Tech Workers Are Finding Jobs Outside of Traditional Tech

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Photo: iStockphoto

By: Tekla S. Perry

Where are the tech jobs? Not necessarily where you would think.

That’s the conclusion of Indeed economist Andrew Flowers. In his latest analysis for the job search firm, he found that while tech jobs as a share of all jobs rose 17 percent between 2012 and 2017, from 2.8 to 3.3 percent, in high-tech industries, the ratio of tech workers to all workers fell. Meanwhile, the share of tech workers in other industries grew, according to Indeed’s numbers.

“Retailers are employing more web programmers to build ecommerce sites, banks are staffing up with data scientists for auditing, and utilities are hiring computer hardware engineers to build systems to monitor energy use,” he stated in a blog post.

Flowers used data from the American Community Survey and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics to come up with his numbers (see tables, below). They reflect the boom in agriculture technology, like John Deere’s efforts to develop autonomous tractors and expand precision farming, and in online recruiting, like that done by study sponsor Indeed.

Changing Shares of Tech Workers in Top 10 High-Tech Industries

Industry

2012 tech worker share

2017 tech worker share

Percent change in tech worker share

Computer systems design and related services

61.7%

58.2%

-5.7%

Software publishing

45.1%

39.9%

-11.4%

Internet publishing and broadcasting and web search portals

29.4%

33.0%

11.9%

Data processing, hosting, and related services

29.6%

30.1%

1.5%

Computer and peripheral equipment

27.4%

23.9%

-12.9%

Other information services, except libraries and archives, internet publishing and broadcasting, and web search portals

19.0%

20.3%

6.9%

Telecommunications, except wired telecom carriers

17.7%

16.9%

-4.2%

Wired telecommunications carriers

12.0%

13.8%

14.8%

Electronic shopping

10.6%

12.1%

14.1%

Management of companies and enterprises

11.2%

12.1%

7.9%

Source: 2017 5-year American Community Survey Microdata/Indeed

Industries with Fastest Growing Shares of Tech Workers

Industry

2012 tech worker share

2017 tech worker share

Percent change in tech worker share

Not specified utilities

4.5%

11.6%

158.0%

Agricultural implements

2.6%

4.9%

89.4%

Oil and gas extraction

3.2%

6.0%

87.5%

Natural gas distribution

2.9%

5.0%

71.4%

Engines, turbines, and power transmission equipment

3.6%

6.0%

66.5%

Household appliances

2.9%

4.6%

60.5%

Banking and related activities

6.4%

9.1%

42.7%

Periodical, book, and directory publishers

5.4%

7.6%

41.6%

Employment services

2.8%

4.0%

41.4%

Non-depository credit and related activities

6.1%

8.6%

41.4%

Source: 2017 5-year American Community Survey Microdata/Indeed

This article originally appeared in IEEE Spectrum on 19 July 2019.