What Are the Hardest Jobs to Fill in Tech?

Everybody knows that the tech sector is highly competitive. But which jobs are hardest to fill?

The tech industry has one of the most competitive job markets, and finding the right talent to fill key positions is never going to be easy. In fact, for some roles, it sometimes feels like it’s getting tougher by the day.

But just how tough is it exactly? After all, whether you’re an employer recruiting for a high priority role or a job seeker hunting for the perfect fit for your skills and interests, it’s important to know what you’re up against.

Fortunately, Indeed has the data that can help answer these questions. To help you get a better understanding of both demand and competitiveness in the tech jobs landscape, we analyzed search traffic for 12 of the key roles companies are hiring for on Indeed Prime, which matches top tech talent to elite employers. Let’s take a look at the numbers.

Which tech jobs are most in demand?

First, we looked at which jobs are most in demand. As the chart below indicates, there are significant differences across roles.

At the top, we find engineering manager, a position that requires both technical skill and the ability to direct and take responsibility for teams. Clearly, management ability is a priority for many employers when they are searching for top tech talent.

The next most in-demand role front-end developers, the people responsible for the aspects of websites and applications that end users interact with — in today’s world of digital business, such talent is clearly essential to many employers. In the #3 slot (DevOps engineers) and #4 (Full Stack Developers) we see not only high demand but the fastest growth. For these jobs, postings grew 24.2% and 44.7% from the second quarter of 2015 to the second quarter of 2016, respectively.

Meanwhile, the lowest demand is for the executive level position of VP Engineering/Chief Technology Officer. Of course, top level positions such as these open up relatively rarely — and the pool of candidates that comes with the requisite experience and leadership skills is very limited.

Which tech jobs have the highest talent deficit?

The above data show us the scale of the demand for critical tech roles, but they don’t tell us how tough these jobs are to fill. So next we looked at the relationship between job postings and clicks to those jobs. The fewer the clicks, the lower the degree of job seeker interest — and the harder it is to source talent.

According to Indeed data, software architects are the unicorns of the tech job market. Why are these jobs so hard to fill? It’s likely because this job requires a rare combination of qualities: advanced technical skills and a high-level of foresight and vision. After all, software architects are setting standards for future developers to follow and may very well dictate the future success of failure of a project.

Second place DevOps roles turn out to be in high demand and difficult to fill. Clearly, the tech labor market is yet to catch up with employer demand in this field, putting people with the requisite skills in a strong negotiating position. Meanwhile, although overall demand for mobile developers is middling, these roles place third as hardest to fill.

Perhaps the most striking result, however, is for data scientist jobs — a much-hyped role in recent years. Although this job, like software architect, requires a high degree of skill, this job (along with online marketing roles and CTO) is one of the few where the supply-demand gap favors the employer. But why?

The hype is certainly justified: data scientist postings were the third fastest growing on our list, with a 16% bump in job postings over the past year. Perhaps, however, that same hype has also led to an increase in the number of people acquiring data scientist skills, with the result that the supply/demand gap may be narrowing.

What does this mean for job seekers and employers?

In today’s highly competitive tech job market knowledge is power and understanding the data can be a crucial differentiator when it comes to staying ahead of the competition.

For tech job seekers, information about demand and mismatch provides insight into how much leverage they have when negotiating with employers but also which areas within the tech job market have the best opportunities.

For employers, meanwhile, it indicates the importance of finding the right balance of incentivizes to attract top talent. Nowadays this can mean a lot more than just offering a healthy compensation package.

For instance, recent research from the Indeed Hiring Lab shows that an increasing number of high-skill workers are losing interest in the traditional 9-to-5 model and seek greater flexibility when it comes to where and when they work. By taking such trends into account, employers can compete more aggressively for top talent. Meanwhile, a talent matchmaking service such as Indeed Prime can also help. Learn more about how Prime can help you hire.

Learn how Indeed Prime can help you hire top tech talent.