By Edward Cardenas

SOUTHFIELD (CBS Detroit) – Students in high school or college, or those looking for a new career, may want to consider becoming a software engineer, the president of an Ann Arbor-based staffing firm recently stated.

With an unemployment rate under 4 percent, jobs in the technology field are in high demand now and are expected to continue to be into the future.

“I don’t think there is any profession that is going to have any higher demand than IT and software engineering,” said John Stout, president of Stout Systems, who encourages those with an interest in science and computer technologies to consider a career in the technology field. “You’ll have jobs for life. You’ll have the opportunity to do some things that are new and different-cutting edge. And it’s well-paying profession.”

This competition for information technology professionals, with such a small number of candidates, creates a competitive environment for firms to find talented candidates at all levels.

Stout, who started his career as a software developer and then expanded – and built a business – providing consulting and staffing services, said there are a number of jobs going unfilled and there are not enough engineers entering the market.

For companies, Stout stated that their hiring managers need to get into “world” of the software developers including users groups industry conventions to find candidates.

“Software developers and technology people are a different breed,” said Stout. “You have to know how to find them, communicate with them and attract them.”

The same could be said for job candidates looking to find jobs, who should also network and showcase their skills.

He stated having knowledge in Microsoft technologies, .net, java, open source and databases are important skills to have when looking for positions. Additionally, those who can produce code, develop mobile applications and creating apps on their own are additional skills firms are seeking.

“(Mobile application development is) a specialty that is in high demand, but the available resources are very scarce,” said Bob Hoffman.

With the highly competitive market, speed counts when attracting talent.

“The speed in which you move makes all the difference,” said Stout.

He added there are a couple of routes to pursue when hiring. Firms use the New York Yankees-style of filling positions by bringing in high-priced free agents and the best in the business with salary and benefits, or the Oakland A’s method of identity high potential talent early in their career and develop them.

Stout, who uses 21-point screening process which includes three interviews with staff in the hiring process, recommends a thorough, multiple interview processes for hiring candidates.

“If you are geekly inclined, you have a bright future. said Stout, who added that ‘Geeks rule the world.’

He cites entrepreneurs such as Bill Gates and those who followed who made billions of dollars while improving the world with technology, allow ‘geeks’ to “wear that term proudly.”


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