MSP On Deck Podcast #10: Rob Weber Of Great North Labs Venture Fund And Startup School
MSP On Deck Podcast #12: A Review Of 2017 And Predictions For 2018

Survey: Minneapolis #6 City For Tech Hiring In 2018


Minneapolis IT Jobs, Minnesota IT Jobs

A few weeks ago on the MSP on Deck Podcast 12 - The most popular tech news stories of 2017 + what big things are in the pipe for 2018? we made predictions for 2018 and one of mine is that Minneapolis and St Paul will see more IT job growth and a greater number of layoffs than 2017.

Yes… I am predicting both.

Let me start with the “bad news” first. As 2017 went on there were a number of unannounced layoffs at many large companies… usually in the 10’s, 20’s and 50’s range of jobs. It seemed like some large companies were doing this so not to have to file a notice with the State of Minnesota.

That’s speculation on my part and I stand by it. Add up all the numbers and they would have had to file a notice. These layoffs were generally part of restructuring staff, maybe over hired in a group, becoming more efficient, etc. And they were in all skill sets from marketing, sales, customer service and yes, IT.

Startups and small tech groups are a part of this too. A customer is lost, a MVP does not work, investors worry about the burn rate, etc. Layoffs are in the 2’s, 5’s and 10’s.

And that’s my basis for more tech layoffs in 2018 than 2017… it will continue. It happens and it’s a normal thing in a growing economy. Many companies have hired hard and fast the past 18 months and some may have gone a bit too far.

No big deal.

I mention it because people tend to freak out over lost jobs. We are not in a recession… it’s OK.

To the good news…

Yes IT job growth will continue in 2018. We may not fill as many of them given like most regions we are tapped out (generally speaking) for a skilled talent pool. (I’m skipping the part where companies could hire more junior skilled people, retrain, etc).

To back that prediction up with some data I point you to the Robert Half IT Hiring Forecast, First Half of 2018


  • 21% of CIO’s plan to add FTE’s
  • 63% will hire for vacated roles
  • 61% say it is somewhat or very challenging to find skilled IT pros

Top 5 skills in demand:

  • Database management
  • Desktop support
  • Telecommunications support
  • Wireless network management
  • Business intelligence and reporting services

I’m again laughing because in addition to recruitment CIO’s are concerned about other things#5 is retention. To be clear… I get the other things are important too. But if recruiting is that much of a pain point why is retention of their current staff not equally as high of a concern? That’s what has me laughing.

Note that the skills in demand above are from the national survey.

Specific to our region Minneapolis Ranks Among Top 12 Cities For Tech Hiring In First Half Of 2018:

Technology hiring in Minneapolis is expected to start strong in 2018, according to the Robert Half Technology IT Hiring Forecast and Local Trend Report. Twenty-five percent of CIOs surveyed here say they plan to add full-time technology professionals to their teams in the first half of the new year, up 5 percentage points from a year ago. In addition to hiring plans, the report also highlights technology skills in demand and CIOs' top priorities for the first six months of the year.

"Tech hiring has been sustained by the strong Minneapolis economy, growth of local companies and a focus on automating existing processes," said Kathy Northamer, district president for Robert Half Technology in Minneapolis. "We're seeing demand for web developers, help desk and security professionals, most notably within the healthcare, marketing and SaaS sectors."

Some data:

  • 25% of CIO’s are growing teams
  • 56% of CIO’s are maintaining staff levels
  • 63% say it's challenging to find skilled IT pros

Skills in demand:

  • Network administration (51%)
  • Database management (51%)
  • Cybersecurity (42%)

Top Priorities:

  • Security of IT systems and safeguarding company information (31%)
  • Upgrading existing systems for business efficiency (24%)
  • Technology innovation and investing in new technologies (19&)
  • Staff retention (15%)
  • Innovation and helping to grow their business (11%)

What I am surprised with is skills in demand on both the national and Minneapolis list does not mention some version of software developer, software engineer, full stack developer, etc. Maybe the groups in the survey are the largest of companies and their needs are different than everyone else?

Whatever… moral to this story is yes hiring will continue in 2018. Minneapolis IT pros will continue to be recruited and companies will continue to find ways to attract them.

If you are an:

  • IT professional and want to learn more about what is going on in the Minneapolis/St Paul tech scene (Midwest too) and/or thinking about a job search now or later in 2018 send me a note.
  • Employer and want to talk about sourcing, recruiting and hiring, employer branding, creating talent pipelines, evangelism and advocacy and other recruiting related topics… send me a note.
  • [email protected]

Oh… here is the Top 12:

  1. San Diego
  2. Atlanta
  3. New York
  4. Austin, Texas
  5. Charlotte, North Carolina
  6. Minneapolis
  7. Philadelphia
  8. Des Moines, Iowa
  9. Miami
  10. Cleveland
  11. Phoenix
  12. Salt Lake City

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