What’s the real situation in the employment market for IT specialists? How is Atlanta compared to other big technological hubs? We will explore available tech opportunities in the city and see what makes Atlanta’s metropolitan area so appealing to startups and large companies.
Tech jobs distribution in AtlantaAtlanta is home to more than 261,000 employees in the IT sector, including technical and nontechnical employees, and the self-employed. This is over nine percent of Metro Atlanta’s entire workforce. Since 2010, this number has grown 25.4 percent. So, there’s no shortage of a tech community as evidenced by the rising number of specialized events to visit or bustling startup accelerators. It’s currently in a sweet spot where it’s neither overpopulated by the IT crowd nor is it lagging behind.
What tech specializations are most prevalent in Atlanta? And how well are these jobs paid? Here are some of the key IT jobs critical for creating and maintaining technology, comprising about half of all IT workers in Metro Atlanta.
Software and Web Developers. Both in Atlanta and nationwide, coders are the leading tech world occupants. The number of employees is estimated to be over 37k people. On average, programmers receive a salary of approximately $75k annually.
Network Architects, Admins, and Support. In this slice of tech occupation, Atlanta employs over 18k people. A specialist earns about $60k annually on average.
Computer Support Specialists. Atlanta’s Metro Area has around 18k people engaged in these jobs. The average salary for such employees is over $45k a year.
Cybersecurity analysts. The number of people employed in this job is almost equal to that of Computer Support specialist or 16k people. The salary floats somewhere above $95k a year.
Database administrators. Around 4k people are employed as database managers and they command nearly $80k a year. As you can see, this tech talent is underrepresented here. So, if you’re looking for that type of employee, consider shifting your attention to Dallas or San Francisco, where their numbers float between 4 and 5 thousand.
At the same time, data from CompTIA shows that IT pros in Atlanta get a median salary of $91,209 annually, which is almost $3,000 more than the US annual median wage.
Tech industry sectors distribution in AtlantaAccording to the CompTIA report, the following IT services are best represented in the Atlanta Metro Area.
Key job roles and industry sectors in the Atlanta Metro Area Source: CompTIAIT Services and Custom Software services are leading. There are approximately 69k Atlanta residents working in custom software development. Moreover, the niche is still growing: IT and Custom Software Services have experienced a +2.1 YoY growth. The wage of an average employee here is around $90k a year.
Telecommunications and Internet services hold the line. The situation in this tech slice is slightly different. Telecom is more widespread and popular in Atlanta than it is nationally. With over 50k people employed in this sector, it experiences a +1.3 growth YoY rate. Salaries for telecom engineers are estimated at $77k annually.
Engineering and testing services are the fastest growing. In Atlanta, with its 50k engineering and testing employees, this tech sector experienced the largest year-over-year growth (+3.8). The average pay rate in this sector is over $85k.
Out-of-the-box and packaged software are on the rise. Atlanta is listed among the Top 10 US cities by the number of specialists working in packaged software development. This is another surprising observation as on the whole, out-of-the-box product engineering is the slowest growing subsector of IT services. The number of experts engaged is over 14k and growing. The average salary floats at $100k annually.
Tech manufacturing is the most narrowly focused. With over 8k tech manufacturing engineers employed, Atlanta is a leading city in this tech industry sector. The average wage of a tech manufacturing engineer is rated at $68k annually.
The never-ending tech talent potentialWhy does Atlanta seem to be the inexhaustible source of tech labor? The tech market partially owes this to the educational environment.
Georgia Tech - 6,000 IT graduates per yearGeorgia Tech is probably the most renowned selling point in the state of Georgia and particularly as regards Atlanta technical education opportunities. For now, it offers over 20 majors and degree programs, such as:
- Business Administration - Management of Technology (MBA),
- Computational Media (BS;
- Computational Science and Engineering (MS),
- Computer Engineering (BS),
- Computer Science (BS),
- Cybersecurity (MS),
- and many more.
Emory - 500+ tech-related graduates per yearEmory University is another recognizable education brand in the Atlanta Metro Area. Goizueta Business School offers a lot of business-related programs. But as we are more interested in tech, there’s only one we need.
Business Analytics (MS) is right at the intersection of business, technology, and data. The ten-month program educates business data scientists by covering such fields of knowledge as data visualization, machine learning, operating big data, social network analytics, business analytics, and more.
As for graduate programs, the Computer Science and Informatics Department is worth mentioning. With an acceptance rate of only 22 percent, Emory has about 390 graduates from Business and Management Studies, 55 Computer Science graduates, and 120 Mathematics and Statistics graduates annually.
Emory is the birthplace of 103 startups, 40 of which went to market with $2.1bn received in private investments.
Georgia State University - 1,500+ tech-related graduates per yearOne of the most diverse educational institutions, GSU, as it’s usually referred to, obviously contributes to Atlanta’s tech talent pool replenishment. A wide range of programs include:
- Computer Information Systems,
- Computer Science,
- Data Science and Analytics,
- and many more.
Gwinnett Technical College - 350 business and tech graduates per yearGwinnett is a small institution with a 100 percent acceptance rate and a bit under 2,000 graduates each year. Its Network, Database, and System Administration major usually has 150 graduates, Business and Business Support - a little over 200 graduates. Considered one of the best community colleges in Georgia, it trains specialists in cybersecurity, Java programming, game development, and networking.
Lanier Technical College - tech and design graduates from mixed backgroundsThe campuses of Lanier Technical College are located outside of Atlanta, but it’s one of the highest-ranked community colleges in the state. It has an adult education program and a program for those continuing education, widening the pool of specialists of different backgrounds and skills. Apart from standard Business and Management education, Lanier provides a major in Digital Media and Design.
GVU Center at Georgia Tech - IT research lab with 250 live projectsFormerly Graphics, Visualization and Usability Center, GVU is a research ecosystem allowing Georgia Tech students to do academic research in cutting-edge technologies like augmented reality, AI, wearable computing, VR, robotics, and more. This interactive infographic showcases the biggest achievements and experiments conducted at the lab in 2019. Currently, GVU students are working on projects and grants with Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Apple, Samsung, IBM, and the other leading tech companies.
In addition to global US job boards like Glassdoor and Indeed, both employers and job seekers in the Atlanta Metro Area have access to numerous local job-finding opportunities, communities, and platforms.
Recruiting IT specialists in AtlantaIn addition to global US job boards like Glassdoor and Indeed, both employers and job seekers in the Atlanta Metro Area have access to numerous local job-finding opportunities, communities, and platforms.
Local job search boardsChooseATL. Focused primarily on Millennials, the platform presents Atlanta as a place to live, work, and launch a business. It gives access to job openings across the industries Atlanta is most prominent for, including supply chain, FinTech, IT, film, and more. ChooseATL also serves as a learning platform, providing various information resources on Atlanta.
MetroAtlantaJobs. Providing local-oriented job postings, the resource also gives information on career opportunities-related events. The platform serves as a reliable source of tools and learning information for employees and businesses.
AJC Jobs. Albeit one of the primary information resources for Atlanta, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution also contains job search opportunities. However, open positions are posted on a commercial basis.
Dice.com is a tech-focused platform for both tech talent and career opportunity seekers. Besides tech career postings and useful information, it also provides salary prediction and career path options. Offers for employers are also included.
LocalWork.com provides posting and searching for jobs in Atlanta. A local-focused job board, it aggregates Google search results for local positions. Besides, it provides useful information on job- and opportunity-seeking topics.
Atlanta job post is a local career network website. Aside from a simple job search by industry, it introduces recruitment tools and useful information on the labor market in Atlanta.
Communities and PlatformsAtlanta Tech Village is the largest and most popular spot for IT people to meet, share knowledge, and engage in educational activities. They also have a listing of jobs available in startups. If you’re a Village resident, you’ll have an exclusive opportunity to place your ad there.
Technology Association of Georgia unites over 30,000 tech industry representatives from business, tech, and science across the entire state of Georgia. Both free and paid options are available to access the network
Georgia Department of Labor has an official government portal to serve both employers and job seekers. It provides access to state, local, and federal government career opportunities.
Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce is another economic development organization with specialized events and business acceleration programs. MAC connects colleges and universities in the area and offers a platform for investors, students, and entrepreneurs to engage in innovation together.
Plans and opportunitiesThe State of Tech Hiring in Atlanta report by Robert Half shows that recruiting managers of Atlanta have ambitious hiring plans: 63 percent of top tech leaders in Atlanta indicate that they are going to expand their teams and 95 percent of those surveyed believe in their companies’ prospects for growth. At the same time, the Tech Towns USA report by CompTIA points to 7 percent of expected growth in IT jobs for the next five years.
With this in mind, let’s look at the list of top skills and specializations in immediate demand that IT hiring managers plan to complete in 2020 according to Robert Half’s report.
Cybersecurity. This is still the hottest skill in the tech market, for both Atlanta and the entire US. Atlanta is already recognized as a cybersecurity defense leader. With data breach cases growing, most decision-makers in Atlanta are increasingly focusing on their data safety and security protocols’ accuracy. Currently, the number of open positions for cybersecurity experts in Atlanta is 541 on Indeed.com, 958 on Glassdoor, and over a dozen on each local-focused job board. The average wage is $120k annually.
Cloud. With a dozen or two Fortune 500 companies located in Atlanta and a growing number of local businesses moving their technologies to the cloud, it’s no wonder that both show an increasing interest in high-skilled cloud engineers. Indeed.com shows over a thousand open jobs, while Glassdoor has an impressive 5.5k open positions. The average annual salary tops $130k.
DevOps. DevOps, with continuous development, integration, and deployment, is the most popular approach in the SaaS applications that are flourishing on cloud computing. At the moment there are over 300 DevOps Engineer jobs available on Indeed.com, while Glassdoor shows over 1.5k open positions. The average annual rate for this specialist is close to $115k.
Business Intelligence. Collecting, structuring, analyzing, and turning fresh enterprise data into proper business decisions is a growing trend. With a bunch of business monsters with offices in Atlanta like Deloitte, Capgemini, IBM, Cox Communications, the popularity of BI is understandable. Indeed.com reflects over 600 positions for BI specialists open, while Glassdoor shows over a thousand. The BI salary is estimated at over $99k annually.
The outlookAtlanta has an even brighter future. In 2018, the city experienced a 67 percent growth of emerging tech job postings, compared to the year before. It’s predicted that tech occupations in the area will grow 7.2 percent by 2026 – an average prospective rate for all locations – and that net tech employment will grow 8.7 percent by 2026.
Of course, Atlanta isn’t preparing to become another Silicon Valley. But in the current entrepreneurial and technological climate, it makes sense to put down roots in a city that experiences stable growth, values industry support over extreme competitiveness, and has a history of impressive achievements.