With more technology coming to Central Tennessee, officials say more workers are needed to meet the growing demand.
Local business leaders and educators gathered at the Volunteer State Community College in Galatin last week for the “Let’s Talk Tech” forum.
The event, sponsored by the Galatin Economic Development Agency and the College, focused on the needs of the local technology sector and ways to increase the workforce needed for the growing industry.
“You don’t have to go to California to work with technology,” Katie Comer, Facebook’s regional development manager, told the audience last week. There are many different kinds of work in this field. It’s not just the people behind the computer. ”
There were 35,190 technicians employed in the Nashville Metro area last year – an increase of 36 percent since 2015, according to a recent CMSR Group report. Most of those new works have been seen in the last two years.
Over the past five years, there have been 5,007 new technology sites in addition to local graduates, the report said.
“Our data centers have a wide range of high-tech services,” says Comer. “And it’s more than just working with the servers; He is a heating and air conditioning specialist, electrician and electrical engineer. ”
According to the report, by 2020 there were 5.4 million technical workers in the United States. Over the past five years, the number of workers in the field has increased by 13 percent – more than double the overall national employment growth.
Last week’s forum participants pointed out that there are many ways to get a job in the field of technology, some of which are faster than the usual two- or four-year degree.
According to Andy White, Dean of the College of Business and Technology, the average age of a computer programmer in Volleyball is 31. Many students work in construction or other fields and study at night to improve their skills.
“I started two years of school,” added Jeff Field, Chief Information Officer of Survip. “You have to be open to change and innovation. This is the key to working in technology. ”
This year, Volunteer State Community College is expanding its offerings in computer information technology education. Those include extensive certifications and degree programs, including concentration in cyber defense.
The college also collaborates with the Grand Nashville Technology Council for a program called GoTH. IT Infrastructure Support Vocational education focuses on computer basics and infrastructure, and thanks to state support for selected applicants.
“We have a great team of teachers, a great program family and we are working to spread the word and help more students succeed in those programs,” White said. We have found what you need to meet the needs of your employees. We need to make sure we deliver in a way that maximizes success. ”