Colorado’s tech industry among best in the country

March 2, 2015

Kyle Guthrie
kguthri2@uccs.edu

A recent review of the technology industry from CompTIA has shown that Colorado’s technology industry ranks among the best in the nation.

The review looked the number of jobs, number and type of establishments, payroll of companies and average wages earned by workers in the industry.

According to the report, the technology industry accounted for 11.3 percent of Colorado’s economy. While the report detailed that the overall ranking of the state in terms of employment came in at 13th place, the wages earned for workers in the industry was ranked as ninth in the nation.

Workers in the tech industry earned about $101,800 a year on average, while the state average in the private sector was roughly $51,000.

5,900 jobs were created in the industry last year, a 3.3 percent increase in jobs for the state.
The study also shows growth of computer sciences and engineering.

“UCCS students in these related areas are contributing to the industry growth, but there is a much larger demand in these areas than all the Colorado universities together can supply,” said Terry Boult, professor of computer science. “People move to Colorado to work in these industries.”

The state added 5,900 jobs in 2013-14, but all Colorado universities together only graduated less than 1,000 students, he said.

According to Boult, the total number of new IT jobs in that one year was greater than “all existing mechanical and aerospace employees in the state.”

Still, there are some uncertainties in current students about their skills in the IT industry.

Cole Johnson, junior computer engineering major, is getting ready to enter the IT workforce.

“I have no idea what the IT industry is even like, I’m just in school,” he said, “But I feel comfortable in the skills I am learning, I do really enjoy them and hope they come in handy in the future.”

“As a mechanical engineer I do get some IT background, but it’s just enough to be able to interact in that field,” said Michael Burns, junior mechanical engineering major. “My education seems very solid to me, but I won’t know until I get to go out and use it, so I don’t really have that much to base it on.”

Boult is confident that UCCS students are ready for the world of the IT industry.

“Many of our undergraduates get to be involved in advanced research and or start-ups, feedback from employers is positive on our graduate skills,” Boult explained. “All students have strong computer science and software development skills.”