Julie Samuels, Executive Director
Today, we shared the results of a survey we completed with Accenture that shows, among other things, that 80 percent of companies in New York City plan to hire new tech talent in 2018, with more than half planning to increase their workforce by 20 percent or more.
A few thoughts on this: first, we are not surprised. You just have to look around to see a growing and thriving technology ecosystem here in New York City. In the past 12 months, we’ve seen some notable exits, such as Flatiron Health being acquired, MongoDB going public, Moat being acquired, and Yext going public. Our tech sector now represents more than 326,000 jobs and our startup ecosystem as a whole is valued at more than $71 billion.
Even more, however, we are encouraged. The 80 companies who took our survey were asked what the city should showcase to attract more tech talent and the top answers—diversity, diversity of industry, and access to cultural institutions—basically prove our theory of the case. The things that set New York City apart as a diverse and cultural hub are the exact things that set it apart as an international tech hub.
Of course, attracting talent to New York is only a small part of the game. More importantly, we need to do everything we can to ensure all New Yorkers have access to the education and training needed to fill this talent gap.
To that end, we are pleased by recent city and state efforts to increase access to STEM education. New York is home to many nonprofits training students and underrepresented communities with new tech skills. The city’s annual Computer Science Opportunity Fair introduces thousands of our high school students to careers in tech and the CS4ALL public-private partnership is well on its way to dedicating $80 million to provide NYC public school students access to computer science education. And the state’s 2018 budget made a huge commitment— $30 million over five years—to computer science education. But New York must not rest on these accomplishments — just because we are leading the way on CS education doesn’t mean the job is done.
At the end of the day, our industry is only as strong as the people who work in it. Tech companies of all stripes chose to be in New York for access to the things that a truly diverse city can uniquely provide. In order to properly benefit from it, we must ensure that our workforce mirrors that diversity.
Check out the slides below to see more insights from the new survey.