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The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted technology’s critical role in business innovation in response to rapid market shifts. It has also surfaced greater disparities in educational attainment, career advancement, and technology access for students of computer fields. 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. Over the next five years, Information Technology careers are forecast to grow by at least 0.5% annually on average in Ramsey County, well beyond what the existing talent pool can easily supply.
Information Technology roles remain an area of robust local career opportunities with forecasted increasing demand and relatively low unemployment despite the pandemic’s impacts. As of the third quarter of 2020, an estimated 12,689 people work in Ramsey County in Information Technology roles such as Software Developers, Database Administrators, and Information Security Analysts, representing about 4% of all local employment. From March 16, 2020, to February 23, 2021, just 1,691 workers in computer occupations applied for unemployment insurance in Ramsey County, representing 1.6% of the County’s unemployment insurance applications. Across all Information Technology occupations, unemployment was estimated at 2.4% as of the third quarter of 2020. The local average annual wage in Information Technology careers is about $97,600.