New research from CompTIA is good news for IT professionals (and those heading in that direction).
The Computing Technology Industry Association’s new report, “Cyberstates 2015: The definitive state-by-state analysis of the U.S. tech industry,” examines tech employment, wages and other key economic factors in each of the 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. In aggregate, the data provides some heartening information about the tech industry’s growth potential and its positive impact on the overall economy.
Here are 10 key take-aways for IT pros.
1. The tech industry is a pretty good place to be right now. The U.S. tech industry added almost 130,000 jobs, for a total of 6.5 million, in 2014. This represented the fourth year in a row of growth following the great recession. Tech industry jobs account for 5.7% of the entire private sector workforce.
2. The tech industry is growing at the same rate as the overall private sector, 2%. With that said, eight states had tech wages that were, on average, more than twice that of the overall private sector wage: California, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, Virginia, North Carolina, Arizona and New Mexico. (Note that California was also among the top five states in terms of tech employment and tech employment growth, while Virginia, Arizona and New Mexico were among the bottom five states in terms of tech employment growth).
3. Want to move to a state where you'll have the best chance of getting a job or moving up in the tech industry? The top five states by tech industry employment were:
- New York
4. With that said, you may not have to move at all: 38 states added tech jobs in 2014.
5. Four of the states taht were tops in tech industry employment were also tops in terms of tech employment growth: California, Texas, Florida and Massachusetts. Michigan rounded out the top five in this area.
6. The bottom five states in terms of tech employment growth were:
- New Mexico
- New Jersey
7. If you're a tech industry professional, you might feel most at home in Massachusetts, Virginia, Colorado, Maryland and Washington. Those were the states with the largest concentration of tech industry workers, on a per capita basis.
8. You're in the money, relatively speaking: Tech industry workers earned, on average, 102% more than the average private sector worker ($100,400 versus $49,600).
9. A sweaty Steve Ballmer once famously cheered/chanted/yelled, "Developers, developers, developers ... " It was true then and it's even truer now: Developers are the industry's lifeblood, and, as such, they are in high demand. Nationally, when it comes to leading occupational job categories, software application developers came out on top, followed by computer user support specialists, computer systems analysts, systems software developers, and network and computer systems administrators.
10. We'll knock on wood when we say this (the great recession still being fresh in our minds and all), but it looks like tech industry workers can rest relatively easy when it comes to job security: The report found that tech occupations are in strong demand, with lower-than-average unemployment rates.