The Digital Innovation Age demands an increase in the number of Hoosier tech workers and in their skill-level if Indiana is to maintain its position as a leader in key economic sectors and to continue growing its reputation as a tech innovator. In a report issued today – “Seismic Shifts in the Talent Landscape: 2023 TechPoint Indiana Tech Workforce Report” – TechPoint outlines current conditions in the tech workforce and calls on Indiana tech sector leaders, employers and community stakeholders to work together to overcome its issues.
“The challenges we outline are not unique to Indiana, but what is unique is our history of collaborating to overcome huge issues,” said TechPoint President and CEO Ting Gootee. “Our intention with this report is to objectively showcase the situation – and to make clear the comprehensive reach of it. Working together, we can overcome these seismic shifts by investing in bold new talent pathways and alignment programs; pursing diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives; and collaborating more within the tech community.”
Indiana has multiple opportunities to develop and attract tech talent over the long-term, in particular through the state’s robust higher education system, nascent work-and-learn pathways and talent attraction advantages. Work that began in mid-2022 as part of TechPoint’s Mission41K initiative to develop new talent development strategies is already bearing fruit.
TechPoint Senior Vice President of Talent, Strategy and Partnerships Dennis Trinkle, who leads the Mission41K effort, said Indiana cannot afford to leave any talent stone unturned. “We have to double down on attracting the thousands of students who come to our stellar colleges and universities to learn, even as we focus on nontraditional channels to develop and retain those who have skills and abilities acquired through certification and experience. There are great jobs waiting now and in the future; it’s a matter of helping Hoosiers ready to succeed in them.”
Nearly three-quarters of the state’s tech workers are employed outside the tech sector, illustrating the widespread need for tech talent and showing how talent shortages present a broad-based threat to Indiana’s economic growth and the productivity improvement and resulting financial well-being of Hoosiers, according to the report.
Difficulty in accessing tech talent is the greatest barrier to greater digitalization across all sectors, based on a 2021 Gartner survey of Information Technology executives citing the talent shortage as the most significant adoption barrier to 64 percent of emerging technologies compared with just 4 percent in 2020.
Key Tech Workforce Report Findings
Tech talent demand is at a record high and growing
Digital transformation and automation across all sectors of the Indiana economy makes skilled tech talent a foundational driver of current and future growth and employment and an essential part of the statewide workforce, including advanced manufacturing and logistics, agriculture, healthcare and life sciences. Record demand for these workers is expected to grow, especially in emerging technologies such as intelligent systems and automation, cloud platforms, interconnected networks and big data. Indiana’s rising demand and tight competition for tech talent mirrors national patterns. With the rise of remote work, Indiana employers are competing in a national talent market. Research shows nearly 1,500 Hoosier tech workers in 2021 were working for companies headquartered outside the state, a number that is expected to grow.
Tech talent supply is falling behind demand
Despite sustained growth of tech talent in the last decade, tech job hiring figures remain flat, while tech job postings are accelerating. Traditional talent pipelines cannot provide enough talent to outpace Indiana’s declining working-age workforce. Expansion of Indiana’s talent pipeline calls for additional pathways of talent development into the workforce and for more inclusivity.
Indiana’s economy demands additional tech talent
Tech and tech-driven companies contribute $51 billion in Indiana Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and digital adoption, and transformation is making tech increasingly core to Indiana GDP growth. For every 10,000 tech or tech-related jobs added to the workforce, Indiana gains an average of $698 million in wages and $103 million in state and local taxes. Tech industry jobs pay more than double the state’s median wage, provide stable employment and strong career growth opportunity.
The report shows areas of opportunity for stakeholders in Indiana’s tech community. Recent data indicates, for example, that Indiana disproportionately benefited from tech worker migration during the pandemic. A shift to remote work during the pandemic helped to grow Indiana’s resident tech workforce by 8.4 percent from May 2021 to April 2022. Only Maryland fared better in this metric.
Key Tech Workforce Report Recommendations
- Indiana community and tech sector leaders must promote broader and faster adoption of digital technologies throughout its economic sectors. This cannot happen unless they also develop the talent necessary to implement that adoption.
- Indiana’s employers must reform traditional hiring practices to better, more equitably and inclusively develop talent, aligning supply and demand, and supporting both talent and employers.
- Indiana community stakeholders and employers must keep tech talent investments a top priority.