Having Fun with CompTIA's Interactive Map of U.S. IT Jobs Data
CompTIA regularly reports on IT jobs and the IT industry outlook for upcoming growth in the industry sector. Until recently, however, they've never offered much in the way of visualization tools for the reams of data they so often and painstakingly collect. In their recently released "Top IT Jobs by MSA," however, they've unleashed a fascinating depiction of where IT jobs are, and what kinds are most popular by location. ("MSA" means Metropolitan Statistical Area, a demographer's way of laying out major metro areas, and the populations they contain.)
This fun new toy was announced in a blog post that dates all the way back to July, but which was just featured in today's CompTIA SmartBrief. Preston Grisham lays it all out in What Maps Tell Us About the IT Jobs Landscape. "Top IT Jobs by MSA" represents a collaboration among CompTIA sponsors, OpenStreetMap contributors, and CartoDB. Here's a static snapshot that shows some of what this baby can do:
In this illustration, we see the Metropolitan Statistical Area south and west of San Jose, Calif., centered around Santa Cruz and Watsonville. Though the numbers are more exciting for stuff around San Francisco, just to the north, this was one of the areas that popped up as I hopped around the infamous region known as Silicon Valley to check out how that job market is faring these days. Of course, you don't have to restrict your searches to sunny California — though Hawaii is not mapped out, you can search anywhere in the continental USA or Alaska to check out the MSAs included therein.
(What gives, Hawaii? Surely there's more to the IT scene there than just pina coladas, getting caught in the rain, and ukeleles for IT executives on vacation.)
This is a great tool for anybody who works in IT (or is thinking of working in IT), as well as for those who follow IT employment for less self-interested reasons. It provides a lists of popular IT job names, and lists the most popular jobs and overall IT employment figures for nearly all of the 388 recognized MSAs in the continental U.S. and Alaska (for more information on the topic, see this Wikipedia article List of Metropolitan Statistical Areas). ("Urban Honolulu," incidentally is the 54th largest MSA in the United States. Seriously, Hawaii, what gives?)
Load up the map and poke around to your heart's content. Enjoy!