NEW YORK (MainStreet) — Looking for the next gold rush in job opportunities? There are apps for that.
The mobile and online applications industry created about 466,000 jobs in the U.S. between 2007 (the year apps were first introduced with the iPhone) and December 2011, according to a comprehensive report from technology advocacy group Technet. These include 311,000 jobs at companies developing apps as well as another 155,000 positions elsewhere created indirectly by the success of this industry.
To find this out, the researchers combed through the Conference Board’s of “help wanted” listings for common words and phrases relevant to applications jobs like “Facebook API,” “Windows Phone” and, of course, “app.” Sure enough, the report finds that applications jobs have increased each year since 2007, with the number of job postings containing the word “app” increasing by 45% between 2010 and 2011 alone.
As the report concludes, “That’s rapid expansion by anyone’s standards.”
You Need the Right Programming Experience
Not all app stores rely on the same , which means those looking to break into the industry need to figure out which platform they’re interested in, and ultimately they will probably need to learn multiple coding systems. Those interested in Apple’s app store, for example, will need to be proficient in Objective C, while Android apps are typically written in Java. Many jobs now also require developers to have experience using HTML5, a mobile-friendly alternative to Adobe Flash, to produce Web pages that work on products like the iPhone and iPad.
Try Building an App of Your Own
Several of the job listings we saw for companies like Boxee and Etsy specifically called for applicants who had managed to get at least one application of their own into an app store. Unfortunately, if you’re just now trying to break into the industry, this can become a catch-22. So for the ambitious developers out there, your best bet may be to go it alone and try to build an app yourself. Apple’s app store is notoriously difficult to get into, but others like the Android app store aren’t as difficult as you might think. Not only will this allow you to say you have a published application, but it will show potential employers that you’re serious about the industry.
Where You Live Matters
There are certainly telecommuting opportunities in the app industry, but where you live can still make a difference. As Technet’s report shows, California alone is responsible for about one quarter of all app-related jobs, which should come as little surprise given this is the home of Silicon Valley. By city though, New York actually has more app-related jobs than San Francisco, and other cities like Seattle and Washington, D.C., aren’t too far behind. Not only does that mean there are more job opportunities in these areas, it also means there may be more chances to network with people who work in the industry and can help you get started.