The tech industry in DUMBO (Brooklyn) is growing fast. But it could be growing faster. Like a lot of places in the country seeking technology talent – the right skill sets are scare. US schools are not turning out enough engineers or programers.
A push by city officials to bring talent to NY is well documented.
- Cornell University and Technion- Israel Institute of Technology won a New York City contest to build an engineering campus with a grant of land on Roosevelt Island and $100 million for infrastructure improvements.
- NYU-Poly is working with New York City to get access to the MTA Headquarters on 130 Livingston Street here in Brooklyn to expand it’s engineering school.
- The city has even organized an academy (high school) for software engineering.
Of course this won’t help solve the scarcity issue for years. And by the time it has an impact, the problem is likely to be way bigger.
Computer software engineer employment is projected to grow by a whopping 32 percent between 2008 and 2018, representing much faster job growth than most other occupations in the U.S., according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. For instance take my tech sector of choice – Big Data. McKinsey Global Institute projects that the U.S. needs 140,000 to 190,000 more workers with “deep analytical” expertise and 1.5 million more data-literate managers by 2015. And that’s just a single data point.
But back to right here, right now. The Business Improvement District in DUMBO says there are now 17 tech company’s trying to fill some 329 Web, app and gaming tech-related jobs.
Take Huge for example. Their Washington Street headquarters has grown from eight employees 6 years ago to 350 today. They currently have 50 open jobs. Or Wireless Generation, and educational-software company and one of DUMBO’s largest employers – who claim to have 150 openings. DUMBO’s flagship company Etsy has 50 openings.
These businesses are just a few of the more than 65 startups operating in the five-block hub of digital office space in DUMBO. Publicly acknowledged or not I would wager most of the rest are hiring as well – if they can find talented people.
To attract talent, companies are adding unique benefits to really good salaries. Certainly they are allowing flexible hours and working remote. I would argue that Brooklyn specifically and New York in general are good selling points in their own right.
My question to the blogosphere is “what does it take, these days, to get the right person?” Please leave a comment.