Technology is at the core of today's world, and new innovations in the space continue to push the industry forward. New breakthroughs are creating novel products and services that sell, and this boom in business is generating new opportunity for top tech talent as employers look to shore up skilled resources for the future. The continued rise of cloud computing, increased focus on data analysis and the emergence of AI and augmented reality (AR) are all creating new opportunities for job seekers.

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The U.S. is the largest tech market in the world. It represents 31% of the total market, or approximately $1.5 trillion for 2018.

While this impressive growth has been good for both businesses and information technology (IT) professionals, it's also placed significant strain on the talent market. With unemployment low, and more job openings than there are job seekers, employers are finding themselves embattled in fierce competition for the same small pool of talent.

Some of the technology positions that are expected to be among the most sought-after in 2019 include:

cloud engineers

With the cloud computing market on track to reach $411 billion by 2020, demand for cloud engineers is expected to be high. As more businesses turn to cloud platforms for greater storage capacity, cloud engineering positions should remain among the most difficult to fill in 2019. Reliance on the cloud for storage by both businesses and consumers is only expected to increase in the coming years, and employers will need to find ways to attract these skilled engineers to stay ahead of the curve. Employers should look to candidates that have familiarity with the big four cloud computing companies and experience with virtualization technologies.

cybersecurity engineers

Information security analysts like cybersecurity engineers can expect to see an impressive 28 percent growth in job opportunities between 2016 and 2026. As cyber attacks continue to grow in both frequency and severity, cybersecurity engineers will be needed to reinforce systems and protect sensitive data for both businesses and consumers alike. Competition among employers for top security talent will be high, with a global shortage of two million cybersecurity professionals predicted by 2019.

data scientists

Often regarded as one of the most attractive IT jobs around thanks to its six-figure median base salary and the plethora of job openings, data scientists will continue to be in demand in 2019. Data is currency for many of today's businesses, and as more and more software is developed and released with that model in mind, data scientists will be needed in greater numbers to mine and analyze findings for their organizations. Businesses across industries looking to stay ahead of the curve will need to employ data scientists to keep a watchful eye over market data and spot new trends to shape strategic direction.

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There will be over 255,000 new jobs for software developers between 2016 and 2026, according to the BLS.

software engineers

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is predicting 22 percent growth in employment opportunities for software development professionals over the next few years as the demand for software shows no signs of slowing. Smartphone and tablet apps will continue to increase the need for software engineers while a growing consumer concern over internet privacy will create new development jobs for improved security programs. The booming healthcare industry is also contributing to growth, as more and more medical facilities look to incorporate cutting-edge software to better track patient health and improve the overall patient experience. Meanwhile, insurance providers will also need new systems to manage digital policies and support large-scale enrollment online.

UX/interaction designers

In a crowded app marketplace, designing and providing an outstanding user experience can be a key differentiator. That's why more and more employers are looking to hire talented UX and interaction designers to transform how users interact with their products. Given this demand, the BLS is predicting a 15 percent growth in jobs for web development professionals like UX and interaction designers over the next several years. Given the number of self-taught individuals in this field, employers should weigh candidate portfolios more heavily when evaluating talent to determine the right fit for their organizations.

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44% of all IT professionals are employed by tech companies, but the majority work in other industries like healthcare, finance, media and government.

keys to attracting tech talent in 2019

As competition for top talent ramps up around these positions, as well as others across IT, employers will need to work extra hard to develop and provide better perks and benefits packages to stand out and attract skilled candidates. Sixty-six percent of respondents to Randstad's Benefits and Perks in the Workplace study said that a strong benefits package was the most significant factor in determining whether or not they would accept a job offer. Sixty-one percent even went so far as to say that they would accept a lower salary if a company had a superior benefits and perks package compared to the competition.

Employee expectations are changing, however, so employers must keep their offerings up-to-date if they want to give themselves an edge in the tight talent market. Early Friday releases, flexible working arrangements and onsite amenities like gyms and dry cleaning topped the list, along with a more traditional set of benefits like healthcare and 401(k) plans.

Improving compensation offerings and increasing focus on employee engagement and retention will help businesses not only find top performers — but keep them long-term. And they'll need them. The fast pace of technological innovation is showing no signs of slowing, and businesses throughout the sector can only expect to grow in the future as new advancements are made and incorporated into our lives.    

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