The Fastest-Growing States For Tech Jobs In 2015

Susan Adams of Forbes.com published the above article online on August 18, 2015. A link to the original post is below.

Welcome to MinnesotaWhich states are adding technology jobs at the greatest rate? If you think the top of the list should be California, New York and Washington, you guessed wrong. The top three states, according to a new list of fastest-growing states for tech jobs: Minnesota, Utah and Nebraska. New York and California rank, but they are at Nos. 7 and 10 respectively. Washington, home to Microsoft MSFT -2.17%, Amazon andOracle ORCL +0.00%’s cloud technology center, doesn’t make the top 15.

Why is Minnesota No. 1? Headquarters for big corporations like UnitedHealth Group UNH -1.63%, General Mills, 3M, U.S. Bankcorp, and Target, it’s also known as “Medical Alley,” because it’s home to device companies like Medtronic, St. Jude Medical and Boston Scientific. All of those firms hire armies of tech workers. It also has an impressive number of fast-growing technology-specific companies like enterprise cloud software maker Code 42, supply chain management software firm SPS Commerce and JAMF Software, a firm that helps companies install and manage their Apple products. Earlier this month JAMF reportedly reached a deal with IBM to integrate Apple into IBM’s cloud technology systems.

All told, those companies have been in tech hiring mode for the last six months, landing Minnesota at the top of the ranking, released by Dice.com, a 24-year-old website based in Santa Clara, CA. Dice is a leading site for technology job postings. This is the fourth year Dice has put out the list. It culls its information from Bureau of Labor Statistics data that covers hiring in the fields of computer systems design and related services over the last six months, ranking states according to employment growth rate percentages.

In Minnesota, hiring for technology workers increased by 8.36% in that time period. “We have large, well-known companies here and we also see smaller growth companies growing quickly in Minnesota,” says Margaret Anderson Kelliher, president and CEO of the Minnesota High Tech Association, a trade group for tech companies in the state. “We also have a very educated workforce and affordable housing. Companies want to stay here.”

Among the current Dice job listings in Minnesota: Senior IT Systems Analyst at UnitedHealthcare in Eden Prairie, Lead Supply Chain Process Engineer at General Mills in Minneapolis and Principle Cloud Architect at Qumu, a corporate video software company based in Minneapolis.

How did Utah get to be No. 2, with a tech worker hiring increase of 5.75%? Three of its cities, Salt Lake, Provo and Ogden, employ a disproportionate number of STEM (Science, Technology, Energy and Math) workers. One of the Utah high tech sector’s anchor companies is an early tech giant, software maker Novell, founded in Provo in the 1970s. The state’s Mormon population is known for its entrepreneurial bent and its sales talent (including James Sorenson, the late Utah medical devices billionaire). Brigham Young University produces a skilled workforce. Among the jobs listed on Dice: Senior Android Lighting Engineer at Control4, a Salt Lake City home automation systems firm founded in 2003.

Rounding out the top three is Nebraska, with a tech hiring boost of 5.22%. Omaha has several big companies that hire tech workers, including Conagra and Union Pacific. The state also has home-grown tech companies like Solidus, a government contractor based in Bellevue which lists a Senior Software Engineer job.

While California and New York didn’t top the list as determined by percentage growth of the tech workforce, they ranked first and second on the list of states that added the most tech jobs in the first half of 2015. California added 8,400 jobs and New York, 3,800. Given the size of the tech sector in those states, they would need thousands more new jobs to reach a higher percentage increase.

Good news for tech professionals: the unemployment rate in the sector averaged just 2.1% in the second quarter, down from 2.3% in the first quarter. In July the national unemployment rate was 5.3%.

As almost every company relies more heavily on technology, my guess is that the tech unemployment rate will keep going down, making it a buyer’s market for tech jobs.

See our slideshow above for the 10 states with the fastest-growing tech job choices.

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