Our Mid-Year Review of the State of the Denver IT Job Market

by Aaron Mills on July 14, 2015 in EdgeLink Denver, Hiring, Job Market

Sunny Day In Denver Colorado

The Denver IT market is finally getting its dues. Back in February, Information Week and Dice partnered up to release their list of the hottest cities for IT professionals and Denver was in the top 10. That’s no surprise to people in Colorado.

According to Dice, the average annual IT salary in Colorado’s capital is $94,940, which is eighth highest in the country. But where is the Denver IT job market expected to go from here?

The Hottest IT Positions on the Market

In the last 12 months, we have helped our clients hire over 100 IT professionals for both permanent and contract positions, giving us deep insight into the Denver job market. What we are experiencing is growth in several major IT fields: web and mobile development and QA automation. For many of those IT positions, the salary range easily surmounts the $100,000 marker.

Elite web and mobile development skills are in great need in the local IT scene. Ruby Developers are at the top of the food chain, with beginners earning salaries near $80,000 and experienced players receiving offers as high as $150,000. Demand for top JavaScript Frameworks (angular.js, backbone.js, react.js, bootstrap.js, and node.js) has also proliferated over the last year, making competitive offers for JavaScript Developers range between $80,000 and $120,000.

The rise in enterprise mobile apps and the increase in tablet market share are having an effect on the IT market as well. Mobile developers are a hot commodity whether they have an expertise in iOS, Native Android, or Hybrid development techniques. Employers are in pursuit of the best mobile development talent and offer competitive salaries in the ballpark of $90,000 all the way up to $140,000.

Other IT disciplines are highly sought after as well. On a national scale, there’s a very large demand for DevOps professionals with Chef and Puppet expertise. In the regional market, employers are willing to offer between $90,000 and $120,000 to fulfill positions in his hybrid role.

As development teams grow on all fronts, employers are prudently hiring QA Automation professionals to keep SaaS, web, and mobile applications at astronomical levels of performance. To that end, employers looking for only the best QA Engineers, who can code and directly fix issues. We’ve found a competitive salary for a QA Software Engineer is now between $85,000 and $120,000.

IT Education to Meet the Demand

Though veteran level IT professionals can be found, there still are not enough candidates to fill job vacancies. This has led to the acceleration of enrollment in programs (RefactorU, Davinci Institute, the gSchool at Galvanize) to teach students programming languages like Ruby and JavaScript.

In turn, the Denver IT job market will increasingly have a number of entry level IT professionals to feed the need for open positions. Until the supply meets the demand however, employers may need to make the tough decision whether or not to hire experienced IT professionals who are quick learners and a good cultural fit.

A State Working with the Private Sector

Not every state is committed to IT sector growth quite like Colorado. For starters, the Colorado Economic Development Commission has been spearheading several negotiations to bring three rapidly expanding tech businesses to the capital’s metro area. Through the use of tax incentives and a growing list of tech companies with regional offices (IBM, Oracle, Avaya, etc.), the state is making it difficult for prospects to pass up their offers.

If and when those bids are accepted, there is a potential for 2,315 jobs to be added to the local economy:  1,750 jobs for a financial services solutions provider and 565 jobs for a telecommunications company and advertising technology company. Though not all of those positions will be IT centric, we believe a good portion will provide opportunities for:

  • System/Network Engineers
  • Network Administrators
  • Technical Support Professionals
  • Cybersecurity Specialists
  • Software Developers
  • Mobile Developers

The addition of these positions will do two things: increase the demand upon existing local IT talent and continue to draw new talent to the area.

Rising to the Top of the Local IT Job Market

With the increase in salary, the fierce competition for experienced IT professionals, and the promise of more open positions in the Denver IT market, many employers will find it difficult to quickly find IT talent. That is where the help of an experienced IT staffing firm is indispensable. Reach out to EdgeLink to rapidly get your next hire started.