Main image of article Boston IT Hiring Looks Strong Across Most Sectors

What's New This Quarter

As 2015 begins, Boston is prospering across a wide range of industry sectors, and demand is high for the IT experts who will keep that growth going. “Financial services are one of the largest industries in Boston, and we’re seeing a couple of main growth areas,” said Darrin Lang, CEO of Boston-based Labur, a staffing consultancy. “Firms are investing again in their proprietary technology platforms for trading and portfolio management and are trying to become more efficient in the ways they do their business throughout the enterprise.” But it’s not just finance. It turns out that Massachusetts employs more people in biotech R&D than any other state, and it pulls in more funding from the National Institutes of Health than any other state—more than double the money collected by second-place Texas. Among those hiring in this sector: Sudbury-based TruTouch Technologies. To find Boston-based tech jobs, click here. In the entertainment space, Internet radio leader Pandora will be growing its mobile-marketing business in Boston, where it’s based in the Prudential Center. GSN Games, which creates Web and mobile games, will be moving its 130 employees into Boston from Waltham. Christian Meyer, senior vice president and general manager of, told Beta Boston that the ability to hire was a key factor in the decision: “We needed to be able to hire more quickly and attract great talent at higher velocity. This was really about talent.” One company moving in precisely the opposite direction is Yottaa, a cloud software firm that optimizes websites for companies that want to deliver a high-quality user experience. The company plans to move from Boston to Waltham and double its current workforce of 70 by the end of 2015. Waltham was chosen as the ideal location for a move because of the high-quality, experienced employee base that can be tapped there, Vick Vaishnavi, president and CEO of Yottaa, told the Boston Business Journal. In healthcare, CVS Health, the country’s second-biggest drugstore chain, announced it would open a technology development center in Boston. The CVS Health Digital Innovation Lab will employ about 100 people, some of whom will move from the company's headquarters in Woonsocket, Rhode Island. “We may not hire all 100 next year, but we’re going to hire a lot,” CVS SVP and Chief Digital Officer Brian Tilzer told The Boston Globe.

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Another well-known name to expand its presence in town is Amazon, which may bring not only 1,000 warehouse jobs to Fall River but also 123 higher-paying jobs to the Boston area. Some will be at North Reading-based Kiva Systems, which Amazon acquired in 2012 to supply its warehouse robots, and some positions will be at Amazon's Kendall Square office and include jobs in Amazon Web Services (AWS). Amazon's recently expanded Kendall office has space for up to 800 workers. Boston small businesses are also seeing a boost. Forty-four percent of Boston small business owners are planning to hire over the next 12 months, according to the fall 2014 Bank of America Small Business Owner Report. That’s a big increase over the last two years, when only 28 percent (2013) and 24 percent (2012) of small business owners planned to hire. “Boston entrepreneurs are increasingly optimistic about hiring new employees and growing their businesses,” said Colleen Matteson, Boston Small Business Banking manager at Bank of America. No matter where you end up working, it’s always good to have a beneficent employer. In November, came out with its list of the top 10 large Boston companies to work for, based on their new ideas, purpose, concern for employees, diversity, benefits, and ability to motivate excellence. They are:
  • Bose
  • New Balance
  • Eastern Bank
  • Bright Horizons
  • athenahealth
  • Akamai Technologies
  • Rockland Trust
  • Winchester Hospital
  • Herb Chambers
  • Kronos Inc.
Or perhaps you’ll end up working at Harvard, where former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said he will bankroll a 50 percent increase in the computer science faculty. The donation translates into 12 new faculty positions.

Skills in Demand

“Opportunities abound for back-end engineers, front end focused developers, and full stack developers,” said Mark Stagno, principal consultant/team leader of Software Technology Search at recruitment firm WinterWyman. “Many companies are drawing from the same candidate pool, making things very competitive. Startups are hiring mid-level, senior, and principal engineers as much and as quickly as they can.” Ruby on Rails and Python/Django continue to be popular choices for startups, he added, while some have turned to full stack JavaScript using Node.js, and others have gone the way of functional programming languages such as Scala and Clojure. If you’re a front-end developer and you know some of the newer JavaScript libraries such as Angular, Backbone, or Ember, you’re also in high demand. “Hiring managers are partial to candidates who are hand-coding with JavaScript,” Stagno continued. “And Big Data is another huge area of growth. We’ve seen a spike in the number of positions dealing with Hadoop, and Spark.” Sixty-one percent of Boston technology executives surveyed by IT recruiting firm Robert Half Technology said that database management is among the skill sets in greatest demand within their IT departments. “We’re also seeing a lot of demand for experts as companies expand their Salesforce implementations globally,” said Labur’s Lang, “and there’s an increase in interest in NetSuite in Boston. It’s going head to head with other ERP solutions such as Oracle and SAP.”

Salary Trends

“We saw salary increases in 2014,” Stagno said. “For the last couple of years, the strong market was benefiting junior- and mid-level developers, but the top end of the market finally broke through, with principal engineers commanding salaries that used to be reserved for architects or director-level professionals.” According to the 2014-2013 Dice Salary Survey, the average salary for a Boston-based IT professional is $94,531, down a tick from the previous year, but still well above the national average of $87,811, and the fifth highest average salary nationwide.

Leading Industries

  • Biotech/Science
  • Financial Services
  • Information Technology
  • Healthcare
  • Alternative Energy

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