DC No. 2 for tech job openings — and they pay well

Companies have many information technology jobs to fill, and obtaining a well-paying, entry-level IT job does not always require a big upfront investment in a traditional education.

Many of those jobs are waiting to be filled in the D.C. region.

The Computer Technology Industry Association, a trade group for the IT industry, reports hiring activity in the U.S. hit a two-year high in October. Employers listed more than 360,000 job openings for technology positions — 76,000 more than the previous month.

Tech industry employment has expanded by an estimated 140,000 jobs so far this year, and it is not just technology companies with those jobs. There is big demand in finance and health care, as well as government contractors here in the D.C. region.

The D.C. metro ranked second nationally in total tech job openings in October, with more than 19,000 of them. The D.C. area ranked third for the month-over-month increase in job openings.

Qualifying for many of them does not require a traditional four-year college degree. Some require considerably less.

Other types of educational experience include “people who have taught themselves, who have been taught in community colleges or technical schools, people who have not gone to the most elite universities but have incredible skills and drive and desire,” Charles Eaton, executive vice president for social innovation at CompTIA. “And what we’ve learned with our own training programs is that drive and desire are the two indicators for future success in tech.”

He added, “You don’t have to be great at science and math to consider a role in technology.”

Industries with the highest number of tech job postings include professional services, scientific and technical services, finance and insurance, manufacturing, retail trade, health care and social assistance, education and public administration.

IT jobs in the D.C. region generally pay well, and pay is going up.

“In 2020, we saw the average tech worker in the D.C. market was earning $109,000, which put us behind San Francisco, San Jose and Seattle. In 2021, we know that salaries are going up. We just won’t get a full sense of it until the year is up,” Eaton said.

Information technology is one of the strongest professions for employment, with an unemployment rate in October of just 2.1%.

CompTIA’s full tech jobs report is online.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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