Software Talent in High Demand in Massachusetts

in Alumni, Faculty, News-CE, Senior Design, Students, Undergraduate Programs, Undergraduate Student Opportunities, Undergraduate Students
September 24th, 2012

After graduating from Boston University, Peter Galvin (ECE '12) became a software engineer at Kiva Systems. Here, he demonstrates his team's senior design project, Speaker Position Tracking. Photo by Cydney Scott for BU Photography.

After graduating from Boston University in May, Peter Galvin (ECE '12) became a software engineer at Kiva Systems. Here, he demonstrates his team's senior design project, Speaker Position Tracking. Photo by Cydney Scott for BU Photography.

According to a recent report in The Boston Globe, 3,300 computer engineering and Web developer positions have been added to Massachusetts since the beginning of 2012 – 50 percent more than just a year ago.

Reporter, Michael B. Farrell, credits the jump to an influx in hiring at software companies like Akamai Technologies Inc.

“Even though the state’s unemployment rate rose slightly to 6.1 percent in July, with employers from all sectors adding just 1,600 jobs – much lower than the monthly average of 9,500 earlier this year – many technology companies can’t hire software engineers fast enough,” Farrell writes.

Associate Professor Ari Trachtenberg (ECE) said that he has noticed that more of Boston University’s Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering students are finding positions right out of college.

“I definitely think that our students are in hot demand,” he said. “Though our better students have always found high quality jobs, I have noticed that even students with blemishes on their transcripts are able to find good jobs in the current market.”

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that currently in Massachusetts, there are approximately 65,000 computer systems design jobs. Some of the students filling the recent openings were BU’s Computer Engineering (CE) graduates.

Since May, 78% of the CE Class of 2012 have found jobs, with many staying in Massachusetts, while the remaining 22% are either attending graduate school or serving in the military.

Peter Galvin (ECE ’12), who found a software engineer position at Kiva Systems shortly after Commencement, said that while he is happy that software developers are in high demand, he hopes this news doesn’t draw students to the program that are only motivated by job prospects.

“I think passionate applicants who are good at what they do, be it circuit design or something like writing robotic control software in my case, are going to do well in industry regardless of the state of opportunity,” he said.

Related links:
The Boston Globe: “Competition fierce in Mass. for software talent”

-Rachel Harrington (rachelah@bu.edu)