(Boston, MA) June 8, 2012 – Leaders from Broadening Advanced Technological Education Connections (BATEC) led a workforce summit at the IBM Innovation Center today, releasing data uncovering areas of prospective employment and collaboration in the information technology (IT) arena for middle-skilled workers.
“This collaborative effort with the TechAmerica Foundation has uncovered data that we hope will help us close the gap between those who are looking for quality workers and those who are seeking retooling and employment,” says Deborah Boisvert, Executive Director of BATEC.
BATEC’S report, An Analysis of Information Technology Middle Skill Job Openings 2011, was shared for the first time with leaders from business, industry, policy and education including Monster, Commonwealth Corporation, MA Technology Leader Council, Boston Private Industry Council, SkillProof, IBM, and others.
BATEC and the TechAmerica Foundation have been collecting and analyzing Bureau of Labor Statistics and real-time labor market information to better understand the challenges and opportunities for middle-skilled workers.
Topics of discussion included whether the data accurately reflected the national IT landscape, as well as how the hybridization of IT across other non-IT industry areas has impacted hiring practices. Additional dialogue focused on determining major barriers in filling IT Middle Skill job openings. Is it unskilled job candidates? Is it a mismatch of job “specs”? Is it something else?
One of the key findings of particular note from the real time labor analysis is that there were nearly 870,000 job postings in the occupational classes identified as middle skill IT. Of these, nearly 70% were for Computer Systems Analysts, Web Developers, Computer User Support Specialists, Computer Programmers and Software Quality Assurance Engineers and Testers. This suggests significant opportunity for employment in those occupational classifications.
Additionally, the report drew focus on the evolving landscape of certain occupations as they transition to include a heavier concentration of IT skills. As example, Medical Record & Health Information Technicians have moved from a primarily paper-based world to use Electronic Records Systems. Geographical Information Systems Technicians are migrating from analog tools and mechanical calculations to merging cartography, statistical analysis and database technology.
“It was very energizing to have these thought leaders in one room,” says Boisvert. “Much discussion centered on how we reconcile the multiple data sources to fully understand the breadth and depth of the problem – and even more basically, what we even consider the ‘problem’ to be. This is another step in tackling these issues and BATEC is pleased to be leading the discussion.”