Nearly one out of every ten workers in Greater Boston either holds a tech-related job, or works in a non-technical job at a tech company.
And even though there were a wave of layoffs at tech companies large and small last year, the number of people in Greater Boston employed in the industry – more than 272,500 people -- rose slightly (1%) last year, while hiring remains a problem.
Workforce diversity is an even bigger challenge.
Only 4% of Boston-area tech workers were Black, compared with 8% of the overall workforce; 4% were Hispanic, versus 10% of the workforce, Pressman adds, citing data from CompTIA. And one-quarter of tech workers were women, compared with half of the overall workforce.
Meanwhile, the average annual salary for an employee with a computer science degree in the region was $107,543, while the average salary among all Massachusetts workers is $65,279.
So how -- and where -- should we turn to address the overall workforce shortage and these racial, economic and gender disparities?
- Despite booming demand for workers in the good-paying computer science sector, just 5.8% of Massachusetts high school students are taking a computer science course.
- Urban schools were less likely to offer computer science than suburban and rural schools.
- And only 28.4% of students enrolled in a computer science course were female.
MABE's suggests that giving more Massachusetts high schoolers access to computer science courses would help fill good paying jobs, diversify the workforce and enhance economic mobility.
Ultimately it recommends that the state require students take a computer science class in order to graduate.
Arkansas, South Carolina and Maryland require its students to take a computer science class in order to graduate. Certainly Massachusetts can do that.