Amazon posted 16,100 IT jobs last year, tops in U.S.

Service firms, tech vendors and Best Buy also among top posters of U.S. IT job ads

The employer with the most IT job postings last year was Amazon.com, with 16,146 ads, exceeding most other IT firms by a wide margin, according to a new report.

The top runners-up in 2013 U.S. job postings were Accenture, at 14,240 and Deloitte, at 13,077 job ads, according to CompTIA's annual IT Industry Outlook report.

Accenture, recently hired by the U.S. government to be the new lead contractor for the troubled Healthcare.gov web site, and Deloitte, are IT services firms. Amazon recently won a contract with the CIA to develop a compute cloud. It has been hiring IT staff with security clearances.

CompTIA based the report on data from Burning Glass Technologies in Boston, which analyzes online job postings from approximately 32,000 jobs sites.

Microsoft had the fourth most IT job postings at 12,435, followed by Best Buy with 10,725 job ads, and IBM at 10,221, according to CompTIA, a trade association that also runs a professional certification program.

Best Buy's IT hiring may be due to its computer user support and Geek Squad operation, said Matthew Sigelman, the CEO of Burning Glass.

Sigelman said Best Buy's hiring also represents the growing importance of "middle skill" IT jobs, or those that don't necessarily require a bachelor's degree. Last year, Burning Glass saw about 200,000 job ads in IT that did not require a bachelor's degree, he said.

"For those who don't have a corporate help desk to turn to, in many cases they are turning to Best Buy and Staples," said Sigelman.

Burning Glass de-duplicates the job postings, and then uses text analytics to read each job posting and mine out the particular skills employers are looking for, including educational credentials, and certifications, said Dan Restuccia, the firm's director of applied research and communications.

Rounding out the top 10 in CompTIA's listings are General Dynamics, 9,705; Science Applications International Corp., 7,146; Lockheed Martin, 6,995; Hewlett-Packard, 6,923.

Both HP and IBM have been laying off employees as well as hiring.

CompTIA warns that not all the posting lead to new hires, and companies may hire internally, outsource the work, postpone the hire or withdraw the job postings.

Using online job postings to assess what's going on is something The Conference Board does as well, although its monthly report tracks hiring across all industries. The Conference Board recently reported that advertised vacancies were up 125,600 in December to 5.3 million, but government labor data said the economy only added 74,000 jobs in December.

In its forecast for the year ahead, CompTIA predicts a worldwide IT industry hiring growth rate of 3.4% with upside potential of 5.9%. Its survey found that mid-sized IT firms will be more aggressive in hiring for both technical and non-technical positions.

Patrick Thibodeau covers SaaS and enterprise applications, outsourcing, government IT policies, data centers and IT workforce issues for Computerworld. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @DCgov, or subscribe to Patrick's RSS feed . His email address is pthibodeau@computerworld.com.

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