IT Reports Reveal Northeast Ohio’s Employment Potential

Greater Cleveland Partnership and Team NEO collaborate on IT deep dive

RITE, the tech talent arm of the Greater Cleveland Partnership, and Team NEO have released complementary reports about the state of information technology employment in Northeast Ohio:

RITE Talent Bulletin

The 2019 RITE/ConxusNEO IT Employer Survey looked into IT staffing trends, employer investments into IT, shifting educational requirements, skills gaps and more. Highlights featured in the August 2020 RITE Talent Bulletin include:

  • Tech talent is growing. From 2016-2019, tech talent in our region grew by 18%, from 39,500 jobs to 47,000.
  • We have an entry-level gap, and yet, experience is still needed. For four of the top IT roles in demand, 76% to 90% of the openings require three or more years of experience.
  • Degree requirements are changing. As much as 50%+ of all IT postings do not specify degree requirements. 84% of respondents to the 2019 IT Employer Survey indicate that Computer Science and Computer Engineering degrees are only somewhat important (63%) or not important at all (21%).
  • Major racial inequities exist. Postsecondary credentials for computer and IT occupations awarded to black graduates lag white graduates 13:1.

“Having good data about Northeast Ohio’s IT sector allows us to build a better system to meet the needs of employers and employees alike,” said Courtney DeOreo, executive director, RITE, and senior director Tech Talent, Greater Cleveland Partnership. “The entry-level gap, in particular, is large and has existed for the last several years. Addressing this gap would bring an estimated $345 million in annual payroll.”

Team NEO August 2020 QER

Team NEO’s August 2020 Quarterly Economic Review (QER) provides data demonstrating that demand for talent in sectors that held steady or grew during the early 2000s recession and the 2007-2009 Great Recession rely heavily on IT. For example:

  • Demand for IT talent grew in headquarters, health care, and professional, scientific and technical services sectors during recent recessions. By 2019, headquarters employment had grown 90%, health care 27% and professional, scientific and technical services 5% over 2001.

Other Key Findings:

  • The professional, scientific and technical services sector offers the most IT jobs. In 2019, this sector accounted for 29% of the region’s computer and math jobs.
  • Software developers and programmers top the list of computer and math occupations. Of the 45,000+ computer and math jobs in Northeast Ohio, software developers and programmers account for 14,400, with computer and information analysts at 10,000.
  • Computer and math occupations command earnings higher than the regional average for all occupations. The average hourly wage for employees in computer and math occupations can be more than twice that of the $22.84 average hourly wage for all occupations, ranging from $24.38 for computer support specialists to $47.68 for computer and information research scientists.
  • Racial disparity exists in terms of the individuals who hold these computer and math occupations. As reported in Team NEO’s report Misaligned Opportunities: How Racial Inequities Lead to Skills Gaps in Northeast Ohio, minority groups are underrepresented in IT occupations. Further, in 2018 Blacks represented only 5% of completed postsecondary programs (degree, certificate or other diploma) in this field. 

“We value the opportunity to collaborate with organizations such as RITE that are committed to deepening our region’s understanding of employment opportunities and challenges,” noted Team NEO CEO Bill Koehler. “When we combine the RITE/ConxusNEO survey data with our own, the employment view comes into clearer focus, offering business leaders, educational institutions and the economic development community a stronger foundation for developing cooperative programs to strengthen our workforce and economy.”

Team NEO publishes the Quarterly Economic Review to provide a holistic picture of Northeast Ohio’s economy. The nonprofit organization uses this information to attract new businesses and jobs to Northeast Ohio and help those that are here grow.

Team NEO uses Moody’s, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data, and Ohio’s Labor Marketing Information to aggregate regional figures.

About Team NEO

Team NEO is a private, nonprofit economic development organization accelerating business growth and job creation throughout the 18 counties of Northeast Ohio. As the designated JobsOhio Network Partner, we align and amplify local economic development efforts in Northeast Ohio’s 18-county region; we conduct research and data analysis to inform local conversations and influence solutions; we market Northeast Ohio as a region; and we work to increase access to jobs, education and training for the region’s 4.3 million people.

About RITE

RITE, the tech talent arm of Greater Cleveland Partnership, is the leading industry-driven IT workforce alliance in Northeast Ohio.  As the unifying force for the region’s talent development system, RITE brings together industry, education, and economic and workforce development to build highly skilled IT talent needed by Northeast Ohio employers. Since its inception, RITE has championed a regional vision of a diverse, industry-responsive IT talent pool that is an economic driver to growth, competitiveness, and prosperity for Northeast Ohio.