People outside the five boroughs may not be aware that New York is a major East Coast Tech hub. In fact, since the 1990’s, the tech startup community in the region has been dubbed “Silicon Alley.” Originally, the term denoted an area in the Flatiron district near Madison Square Park which boasted a cluster of tech startups famous during that period of time like Razorfish and Doubleclick.
The name was tossed around casually by industry insiders in New York, but in the late 1990’s the local trade magazine Silicon Alley Reporter was founded and “Silicon Alley” made its way into the vernacular. Over time, tech companies in New York outgrew the Flatiron area, but the name Silicon Alley stuck, and it is now widely used as a catch-all for the tech community in the region.
The Current State of The Tech Job Market in New York
According to CIO magazine, the average tech salary for New York was $108,878 in 2016, 118% over the national average. While unemployment for tech pros in New York is extremely low, companies still struggle to find top talent in fields like front-end development, Java, network engineering and network administration.
Both a skill gap and New York’s notoriously high cost of living continue to drive up IT and tech salaries. If companies want to attract great talent, they have to be willing and able to pay a wage that lets tech workers achieve their desired lifestyle. The average cost of living in Manhattan is 25% higher than the national average and the cost to run a business are 61% higher than average. An office with 500 employees costs over $52 million per year in rent and salaries alone. Despite these high costs, New York has experienced consistently high growth in tech markets, and according to CIO, the city added 32% more tech jobs than the national average in 2016.
The Future of Tech In New York
Much has been written in recent months about the state of the workforce across the country and the need to start training people in the jobs and skills of the future. New York is actually leading this charge with some exciting initiatives. The city’s Tech Talent Pipeline program was created to inspire unemployed and under-employed New Yorkers to get trained in tech skills and pursue high-paying careers. Currently, they run a program with The Flatiron School to provide free 12-week courses in programming and web development, preparing graduates for jobs that can pay up to $75,000.
SAP has also built the Business Technology Early College High School in Queens. This school will allow students to earn their high school diploma, and then pursue an associate’s degree in business systems or engineering technology while gaining relevant work experience to make them marketable upon graduation. The cost to attendees? $0.
Programs like these are helping to cultivate tech talent locally, while providing underserved populations with opportunities to learn life-changing skills.
If you are looking for top tech talent in New York City, the expert recruiters at Talon can help. We are one of New York’s top tech recruiting firms and we can help you build a team of talent that will drive your business forward. Contact us today to learn more.