It’s hard to imagine a better time to be in Atlanta’s tech job market than right now. Last month, the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) reported that the current IT job market in Atlanta is 15.1% greater than in May of 2014. The last time that IT talent in Georgia had this many job opportunities was nearly four years ago. Even more interesting is that the national IT job market average has shown very little movement (down 0.3%), while Atlanta continues to show increased growth.
Here at Synergis, I speak with companies needing tech talent every day and have the pleasure of interacting with candidates on LinkedIn or in our offices as well. It’s an exciting time to be here in Atlanta, and the volume and magnitude of opportunity is truly amazing (check out these maps demonstrating just how vibrant the Atlanta tech community is). Not only is Atlanta a top-20 U.S. city for tech job growth but our incredible weather, low cost of living, reasonable real estate costs and access to Fortune 100 and global companies make it an attractive alternative to Silicon Valley and other traditional tech hot beds. In fact, I was recently speaking to a business acquaintance from Ernst & Young, and he mentioned data suggesting that salaries in Atlanta are comparable to those in New York – here in Atlanta your earnings are among the most competitive markets in the country; plus your earnings go much further!
Atlanta IT Jobs Offer Incredible Opportunities
Understanding how IT salaries are determined — and how you can increase your chances of landing a top salary — is key to setting and reaching your career goals. These three tips can help you earn the most competitive salaries:
– The right IT skill sets are essential. Right now, the truth is that many companies (in Atlanta and across the country) are struggling to find IT talent with the skill sets they need. In fact, the U.S. government is implementing several key initiatives to increase the number of talented tech professionals available. Schools (including schools here in Forsyth County) are implementing STEM curricula at younger ages to develop skills and interest in tech careers. While these programs will help increase tech talent in the future, companies are in need of specific tech skill sets right now. Find yourself with those skills and you’ll have greater leverage when negotiating salaries. While the specific, desired skills in demand can vary based on industry or company, the areas in mobile, security and big data continue to see increased demand.
– Always be open to new opportunities. Since we are in such a competitive market for IT talent (especially with in-demand skill sets) right now in Atlanta (and across the country), companies are finding that the tech talent they want to hire, well…isn’t actually looking for a job. Our recruiters here at Synergis work hard to build relationships with tech talent across a range of disciplines and backgrounds – some of them are actively looking for work, while others are currently employed. Working with a recruiter offers some unique perspective as well as opportunity – although you may be employed, there could be an increased demand for your specific skills and background. If you’re not actively looking for work, you could be missing out on tremendous potential to advance your career (and your earning power). A strong recruiter relationship ensures that you have someone looking out for your interests behind the scenes; someone who will reach out when a great opportunity becomes available…even if you’re not actively looking.
– Never stop learning. We all know how quickly technology is evolving. If you’re an experienced IT pro with years of experience, although this might seem counterintuitive, you might not be the person companies are looking for when it comes to the most in-demand and lucrative positions. But, there’s an easy fix to that problem – always seek to expand your knowledge. From additional college coursework to advanced certifications, and other advanced learning, these all stand out to potential employers looking for passionate professionals who have their finger on the pulse of emerging tech and skill sets. Professionals who seek out additional learning are especially attractive to employers as it indicates a drive to improve and be at the forefront of the industry. Not only can advanced certifications and learning help you stand out from your competition, they can also net you significantly larger compensation packages.
Whether you’re born and raised here or looking for more in an exciting and growing tech market, Atlanta offers incredible IT career opportunities. Global brands like Mercedes, General Motors, Porsche and The Home Depot are just a few of the companies moving to or expanding in Atlanta. It’s an exciting time to be here – are you ready to take advantage?