Analyzes labor market data to estimate the middle-skill employment gap for data and information technology (IT) occupations nationally and in four cities; provides profiles of the wage and employment outlook for four data and IT job clusters; and draws conclusions about whether community colleges should prepare more graduates in each of these clusters and cities.

This resource, a quantification analysis written by a partnership of academics and industry leaders, aims to predict the middle-skill employment gap in select data and IT fields in Boston, Chicago, Las Vegas, and San Francisco between 2014 and 2019. The authors note that “the motivation for [the study] is [the] desire to begin a discussion about the underlying dynamics of middle-skill employment. This inaugural research report offers a quantified analysis of regional market needs and documents the preparation that candidates require for meaningful employment. There is an opportunity for industry and academia to work collaboratively to narrow the gap” (p.i).

“IT job growth is expected to continue to outpace the average job growth, for all jobs, through 2020. IT job growth and skill requirements are so robust that there is a significant need to expand the number of workers with appropriate skills for these positions. Many employers agree that a ‘skills gap’ exists and they expect this ‘skills gap’ will widen in the short-term. This report investigates and documents the dimensions of this gap in the areas of data, information and computing. [The authors] explored the legitimacy of the common assumption that job seekers need to possess a bachelor’s degree in order to satisfy the skill requirements of jobs in the IT profession. Using modeled economic data, [the authors] sized the employment opportunity available for skilled community college graduates…The occupations studied include:

•         Computer Systems Analysts

•         Medical Records and Health Information Technicians

•         Web Developers

•         Big Data Cluster” (p.1).

The resource uses labor market data, including nearly 80,000 job postings and information from the U.S. Department of Labor, to create employment models for the four occupation groups. “[The authors] use a variety of economic data to assess the quantitative alignment of workforce demand and educational readiness….This analysis, along with additional employment and wage data, and written analysis, are included with a profile of each of the four metro areas.

 

[The authors] created profiles of each of the four IT occupations. [They] used advanced data mining techniques and two analytics engines to yield rich, multi-level competency profiles that produced data aligned to current nationwide employer job requirements of the occupations studied” (p.2).

 

(Abstractor: Author and Website Staff)