Washington, D.C. – CompTIA, the nonprofit association for the information technology (IT) industry, today released this statement by its President and CEO, Todd Thibodeaux, on the inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.
On behalf of the world’s leading trade association for the information technology (IT) industry, I offer our heartfelt congratulations to President Biden and Vice President Harris on their historic inauguration. We face challenges on many fronts – the pandemic, the economy, unemployment. CompTIA supports the President’s decision to make these top priorities in the first days of his administration.
We are pleased to see that your administration is making workforce development and technology a priority. The American Rescue Plan includes several proposals for new investments in technology and we believe that there must be enhancements to our technology workforce to support these proposals. As the work begins to reinvigorate the economy, we believe that this is also an opportunity to expand learning, training and certification opportunities for our current technology workers and for future generations of entrepreneurs and innovators.
Upgrading and strengthening federal IT infrastructure is overdue, but we must also provide new skill-building opportunities for federal employees and government contractors responsible for securing data and networks, especially in areas such as cybersecurity analytics and monitoring.
Providing schools with new resources to narrow the digital divide is crucial for future economic opportunity equality, but this divide runs deeper. The digital divide also impacts the nation’s small businesses. While some were able to shift to remote work and greater reliance on e-commerce, many other businesses struggled due to outdated or nonexistent technology infrastructure and know-how.
Many small businesses rely on technology providers that themselves are small and medium-sized businesses. In fact, the large majority of American tech companies have 50 or fewer employees. These companies are found in virtually every locale across the country, belying the belief that America’s tech community is found only in Silicon Valley.
America’s technology sector and workforce are vital contributors to economic expansion and employment growth. The U.S. IT industry is projected to reach $1.6 trillion in 2021, making it one of the largest and most important sectors of the economy. More than 12 million people are employed in tech-related occupations, either as IT professionals or as employees of tech companies. Even with the ravages of the pandemic, growth projections indicate employers will need large numbers of new IT workers in a mix of job roles, ranging from core technology infrastructure and support to software development and emerging tech. Beyond organic growth, when retirements and other departures are factored in, the true tech workforce need over the next five years is larger than it appears.
As a longtime advocate for technology workers and companies CompTIA and our philanthropic arm, Creating IT Futures, are committed to developing and filling the tech talent pipeline. More importantly, we must do so in a way that assures that our technology workforce is as diverse and representative as the country we live in. We are at a unique crossroads and must act wisely. With so many displaced workers in need of new skills, with so many tech jobs unfilled, we must embrace new strategies and tactics to bring supply and demand closer together. We know from experience that we can put people with no background in technology on a path to a tech career in as little as eight weeks. Once in these jobs, the median tech occupation wage is nearly double the median national wage. Making sure that tech jobs are filled is a critical component of a post-COVID economic recovery. We look forward to working with the Biden Administration to help advance the technology workforce and economy.
The Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) is a leading voice and advocate for the $5 trillion global information technology ecosystem; and the estimated 75 million industry and tech professionals who design, implement, manage, and safeguard the technology that powers the world’s economy. Through education, training, certifications, advocacy, philanthropy, and market research, CompTIA is the hub for advancing the tech industry and its workforce. Visit www.comptia.org.