How Utah’s tech industry is churning out job opportunities

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By now, it’s no secret that Utah’s tech industry has truly become something special. Driving south on I-15 from Ogden to Provo, one views the Silicon Slopes of Utah, with new and impressive buildings for companies such as Adobe, eBay and IM Flash Technologies, alongside many successful startups, revealing the technology growth that has boomed in recent years.

This growth hasn’t gone unnoticed. Recently, Forbes ranked Salt Lake City as the next largest tech mecca in the United States. What is it about Silicon Slopes that is so attractive to technology companies? Here are some specific catalysts for the recent growth in the technology sector in Utah.

Stable workforce

A stable workforce is one of the most significant contributors to the technology field growth in Utah. According to the Economic Development Corporation of Utah, Utah has more than 8,500 people employed in the IT field. Large universities and smaller technical colleges and programs are continually producing an excellent talent pool to hire from.

“Because of its abundant workforce, Utah leads the nation in information technology growth,” the Economic Development Corporation of Utah adds. “According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the state had the largest growth rate at 7.69 percent in 2016. With a total tech workforce of about 65,000 people, the state is ready and eager to supply the industry’s growth.”

Specialized training

With an abundance of job opportunities comes a great need for qualified candidates. Many hiring companies recognize this and are on a mission to educate any interested parties, no matter their amount of college experience or background.

DevMountain, for example, is one of the top players that has stepped up to fill the educational gap. Offering an intensive six-week training program specifically dedicated to quality assurance, students become not just qualified, but competitive in this burgeoning job market. Students will leave with a certification in software quality assurance and be ready to fill whatever needs their potential employer’s needs.

Business-friendly environment and low cost of living

While Utah’s stable and talented workforce is a major part of Utah’s technology sector growth, Utah’s business-friendly environment and low cost of living have made Utah a place for technology to thrive.

Boasting low taxes for people and corporations, a strong infrastructure, a well-managed government concerned with long-term growth, business-friendly regulations and an overall high quality of life, Utah has everything from Fortune 500 corporations to up-and-coming startups flocking to the Silicon Slopes for the next step in their success, says the David Eccles School of Business.

Tech jobs are happy jobs

Long given the nickname of Happy Valley, there might finally be a valid reason for the sprawling stretch of I-15 to have such a name given them.

According to Forbes, four out of the last five years, software quality assurance professionals have landed in the top 10 happiest careers in the nation, while database managers have been ranked No. 1, software engineers are No. 6 and program managers are No. 8 — all pretty good rankings considering they are part of the same industry.

With challenging projects, excellent pay and benefits, and a work-life balance that is hard to beat, it’s no wonder that some of the happiest careers are found in our backyard, and that the job opportunities continue to expand.

Educational incentives

The growing demand for tech workers means more will be needed. As a result, many companies provide incentives to attract new talent. For example, DevMountain is offering a $2,500 scholarship that can be used at their institution or for a four-year degree, online learning, at a trade school, or any other form of education/learning.

For people looking to start a tech career or those already working in the tech arena, DevMountain is worth checking into.

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