Annual Itpalooza Employment Survey Shows Active It Job Market And Increasing Salaries


In a survey of South Florida Information Technology (IT) professionals and hiring managers, virtually all of the respondents said job opportunities and salaries are increasing. The annual survey, conducted by ITPalooza ( and the South Florida Technology Alliance (SFTA), included a combination of online and telephone responses. ITPalooza is an annual event that brings together the South Florida IT community for a day of learning, sharing, networking, and fun. It is running all day on Thursday, December 7 at the Broward County Convention Center.

Key trends are impacting the local South Florida IT job market, according to Alex Funkhouser, ITPalooza co-founder and CEO of Miami Beach based SherlockTalent, Inc. Companies are moving some applications to major cloud providers Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services (AWS). And if they’re not moving, they are evaluating cloud options. Some are using multiple cloud providers to mitigate risks but at higher costs. These trends especially impact the job market for infrastructure engineers, as many of these locally based jobs are vaporized into the cloud.

Another key trend is the phenomena of “nearshoring,” companies using software development centers in Latin American countries such as Mexico, Argentina and Columbia where there is a low-cost supply of engineers. This helps save on costs, red tape and delays associated with bringing skilled workers into the United States.

Hiring Managers

According to the responses from hiring managers, the top four skillsets they are currently recruiting are:

  • (52%) Software and mobile developers to develop new applications that most of the time have a mobile component.
  • (31%) Security and network engineers, mostly for large company environments.
  • (11%) Upper management positions such as CIO, CTO and Directors.
  • (30%) Business analysts and project managers --.Companies are trying to get on top of their data to make better decisions.


One hundred percent of respondents said salaries are rising for IT positions:

  • (68%) said salaries have increased by up to 5%.
  • (32%) indicated that salaries have increased over 5%.
  • Two recruiters said they had to pay a premium of at least 10% over a candidate’s current salary to have them make a move.
  • Hard-to-find positions command premiums of up to 50% to recruit the candidate.

Is there ample IT talent in South Florida?

(73%) Yes

(27%) No

What positions are in short supply locally?

  • DevOps engineers – these engineers help companies quickly implement new functionality into web applications – such a fast response to breaking news.
  • JAVA developers – traditional corporate and web based applications
  • Ruby developers – this software development tool enables developers to code faster and easier when working with complex applications.

Are local universities effectively producing the IT talent needed by local businesses?

  • (69%) Yes
  • (31%) No

Do you offer a formal apprenticeship program?

  • (33%) Yes
  • (67%) No

Has your company hired from a non-traditional source such as local coding camps such as WynCode, LaunchCode, IronHack, FVI, BlackBelt Coding, 4Geeks Academy?

  • (29%) Yes
  • (71%) No

Is your company considering outsourcing its IT operations?

  • (32%) Yes
  • (68%) No

Other commentary from respondents:

Companies are hiring more junior level professionals than in the past. They are investing in their training and growing talent inhouse. The improving economy has enabled them to investing the longer term.

IT Professionals

Almost 80% of respondents were fulltime employees. About two-thirds were IT development and engineering professionals while the remainder were primarily in sales and marketing positions in the industry.

Are you pursuing continuing education?

  • (64%) Yes
  • (36%) No

Are there adequate IT job opportunities in South Florida?

  • (75%) Yes
  • (25%) No

If not, what other cities have better career opportunities?

  • (44%) Silicon Valley
  • (50%) Austin
  • (25%) Boston
  • (19%) New York
  • (12%) Chicago
  • (62%) Other

Would you consider other employment opportunities?

  • (53%) Yes
  • (38%) Maybe
  • (9%) Not interested

In your experience, would you say job opportunities in South Florida are:

  • (41%) Increasing
  • (9%) Decreasing
  • (50%) Flat

About ITPalooza:
Led by an organizing team of dedicated local IT Professionals, ITPalooza is an annual event that brings together the South Florida IT community for a day of learning, sharing, networking, and fun. ITPalooza is produced by the South Florida Technology Alliance (SFTA), a 501(c) non-profit corporation that organizes events across the tri-county area. The SFTA has operated for more than 20 years in South Florida and welcomes all tech industry participants to join forces to enable the present and shape the future of technology in the community. Our motto is ‘Learn, Connect, Grow.’

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