CompTIA's IT Employment Tracker a Useful and Timely Tool

Man in orange plastic chair contemplating clipboard

Regular GoCertify visitors already know that I usually write about the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' monthly Employment Situation Summary on the first or second Friday of every month. (Months that don't start on Friday get covered on the first Friday; months that do start with Friday get covered on the second Friday — Uncle Sam's rule, not mine.)


This week, I've tackled a second employment-related item for November, mostly to share a more IT-focused employment resource that I've been coming to understand and appreciate quite a bit recently. It's from CompTIA, the well-known IT trade industry association and certification sponsor, and it's called the CompTIA IT Employment Tracker.


The IT Employment Tracker consists of an infographic, updated monthly, that covers various aspects of the IT industry from an employment perspective. It's proven to be an excellent source of reliable and timely information, particularly for anyone currently navigating the always uncertain job market.


The CompTIA IT Employment Tracker


The monthly IT Employment Tracker infographic is broken into 6 panels, as follows (feel free to visit and inspect the November 2016 tracker to illustrate this explanation), from left to right and top to bottom:


1) Components of the IT Workforce Discussion: This shows a Venn diagram and provides percentages of the workforce who work in the IT sector (IT-focused businesses and organizations), as well as showing those who work in IT jobs in other employment sectors (outside the IT sector, that is).


For November 2016, 44 percent of IT jobs came from the IT sector, and the remaining 56 percent of IT jobs came from outside that sector.


Ed T Figure 1 11 11 2016

2) IT Occupation Employment: This shows a history of total jobs in IT employment for the past 22 months. For November 2016, this covers the period from October 2016 back through January 2015, and falls in a range of between 4.175 million and 4.725 million jobs, as the minimum and maximum values (November clocks in at 4.575 million jobs, or thereabouts). This is the graphic seen at right.


3) IT Sector Employment: This shows a history of total jobs in the IT sector (which includes both IT and non-IT positions), also over the period from October 2016 back to January 2015 (22 months). This show a steady increase from a low of about 4.25 million jobs in January 2015 to just over 4.4 million jobs in October 2016 (as seen in the newest infographic).


4) IT Occupation Job Postings: This is an aggregation across multiple job posting sites online for all the unique IT positions listed for any given month (same 22 month period again), shown as a line graph rather than a bar chart.


This is a more meandering curve, with lots of ups and downs, but a general downward trend since the most recent peak in July 2015. AT the moment, we're looking at a low of about 160,000 jobs, with a historical high of about 325,000 jobs.


5) IT Sector Employment Breakout: This documents total employment in breakout components, shown in terms of change with respect to the preceding month (October and September 2016 for the current infographic) for five component elements:


? (1) Computer, electronics and semiconductor manufacturing
? (2) Telecommunications
? (3) Data processing, hosting, and related services
? (4) Other info services, including search portals
? (5) IT and software services/computer systems design


This provides a more nuanced view at where IT jobs are coming and going, and at what rates.


Woman at table with laptop and multiethnic coworkers

6) Top 5 IT Occupation Job Postings: Here we see the top five categories for the previous month's job postings, as determined by CompTIA's analysis of same, with counts for the current month, and a delta value with respect to the preceding month.


For the November infographic, those five categories were:


? (1) Software developers, applications
? (2) Computer systems engineers/architects
? (3) Computer systems analysts
? (4) Computer user support specialists
? (5) IT project managers


All of those were down from September in October, some by a whopping 24 percent!


The information is succinct, easy to follow and usually quite informative. I recommend this as a resource for anybody who follows IT employment, or who works in IT and is interested in the overall market for IT jobs.


Getting to the Latest CompTIA IT Employment Tracker


Somewhere late in the first week of every month, or early in the second week, CompTIA posts the previous month's IT Employment Tracker infographic to SlideShare. The URL changes every month, so I have to give you a formula to generate its URL. In general, those URLs take the form of:<month>-<year


Note that month is the fully-spelled-out month name starting with a capital letter, and year is the four-digit year. Thus, for example, the October results appear in the November slide share, which would be specified in full like this:


Using this approach, you can zoom in on the month and year of your choosing, as long as that combination is somewhere in the past, whether near or distant. These reports are always interesting and informative, and definitely worth checking into from time to time.


Would you like more insight into the history of hacking? Check out Calvin's other articles about historical hackery:
About the Author

Ed Tittel is a 30-plus-year computer industry veteran who's worked as a software developer, technical marketer, consultant, author, and researcher. Author of many books and articles, Ed also writes on certification topics for Tech Target, ComputerWorld and Win10.Guru. Check out his website at, where he also blogs daily on Windows 10 and 11 topics.