New Report Shows Higher Demand for Technology Skills in Massachusetts than in U.S. Overall

Thursday, July 13, 2017Printer-friendly version

Washington, D.C. — July 13, 2017 — Achieve today released a report with Burning Glass Technologies that analyzes the demand for technology jobs in Massachusetts, showing that nearly one in four jobs (23 percent) in Massachusetts involve computer science skills – significantly higher than the national average of less than 18 percent. The trends illustrated in the report show the importance of increasing the supply of people with computer science knowledge and skills in Massachusetts, particularly in the Boston area.

“Technology jobs are of increasing importance to our economy as a nation, and that is even more true of Massachusetts,” said Achieve President Michael Cohen. “It is critical for employers to be able to find employees with the knowledge and skills needed to perform these jobs successfully; otherwise, a significant portion of the workforce remains unfilled. To meet the demands of an increasingly technological economy, the development of computer science knowledge and skills must begin in K–12 education.”

The report, Technology Jobs in Massachusetts: The Demand for a Massachusetts Technology Workforce, takes a closer look at the overall demand for computer science skills in the Commonwealth, focusing on educational and skills requirements as well as common industry-recognized credentials for computer science, information technology (IT), and IT-adjacent jobs.

“One of the most powerful trends we see in the labor market is how digital skills are reshaping what employers expect from their workforce – not only in tech jobs, but also in a range of roles across sectors where workers now have to have software skills to manage data,” said Matthew Sigelman, CEO of Burning Glass Technologies.

The report found that jobs requiring computer science skills include programmers who develop new software, IT staff who manage technology systems, and analysts who use quantitative software tools to make data-based decisions. Among these jobs, Massachusetts employers are having a hard time finding qualified candidates; nine of the top 10 technology occupations identified in the report take longer than average to fill in the Commonwealth.

“We applaud Achieve’s work to highlight what is obvious to business people in every sector; some basic computer science education and digital literacy must now become a foundational requirement for all of our students,” said Steve Vinter, Executive Coach & Technology Leadership Advisor, Google, Inc. and Co-Founder of MassCAN. “It is time for Massachusetts to make this a top priority for our policymakers, educators and school districts. We are fortunate to have a unique collection of resources that will enable our state to figure this out faster than others, and, as the study makes clear, there will be significant economic benefits for both our workers and our businesses.”

Additionally, Massachusetts employers are significantly more likely to request a bachelor’s degree for technology occupations than the rest of the country. Just 7.6 percent of technology job postings in Massachusetts are open to those with less than a bachelor’s degree, compared with 13.6 percent nationally.

The production of the report was made possible by the GE Foundation.

The full report is available here.