Austin CEOs Tackle Projected Tech Talent Shortage

Susan Hall

The tech industry in Austin, Texas, pumps $21 billion into the local economy – one-third of the city’s total, according to a report from the Austin Technology Council.

Austin technology companies are expected to add 9,000 jobs over the next five years, if they can find the talent. How to build a sustainable work force was among the topics discussed Wednesday by 150 CEOs in a daylong summit.

Though there are expected to be 2,400 openings for software developers between 2012 and 2017, local universities are expected to produce only a quarter of that number, reports The Austin American Statesman.

Small companies especially have a tough time landing the talent they need.

“Big companies have many places they can hire from, but it’s very hard for small companies to bring people into Austin because they just don’t have the resources,” said Joel Trammell, the council’s chairman. “Locally we can only produce a small portion of the talent we need. If everyone just ends up poaching from each other, what it effectively does is limit growth.”

Seventy-nine percent of the CEOs attending the summit said it is somewhat difficult or very difficult to hire the talent they need.

The technology council is working on creating a separate organization that would bring candidates to Austin where they would interview with several companies.

Other findings from the technology report:

  • One out of every five new tech jobs in Texas during 2012-2017 is expected to be in Austin.
  • The top 3 fastest-growing tech sectors in Central Texas are engineering services; computer and computer peripheral equipment and software merchant wholesalers; and custom computer programming services.
  • Austin's fastest-growing tech occupations are computer systems analysts, software developers (applications), computer support specialists, and software developers (systems). Those last three also rank as the top occupations with the biggest projected shortages.


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