Information Technology Challenges and Opportunities
9 Apr 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted our society’s reliance on technology and its power to help businesses innovate and respond to rapid market shifts. It has also exposed the significant disparities for students studying in computer fields.
The Information Technology sector has robust local career opportunities across every industry and among employers of all sizes. Unemployment is low (2.4%) despite the impacts of the pandemic, and forecasted growth is high. Metro-wide, postsecondary institutions are underproducing Information Technology talent compared to national benchmarks, making it challenging for Ramsey County employers to find highly qualified local Information Technology talent. Women, Black, and Hispanic talent are particularly underrepresented in both graduate counts and the existing workforce.
These indicators point to a severely tight talent market for employers seeking tech talent and highlight the imperative of driving cross-sector strategies that target diversification of Information Technology occupations. High entry-level education requirements in Information Technology may be a barrier for individuals with certificates, bootcamp experiences, or 2-year degrees who otherwise have all the right skills. Addressing hiring requirements and recruitment strategies, as well as access to technology and affordable training, are all necessary components for Ramsey County to increase tech talent diversity.