Technology-related employment in Arizona is poised to accelerate in 2021 and could reach nearly 263,000 workers by year’s end, according to CompTIA, the nonprofit association for the information technology (IT) industry and workforce.
CompTIA’s Cyberstates 2021™ report released today projects an increase of more than 6,900 net new tech-related jobs in Arizona this year, a 2.7% growth rate. That’s higher than the projected national rate of 2% and better than all but seven states.
At the metro level the Phoenix region ranks 15th nationally in tech employment. In 2020 the region added nearly 2,400 new jobs, the 9th best performance nationally among the 51 metro areas included in the report. CompTIA’s projection has the Phoenix market adding more than 5,100 new tech jobs in 2021.
Job growth this year is expected to be led by companies hiring core IT workers in a variety of roles, including cybersecurity, data scientists, software developers and IT user support specialists. Demand for workers with experience and skills in emerging infrastructure and hardware, artificial intelligence, data, next-gen cybersecurity and other areas of emerging tech will continue to grow as employers across industries pursue digital transformation strategies. Over the past five years, job postings for these types of positions have surged 190%.
“A trajectory of new growth in IT industries and professions are expected to pick back up in the State of Arizona, as companies continue to examine this state as a good potential for housing cloud-based computing,” said Donald R. Sheldon, career and technical education teacher at Metro Tech High School in Phoenix.
“With ample open land space for development, no major flooding issues and no major earthquake zones, Arizona is well positioned to maximize this growth,” Sheldon continued. “Organizations such as The Greater Phoenix Chamber Foundation, The Center For The Future of Arizona and ElevateEdAZ are each working to build collectively to build a resilient workforce in the State of Arizona.”
“As we look ahead to a rapidly evolving future of work and the ever-expanding digital economy, both immense opportunity and challenges loom,” Tim Herbert, executive vice president for research and market intelligence at CompTIA. “Cyberstates confirms the importance of building resilient workforces and businesses through skills development, robust and secure digital infrastructure, and innovation-minded leadership.”
At the end of 2020 net tech employment in the state nearly 256,000 workers, 8.2% of the overall Arizona workforce and the 17th highest total nationally. The estimated median wage of $82,313 for tech workers is 88% higher than the median wage for all occupations in the state.
Arizona is home to more than 13,000 tech businesses. The tech sector has a direct impact of $34.1 billion, or 10.2% of the Arizona economy. That dollar amount ranks 17th among the 50 states and the District of Columbia, while tech’s percentage of the total economy is the 10th highest in the country.
Tech Workforce Characteristics
Building on CompTIA’s belief that “there’s a place in tech for everyone” the Cyberstates 2021 report includes an expanded examination of the characteristics of America’s tech workforce, presenting a comparison of the representation of seven primary race and ethnicity groups, as defined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, within technology occupations and compared to all occupations. The report also includes a diversity index that measures the depth and breadth of diversity in the tech workforce for these seven groups in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and 51 metropolitan markets.
In Arizona women account for 25% of the tech workforce compared to 26% nationally. Blacks or African Americans make up 5% of the state’s tech workforce (8% nationally), while representation of Hispanics or Latinos is at 15% (7% nationally).
“As the demand for IT professional grow in the State of Arizona, Arizona is striving to diversify its IT workforce population,” Sheldon said. “Arizona is home to the largest diverse groups of Native Americans and has experienced a large growth in other ethnic groups as the state has reached out to fill these IT positions with women Hispanics and African Americans. The challenge that lies ahead is providing education and training to more rural communities and incorporating more of these individuals to fill the vacant positions statewide.”
Cyberstates 2021 offers comprehensive information on the size and scope of the tech industry and workforce at the national, state and metro area-levels, including time-series trending, average wages, business establishments, job postings, innovation and emerging tech metrics. For the interactive online version of the report visit www.cyberstates.org.