The number of Minnesotans employed in the information technology field is expected to grow nearly 14 percent over the next five years, which would put IT in the state’s top 10 job sectors, according to the Minnesota High Tech Association (MHTA).
The group is working on initiatives aimed at meeting future job demand, as well as attempting to codify credentials for IT professionals.
“This industry has the largest number of industry credentials with more than 280 core certifications across 15 categories,” MHTA President Margaret Anderson Kelliher said in the post. “In addition, most IT occupations require 2- or 4-year degrees with some job experience.”
Minnesota’s anticipated growth reflects a sustained strength in the IT industry. The proliferation of technology across all sectors contributed to IT being one of the few fields not significantly impacted by the late 2000s recession, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Specific positions within the IT industry are also growing, according to a comprehensive report from the BLS, buoyed by a number of factors, including:
- An increase in cloud computing
- Companies needing protection from cyber attacks
- Growth in mobile networking
- Growth in health care IT
- Increased emphasis on data management
A closer look at Minnesota’s IT industry also shows good news for those looking to break into the field.
In the Twin Cities area, eight businesses were among the largest software companies in the world based on revenue in 2009, according to a 2011 report from the state Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED).
The state has traditionally been highly ranked when it comes to computer-related patents and employed more than 131,000 tech workers in 2008, the DEED report states.
Job Growth by Career
The average job growth for all occupations through 2022 is expected to be around 10 percent, according to the BLS. Career growth among IT professions, however, is almost universally expected to outpace that figure.
In addition to being a strong industry for job growth, jobs within the IT field are also fairly well compensated.
Below are five IT careers, their corresponding growth projections and salary data from the BLS.
Computer and Information Systems Managers
- Projected growth: 15 percent
- Median salary: $120,950
Computer Systems Analysts
Information Security Analysts
- Projected growth: 37 percent
- Median salary: $86,170
Computer Network Architects
- Projected growth: 15 percent
- Median salary: $91,000
Each of these careers typically requires a bachelor’s degree in order to secure an entry-level position.
IT in MN
In Minnesota, there are other reasons to be hopeful about job opportunities in IT, including:
- Home to several Fortune 500 companies, all of which rely on IT professionals in some capacity
- An internet-savvy population (it ranks fourth nationally in percentage of people with web access, according to DEED)
- Software development centers in the Twin Cities for Microsoft and Cray, Inc.
Clearly, the future career prospects for those studying information technology, especially in Minnesota, are excellent.