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As tech jobs expand beyond Silicon Valley, demand for training increases

Dive Brief:

  • For decades, Silicon Valley has been the heart of the technology job market. But now, many tech startups are hiring in other states such Michigan, Utah, Montana, Washington, and North Carolina, according to a recent report from CompTIA. Jobs in cyber security and software development are in high demand, but public schools cannot keep up. This means more tech training programs are needed to prepare workers, Tech Republic reports. 
  • Tech jobs also represent industrial careers in agriculture, banks, retail and manufacturing, says Hadi Partovi, CEO of Code.org. “91% of these tech jobs fall outside of Silicon Valley,” Partovi told Tech Republic. Detroit, for example, has twice as many tech jobs compared to manufacturing.
  • To address the training needs of tech companies, multiple coding camps and other tech training programs are being offered by companies like DevMountain in Utah. There is also funding through the federal TechHire program that’s focused on rural communities. 

Dive Insight:

Technology is a vital part of every industry today, including “backbone” industries such as agriculture and manufacturing. In order to manage all this, skilled technical workers are required — but there is a severe shortage of those who have said skills.

The shift from Silicon Valley to other areas around the country is a sign that the economy is in a period of recovery, but also signals the increased need generally for those with technological know-how and specialized skills, exacerbating shortages. 

Diversity initiatives are largely heralded as a key way to improve talent pipelines, as women and minorities are still trying to find opportunity in a variety of these industries. Improving focus on internal training, however, will also be key for both retention and easing skill gaps. Strong development programs show employees that the organization cares about their future, leading to better employee relationships, less turnover and more robust skills management.

While privately run tech training programs are a must to keep up with the demand for tech talent, a recent panel with the EEOC reveals the government may soon try to assist industries in managing the talent gap. 

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