Rural sourcing provider Eagle Creek Software Services has announced plans to create 1,000 jobs in South Dakota over the next three to five years.
It plans to partner with the University of South Dakota to help train potential employees, including offering scholarships for the four courses required in the Information Technology Consultant Academy to be launched this fall — software engineering A and B, database management systems and project management. It’s also working with the Board of Regents on creating a customized master’s degree, reports Business Facilities.
Eagle Creek joins a rash of companies using local talent in rural areas to bring outsourced work back to the United States. It focuses on CRM, business intelligence and app development services for health care, financial services and other companies.
“There’s an appetite for companies to move work to the U.S. for less savings if they have the opportunity to do it,” HfS Research CEO Phil Fersht, told me for a story at Dice.com, though he doesn’t see all IT work coming back.
In a survey of Fortune 1,000 companies conducted by HfS Research, respondents said that rather than seeking savings of 30 or 40 percent that offshore outsourcers have offered in the past, they would be willing to source work with American firms for just 16 percent savings.
They would gain from the U.S.-sourced work better communication skills, better understanding of the client’s business and workers in a closer time zone, which can make a huge difference with collaboration in agile development projects.
Rural sourcing relies on a work force paid less than in major metro areas. Indeed, graduates of the certificate program will make between $40,000 and $45,000 and master’s-degree candidates may earn between $50,000 and $60,000, according to Business Facilities. That sounds really low in the grand scheme of IT work, but with a lower cost of living there, that could be top dollar. And if getting a foot in the door requires only taking four classes with free tuition, it could be a really great deal.