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Introduction: Information Technology and the Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted our society’s reliance on technology and its power to help
businesses innovate and respond to rapid market shifts. Still, it has also surfaced greater disparities
for students studying in computer fields. According to Code Savvy, computing is the number one
source of all new wages in our economy, but the ecosystem for education and training of Information
Technology talent is fractured and uneven nationwide. The Information Technology sector faces
unique talent challenges in the face of COVID-19, including the potential for rapidly increasing
demand for talent outpacing local supply in the MSP Metro and uneven access to technology, training,
and computer science education. Just prior to the pandemic, RealTime Talent estimated that
Minnesota would face a shortage of around 20,000 Information Technology professionals through
2022, concentrated around metro areas but also growing into rural communities. Over the next five
years, Information Technology careers are forecast to grow by at least 0.5% annually on average in
Ramsey County—at a lower rate and volume than the neighboring tech hub Hennepin County, but still
well beyond what the existing talent pool can easily supply.