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Growing IT Employment for Sustained Regional Prosperity

The Opportunity

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Greater MSP region ranks:

  • Eleventh in total employment of computer-related occupations
  • Sixth in concentration of IT jobs
  • Tenth in annual median wage

… making the state a strong contender for companies looking to expand IT operations, provided the level of needed talent is available.

Why are these rankings important?
The payoff for expanded IT employment is greater prosperity for the entire MSP region as well as Greater Minnesota. A 2012 Federal Reserve Bank of New York study found IT-related occupations as one of only three occupational groups with a statistically significant contribution to higher GDP within a regional economy. In today’s data-rich world, employers know where they can find the talent they need; the Minnesota State I.T. Center of Excellence is working to help make Minnesota one of those places.

The Need

An early May 2015 query of the Wanted Analytics database reported:

  • Nearly 12,000 current computer-related job openings in Minnesota.
  • Fewer than 2,600 graduates with IT degrees in Minnesota (about 20 percent of current demand).

A rather modest output of recent graduates  — combined with employer-desired experience levels for a majority of the current openings — results in a robust level of “churn” in the labor market and increased talent costs for employers. In addition, the state now exceeds the national average for difficulty in finding IT talent, according to Wanted Analytics.

“Currently, a low supply of potential candidates for the number of employers looking for talent makes this position relatively hard to fill both nationally and in the Minnesota area.” Source: Wanted Analytics.

The Approach

Minnesota State Colleges and Universities is in a strong position to help drive higher levels of prosperity by developing the talent needed to fuel IT employment and business growth with:

  • Over 120 programs available across the system.
  • Nearly 15,000 students currently pursuing some type of IT credential.

Minn State is the dominant provider of the future workforce across the variety of IT occupations. The Minnesota State I.T. Center of Excellence works actively with 20+ academic partners and over 50 IT employers on three strategic objectives to create career opportunity for individuals and meet employer talent needs:

  1. Increase the number of individuals preparing for IT  careers with a focus on underrepresented populations
  2. Help students and alumni improve employability through opportunities to gain real-world experience and develop career success skills.
  3. Convene educators and employers to identify and address emerging talent needs through collaborative  approaches.

In-Demand I.T. Careers

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