State of the Industry Report illustrates importance of technology for Georgia’s workforce

By Kinsey Lee Clark

This article was picked up by TAG’s Hubwire.

Georgia’s technology industry has grown by more than 10 percent since 2010, resulting in 25,000 new jobs in the improving economy.

The Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) announced this finding in its annual report, State of the Industry: Technology in Georgia. Released on Wednesday at the Georgia Technology Summit, the report detailed sector-specific findings.

TAG, along with its research partner Internet Decisions, LLC, compiled results from the TAG Decision Makers survey of 330 industry executives and data mined from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics to create the contents of the report.

“It’s very clear that if you want a thriving economy in a state like Georgia, it has to start with a very productive technology sector that is not afraid to be innovative,” said Keith Herndon, president of Internet Decisions.

The survey found that access to skilled labor is the most important factor in the growth of Georgia’s innovation economy. To build a workforce proficient in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) by 2020 will require over 85,000 individuals with bachelor’s degrees and an additional 44,000 with a master’s degree or higher.

“We see the significant amount of jobs that are being created in the technology sector, and we see how much more those jobs pay than a job not in the technology sector,” Herndon said.

Currently, communication services is Georgia’s most concentrated high tech sector, with approximately 20,000 high tech workers accounting for 43 percent of its total workforce. Other industry players are increasing their focus on high technology efforts, such as the digital media and entertainment sector, which employs 2,600 people with high tech positions.

In the previous three years, projects around mobility were driving technology growth. Now, business intelligence projects emphasizing big data have outranked mobility as the most important technology initiative in the state.

“We now understand that technology is not industry specific. Technology is at the core of everything we do,” Herndon said. “Every industry in the state of Georgia—from agriculture to aerospace—involves technology.”

Read the full report here.