The technology industry is thriving as the latest innovations reach the consumer market at lightning speed. Much of this is thanks to the handiwork of professionals whose smarts and know-how make America a global leader in technological breakthroughs.

On the heels of a report indicating that technology companies will hire more people in the second half of the year comes a new one that confirms the encouraging trend, and for a lot longer than the months that remain in 2016.

“Tech companies will be major job creators over the next five years.”

According to a recent jobs forecast released by online employment search engine CareerBuilder, businesses will add an impressive 7.2 million jobs to the U.S. economy between now and 2021, an increase of 5 percent. Chief among those hiring are companies that specialize in technology. For instance, software developers are anticipated to add 88,900 jobs in the next five years, while computer systems analyst firms will contribute an additional 71,244 positions. This is not only good news for the U.S. economy in general and the tech industry in particular, but also for those who specialize in technology because the field offers high salaries compared to other sectors.

Middle-income jobs stagnate
On the opposite end of the spectrum are middle-income jobs, or positions that pay right around the median income level in the U.S., which is roughly $53,000 per year, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. In the next five years, only 4,900 jobs will open for travel agents, CareerBuilder forecast. The source expects positions for printing press operators to be limited in number as well, with around 15,200 created through 2021.

“The U.S. is facing a sustained trend of declining middle-wage employment that has serious implications not only for workers, but for the economy overall,” warned Matt Ferguson, CareerBuilder CEO. “If we can’t find a way to re-skill and up-skill workers at scale, middle-wage workers will become increasingly susceptible to unemployment or will have to move into lower-paying roles that may not support them and their families.”

The technology sector may be the arena out-of-work – as well as dissatisfied, but employed – Americans may want to inquire further about. That’s because nearly two-thirds of chief information officers intend to hire for open positions in the second half of the year, according to a poll done by recruitment firm Robert Half. Additionally, over 20 percent expect to add more staff to departments between July and December due to increased business generation.

“8 in 10 don’t have issues working in industries unfamiliar to them.”

Many willing to work in new field
Though Americans traditionally seek out work that aligns with their expertise or their college major, an increasing number of people are dipping their toes in foreign waters. This is providing companies with a larger pool of potential hires to choose from. A recent poll found that of the nearly two-thirds of full-time employees who are actively looking for alternative employment, nearly 80 percent have no qualms about working in an entirely different field.

As to the industries that more workers are considering, chief among them are technology and software, entertainment, communications and finance.

“Our survey supports the need for employers to use more aggressive approaches to stay afloat in this competitive job market,” said Susan Vitale, chief marketing officer for recruitment and acquisition company iCIMS, which commissioned the poll. “Job seekers have become more resourceful and they’re aware of unique perks and benefits that some employers are offering to make their company an attractive place to work.”

IT and tech industry piece brought to you by Marlin Equipment Finance, a nationwide provider of commercial lending solutions for small and mid-size businesses. Marlin’s equipment financing and loan products are offered directly to businesses, and through third party vendor programs, which include manufacturers, distributors, independent dealers and brokers in the security, food services, healthcare, information technology, office technology and telecommunications sectors.