HILLSBOROUGH AND PINELLAS COUNTIES (December 16, 2015) – A survey distributed to more than 300 information technology employers by regional economic, workforce development and technology organizations has found that high job growth and low unemployment rates are contributing to the short and long term gaps between available positions and the skills employers require for key IT occupations in Tampa Bay.
Fifty-four (54) organizations responded to the survey, which was distributed by email from June through August 2015 with the goal to obtain greater understanding of current and future needs for IT employees in Tampa Bay.
“The Tampa Bay IT Workforce Analysis Survey initiative, spearheaded by CareerSource Tampa Bay, has provided our community with previously unavailable data and insights about our region’s workforce and talent pipeline,” said Chris Cate, EVP & CIO at Cox Target Media and 2016 Chair at Tampa Bay Technology Forum (TBTF). “We look forward to continuing our support of advancing Tampa Bay’s technology employment outlook.”
The survey was a three-year follow up to an initial 2012 IT workforce analysis, and was conducted by CareerSource Tampa Bay, in partnership with CareerSource Pinellas, The Florida High Tech Corridor, Pinellas County Economic Development, Tampa Bay Partnership, Tampa Bay Technology Forum, and Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation. Responses to the 2015 survey were compared to the initial survey to assess any changes regarding the extent of challenges identified in the original survey.
According to Ed Peachey, President and CEO of CareerSource Tampa Bay and CareerSource Pinellas, “The partnership with our economic development organizations and the Tampa Bay Technology Forum was instrumental in the development of the survey and engagement of employers to maximize the number of responses. The data received is critical in providing direction for Workforce Development initiatives to insure a continuum of trained workers for the IT sector.”
Key findings include:
· 81% of survey respondents anticipated hiring for IT positions within the next 2-3 years.
· Employers identified Java Developer as the top in-demand skill and the most challenging to fill.
· Unemployment rates of IT occupations have been reported lower than the overall unemployment rate on national and local levels. The local MSA unemployment rate for IT occupations in August 2015 was estimated at less than 1% per EMSI.
· Education and experience are highly preferred by employers for IT positions. A minimum of a Bachelor’s degree and 3-5 years of experience is preferred by the majority of employers surveyed, which is unchanged from the 2012 survey.
· The demand for IT positions crosses all industry sectors. Regardless of industry sector, employers cite a need to fill key IT positions.
“The Tampa Bay region is experiencing incredible growth in the information technology field, and that presents us with an exciting opportunity to create a world-class workforce to meet those needs,” said Rick Homans, President and CEO of the Tampa Bay Partnership. ”Fortunately, we have exceptional educational institutions to fill our pipeline with talented employees, and an engaged business community to ensure our students are trained in the most relevant, high-demand skills.”