Silicon Valley Employers Foresee Hiring Growth, Talent Shortages

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The science job conundrum in a CNNMoney piece that my colleague Don Tennant wrote about is being played out in Silicon Valley. The conundrum is this: If the United States creates science- and tech-related jobs, will we have enough people to fill them?


According to a study released Tuesday, Silicon Valley employers predict a 15 percent rise in tech hiring in the next two years, but they worry about being able to find people with cutting-edge skills. Four nonprofit work force training groups, headed by NOVA in Sunnyvale, conducted the study, which included executive interviews, panel discussions with recruiters and a survey of 251 companies, the San Jose Mercury News reports.


At the same time, it says that midlevel jobs are being eliminated as companies focus on high-level skills. Kris Stadelman, executive director of work force training center NOVA, said that though jobs that require only minimum skills have been outsourced to less-costly areas, it's working to help the area's tech unemployed. She's quoted as saying:

We're trying to find ways to "skill them up."

The study found:

  • 60 percent of the valley's information and communications technology companies expect to have more workers a year from now.
  • software engineering and project management jobs are expected to rise by 11 percent.
  • an anticipated rise in applications engineering jobs by 20 percent.
  • quality assurance engineering jobs expected to increase by 12 percent.
  • 25 percent of companies polled expect to hire more temps and contractors.
  • Small to medium-size companies are the most likely to expect more hiring, a national finding noted Monday in the report on the CompTIA IT Industry Business Confidence Index.


Meanwhile, nearly two-thirds of the companies reported difficulties in recruiting software engineers and field applications engineers and half said they had problems filling quality assurance and project management jobs.


Stephen Levy of the Center for Continuing Study of the California Economy and a NOVA board member also noted a wider problem looming:

Companies come here because there's talent here. We will lose our competitive edge if there's not enough talent.