The need for Indiana to produce more technology workers, as well as cultivate a workforce with more specialized knowledge and technical expertise, were among conclusions reached in the recently released Central Indiana Tech Workforce Study.
Produced by TechPoint and Hire Up Indy, the report sought to address the misalignment between industry needs and available skills in the workforce. According to the study’s findings, between 2009 and 2014 computer and information technology (IT) jobs grew more than twice as fast (17 percent) as overall average job growth (8 percent) in central Indiana – with similar growth expected to continue.
Progress already has been made in expanding the pool of tech graduates. For example, Indiana University’s School of Informatics and Computing (SOIC) has tripled its undergraduate enrollment since 2007 to 2,000 majors and doubled its graduate enrollment to 1,200 students. To accommodate further growth, SOIC also plans a new building on the Bloomington campus.
Upon graduation, about 60 percent of SOIC grads remain in Indiana to pursue tech careers. Yet despite efforts by IU and other institutions to produce more graduates in STEM-related sectors (science, technology, engineering and math), demand still exceeds supply in many technology sectors.
Because rapid change occurs within these industries – at times sparking new ones — educational offerings must continually evolve to keep Hoosier employers at the forefront. The report identifies the need for extensive collaboration between industry and educators to develop new and improved pathways into the tech work force.
As a result, Indiana University and TechPoint are collaborating to address this need by hosting a forum focused on strengthening ties between educators and employers to produce more career-ready graduates.
Scheduled for June 25, the E2E Convergence event – hosted by IUPUI and supported by the Lilly Endowment, Inc. – will bring industry and higher education leaders together to identify ways that both groups can work together to develop Indiana’s workforce, particularly in STEM occupations. The solutions that emerge from this meeting may lead to a number of news announcements in the weeks and months that follow – so please stay tuned.