Like most sectors, the technology sector has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. But some areas have fared better than others. Take Detroit, for example. Strengthened by automakers' ongoing transition to smart vehicles, the outlook for information technology jobs in Detroit appears promising.
The IT sector in the United States experienced a net loss of about 75,000 jobs between March and October 2020, Computerworld reports, but the industry has been steadily recovering since August. Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that while the information sector saw a 9 percent decline in jobs nationwide through September 2020, Detroit's losses were just 5 percent.
And businesses have started hiring again. According to the job search website Indeed, there were about 1,300 IT positions available in the Detroit metropolitan area as of mid-November 2020.
Growth fueled by automakers.
The rebound in information technology jobs in Detroit can be attributed partly to the auto industry's need for software engineers and developers. For instance, the Detroit News reports that the pandemic hasn't slowed down General Motors' plans to make electric vehicles. The automaker recently announced that it would hire 3,000 new employees in engineering, design, and IT as it pushes to become a leading electric vehicle manufacturer and implement more smart technologies in its vehicles. The company is hiring electrical system engineers, infotainment software engineers, and developers for Java, Android, iOS, and other platforms.
The Detroit News also reports that GM needs software developers to enhance its Vehicle Intelligence Platform, which supports safety, infotainment, and in-vehicle connectivity. The platform also incorporates OnStar, GM's safety and security system, and Super Cruise, its self-driving vehicle technology.
Vehicles are becoming increasingly controlled by software, says Ken Morris, GM's vice president of electric and autonomous vehicle programs, "because that's what customers want and enjoy."
A decade of expansion.
The IT job market in Detroit was growing steadily before the pandemic hit. In fact, Detroit saw a significant uptick in tech industry jobs over the past decade.
Technology-related employment in the metro Detroit area increased by 5,235 new jobs between 2018 and 2019, according to CompTIA's Cyberstates 2020 report, a growth of about 2.2 percent. Software and web developer jobs grew by 3.9 percent year over year, systems and cybersecurity analyst jobs grew by 1.3 percent, and IT support specialist jobs grew by 1.8 percent. As a whole, Detroit's tech sector boasts more than 243,600 workers, or 11.9 percent of the metro area's total workforce.
Since 2010, the CompTIA report says, Detroit has gained nearly 75,000 tech jobs. All told, Detroit's tech sector contributes an estimated $24.2 billion in revenue, or 9.9 percent of the city's total economy. Detroit ranked 11th in net tech employment among the 46 U.S. metropolitan areas profiled in the report.
Where demand is highest.
According to CompTIA's Cyberstates report, IT occupations in high demand in the Detroit metro area include software and web developers, computer systems and cybersecurity analysts, and IT support specialists. And the median wage for technology jobs in Detroit is more than $84,000, CompTIA says—81 percent higher than the median wage for all occupations in the area.
A bachelor's degree in software development can effectively prepare you to design and develop the cutting-edge systems driving new vehicles from GM, Ford, and other automakers in Detroit—or fill any of the other hundreds of developer jobs available in the area. Another IT degree, such as a bachelor's in information technology or cybersecurity and information assurance, could help you land in-demand information technology jobs in Detroit—or any other city.
The options for obtaining an education in IT are more accessible and varied than ever before. Start your journey today.