. (Daily Camera, April 9, 2007) PDF Version

    "Tech Grads Face Strongest Market in Five Years" (Internet Week, 2005).  PDF Version

    Hot IT Jobs and Skills for 2006 ( PDF Version

    HFCC's Networking Programs listed among the best in Metro Detroit (Degree Directory). Article mentions "critical shortage of qualified computer security professionals." Web Site | PDF Version