Earlier this week, I spoke with Alice Hill, managing director of Dice.com, about the regional skill shortages broken down in the IT job site's June report. I asked her if anything interesting had popped out at her this month. She said:
I think it's interesting that you're starting to see Seattle come into play and that's really structured around cloud computing. The work that Amazon and Microsoft have done to establish themselves as players in the cloud space, I think that then started to breed a lot of smaller startups and other companies all around that area. They're taking advantage of the talent pool of people who either came up to work for Amazon or Microsoft and now have more options. It's interesting that it's becoming kind of a mini-Silicon Valley.
Seattle has long been a hotbed of tech activity, but has grown more so as companies such as Facebook and Zynga have opened offices there. King 5-TV ran a piece last month on the hot job scene for new computer science grads.
Still, unemployment for the state stands at 9.1 percent, while tech companies, as GeekWire puts it, "lament the tight talent pool." It says that in addition to Google, which employs about 800 in Seattle and nearby Kirkland, companies including Amazon, Tableau and Zulily have ramped up hiring. I also found a slew of IT jobs there with Disney Interactive Media.
And amid this tech hiring boom, universities in the state are considering cutting their computer science programs. Brian Bershad, director of the Google site in Seattle, told computer science faculty at the University of Washington last week:
We are not limited the in the number of positions that we have. We are limited in the number of people that we can find that are very, very good. If you were graduating 1,500 (computer science students) per year we'd probably be hiring in the order of 200 to 300 people.