For many college seniors and graduating master’s students, the excitement and celebration surrounding graduation season is dampened by the bleak employment outlook. In this tough economy and tight job market, new graduates are having a hard time finding full-time jobs. But there is good news for graduates of the Syracuse University School of Information Studies (iSchool) — the tech sector is experiencing a surge in hiring.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg Businessweek, and other national news outlets, the technology industry is accelerating its recovery from the recession with surging earnings that have prompted companies to increase their hiring rates. Tech powerhouses like Google, Intel, and Cisco have announced plans to hire a substantial number of new workers. Tech start-ups are also fighting for new talent.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics released promising employment data for the IT sector in April. The numbers show that employment for electrical and electronics engineers grew 7.8% in the first quarter of 2010 over the last quarter of 2009. Software engineering employment remained flat from the final quarter of 2009, but it has increased 5.3% in the first quarter of 2010 from its low one year ago. Employment also grew 4.7% in the first quarter for computer scientists and systems analysts.
Google’s CFO Patrick Pichette recently told financial analysts that the company expects “to continue hiring aggressively through the year.” The company added 786 new employees in the first quarter and said it was just getting started. MediaWeek reports that Google is looking to hire an additional 500 sales people in the near future, as well as bulk up their engineering team and finance, product management, and human resources departments.
In mid-April, an Intel spokesman said the semiconductor giant expects to hire 1,000 to 2,000 people in 2010. Global financial services company JPMorgan Chase recently disclosed plans to hire nearly 9,000 U.S. employees.
Smaller tech companies are also hiring, with Twitter adding about 125 employees since May 2009. Twitter’s Chief Executive Evan Williams says the company will keep hiring more new workers throughout the year. Professional networking company LinkedIn has hired 154 people so far this year and is targeting 300 more new hires by the end of 2010.
The recovery in the tech industry is broad, affecting a wide range of products and services from personal computers to online advertising. The hiring boom in tech is also in sharp contrast to what’s happening in the overall U.S. labor market. The national unemployment rate held steady at 9.7% in March, and few other major employers have reported plans to add new workers to their payrolls.
Sarah Hagelin, the iSchool’s brand new Director of Employer Relations, said that three companies have approached the iSchool in one week about hiring students and alumni. “I’m finding it encouraging that three companies in [my] eight days [on the job] have reached out to the iSchool,” she said. Hagelin is developing contacts at these companies and expects to explore more opportunities with other potential employers as they arise.