These are the fastest growing IT jobs

IT head count expanded broadly last year, but some occupations did better than others

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IT employment increased in every occupation and industry last year except oil and gas.

Industry employment fell 4% to about 13,200 workers thanks to falling oil prices. That was the exception among all industries, including retail, health, finance and manufacturing. All of those saw IT employment gains.

IT employment overall increased 3.1%, or by 152,000 jobs in 2015, according to a new analysis of government data by industry group CompTIA. The analysis was released on Friday.

While strong hiring delivered employment gains in every IT occupation, here are the top ones:

  1. Cybersecurity analysts: 85,200 total jobs, +4.8%.
  2. Web developers: 243,800 jobs, +4.2%.
  3. Software developers, applications: 775,000 jobs, +4%.
  4. Software developers, systems: 428,000, +3.8%
  5. Systems analysts, 647,000, +3.8%
  6. Computer user support specialists, 685,000 +3.3%
  7. IT managers, CIOs, 371,000, +3.1%

The oil and gas industry may be a small sector, in terms of employment, but it is a major IT user. It spent $700 million on high performance computing in 2014, according to the latest available data from IDC. Defense agencies spent $968 million, by comparison.

Oil and gas "is one of the most IT-dependent industries," said Chris Niven, research director for IDC Energy Insights. That's because of the need to analyze what's going on underground.

But IT spending in the oil and gas industry may decline by as much as 3% this year. The industry is making greater use of cloud and outsourcing to cut costs, said Niven.

Across all industries, CompTIA says last year's IT job growth rate was its highest in a decade. Whether strong growth continues in 2016 is in doubt.

Janco Associates, an IT labor analyst firm, sees a weaker year ahead for IT hiring, with the recent stock market decline an indicator of a slowdown.

Seth Robinson, CompTIA's senior director of technology analysis, said a hiring data bright spot is the demand for IT support specialists. The field continues to be a growth area, and is often an entry position for people in IT.

Copyright © 2016 IDG Communications, Inc.

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