Massachusetts: A Cutting Edge Technology Hub
The Commonwealth is a major hub for technology jobs, with over 10% of the state’s labor force working in tech, the highest rate of any state in the country. Today, 23% of all job postings in Massachusetts are for technology-related occupations. While many of these technology jobs exist at world-class tech companies that have chosen to make Massachusetts their home, they can also be found at other organizations – including higher education institutions, financial service providers, and hospitals – that rely on technology to stay on the cutting edge in our rapidly changing economy.
Massachusetts employers struggle to fill their open tech positions with high-quality, trained talent. In 2017, there were over 100,000 tech occupation job postings in Massachusetts, but in the year prior, Massachusetts colleges and universities only produced around 22,000 post-secondary graduates in STEM fields. This suggests a major disconnect between supply and demand.
Registered Apprenticeship is increasingly receiving attention as a solution to bridge the talent gap in the tech space, both nationally and in Massachusetts. Nationally, apprenticeship expansion is an area that commands bipartisan support and federal funding. In Massachusetts, the landscape is similarly primed for apprenticeship expansion. There is state-level momentum around apprenticeship expansion in the Commonwealth, with strong support from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development (EOLWD). In 2018, EOLWD launched a major effort to expand apprenticeships across the state, with a special focus on the area of tech roles.
Apprenti, in partnership with the One8 Foundation and the Massachusetts EOLWD, has launched its Registered Apprenticeship program in the Commonwealth and is accepting applications. Apprenti has secured partnerships with several of the area’s top employers and the list is growing. These Massachusetts-based partnerships build on a growing list of national partnerships with companies like Amazon and Microsoft. Additionally, Apprenti has partnered with two leading industry organizations in the state, the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative (MassTech) and the Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council (MassTLC) in order to ensure tech apprenticeship becomes a foundational part of the Massachusetts tech talent landscape. Furthermore, Apprenti has the support of the Massachusetts Workforce Skills Cabinet, comprised of the Secretaries of Labor and Workforce Development, Education, and Housing and Economic Development, which works to support a comprehensive economic growth agenda for the state.
Apprenti’s earliest Massachusetts work will focus on the Software Developer occupation, which has been identified as the most pressing need for employers in the Commonwealth. In 2016, there were almost 30,000 job postings in Massachusetts for Software Developers. The Software Developer occupation also carries strong earnings potential, with annual salaries averaging over $96,000 in Massachusetts.
Like other tech occupations, many Software Developer positions go unfilled for preventable reasons. In Massachusetts, top employers including Wayfair, Carbon Black, Cengage, and PTC are hiring Software Developer apprentices out of the Apprenti program. These employers are committed to providing apprentices with valuable “on-the-job” training and mentoring support so that apprentices will be set up for success as they pursue rewarding, long-term careers in technology.
Apprenti will be adding additional hiring partners and occupations in the coming months. If you are interested in becoming a hiring partner, contact us.