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October 24, 2017

Georgia Closing Entry-Level Technology Talent Gap

Second ‘Your Talent, Your Future’ Assessment Shows Gains in Key Areas, More Opportunity for Improvement in Others

ATLANTA (Oct. 24, 2017) – While job postings requiring bachelor’s degrees in computer and information sciences are three times as great as the number of degrees conferred in Georgia today, that’s a significant reduction from just three years ago when the gap was 7:1 – showing the state is making progress in one of the fastest growing professions.

That finding is among the many outlined in “Your Talent, Your Future,” a report released today by the Metro Atlanta Chamber and developed in partnership with Accenture.  Data for the report was gathered and analyzed from a variety of sources, including Burning Glass, I-PEDS, JobsEQ and Georgia Awards, and covers the 2014-15 and 2015-16 school years.  It examines technical college certificates and credentials, associate’s degrees and bachelor’s degrees awarded, as well as general skills employers are seeking.

“The ability of our region to continue to grow and prosper as we have for so long depends on being able to match qualified candidates with the jobs of tomorrow,” explained Hala Moddelmog, president and CEO of the Metro Atlanta Chamber.  “It’s why we’ve put growing, recruiting and promoting talent at the top of our priority list. This study’s findings are so important as we redouble our efforts to produce a rich talent pipeline to support tech companies and others.”

Georgia today graduates 81 percent more talent with computer and information sciences degrees than in 2011 and 39 percent more with degrees in healthcare – two of the most in-demand professions.  On the other hand, more students are graduating with associate’s and bachelor’s degrees in liberal arts and sciences, biological sciences, social sciences and journalism than there are jobs available for.

Some other key findings from the 2017 report include:

  • Georgia experienced tremendous growth in the number of jobs posted, with 819,508 in 2016 – a five percent increase over 2015 postings compared to the national three percent decrease in the same period.
  • Registered nurses, software developers and commercial truck drivers top of the list of the most in-demand jobs from 2011-2016.  More than half the demand for nurses and drivers has come in the past two years alone.
  • Careers for software developers continue to have the highest projected growth rate – followed by registered nurses and management analysts.
  • Of the 15 most in-demand occupations at all award levels in Georgia, six of them have average entry-level pay beginning below the poverty line. Those include first-line retail supervisors, maintenance and repair workers, customer service representatives, first-line food prep and serving supervisors and retail salespersons.

“Accenture is committed to developing the skills needed in our communities to drive innovation and competitiveness,” said Jimmy Etheredge, southeast regional managing director, Accenture. “In our partnership with the Metro Atlanta Chamber, we are helping to shape Atlanta’s workforce and position our citizens to participate in some of the most dynamic parts of our economy while closing the talent gap faced by employers.”

“Your Talent, Your Future” also points to several achievements made that address issues surfaced in last year’s report.  To help students understand their aptitude for STEM careers – including careers they may not yet have been exposed to -- the Georgia Department of Education piloted a YouScience program in grades 9-12.  And, to help students and parents better understand average earnings by degree/certificate type, the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement launched the Georgia Higher Learning and Earnings website (at learnearn.gosa.ga.gov/).

To see the full report and learn how you or your organization can use the data or get involved, visit www.YourTalentYourFuture.org.

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About the Metro Atlanta Chamber

The Metro Atlanta Chamber (MAC) serves as a catalyst for a more prosperous and vibrant region. To advance economic growth and improve metro Atlanta's quality of place, MAC is focused on starting, growing and recruiting companies to the 29-county metro Atlanta region. The Chamber is also focused on expanding the region's innovation economy by promoting and strengthening connections to drive Atlanta's innovation and entrepreneurial culture. MAC is committed to being an active voice for the business community, serving as an advocate for a competitive business climate and promoting Atlanta's story. For more information, visit www.MetroAtlantaChamber.com.