November 2021 Tech Upload
NEW Digital News
Thank You Alliance Members
The NEW Digital Alliance would like to thank Smart IS for their support as an Executive Level Investor in 2021 To learn more about Smart IS International, click here.
October was a busy month for the NEW Digital Alliance. On October 12, we conducted our second annual TechTalent Summit, with guest speakers sharing ways to “Expand Your IT Pipeline”, and director Kim Iversen sharing information about the regional and national tech pipeline. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment in computer and information technology occupations is projected to grow 13 percent from 2019 to 2029. This is much faster than the 8% average for all occupations. IT occupations are projected to add about 531,200 new jobs, primarily stemming from greater emphasis on cloud computing, the collection and storage of big data, and information security. The BLS also reports that the median annual wage for computer and information technology occupations has increased to $91,250 in May 2020, up from $88,240 in 2019. Meanwhile, the median annual wage for all occupations of $41,950 is also up from 2019 figure of $39,810. With IT unemployment continuing to hover around 2% employers can expect to see continued salary pressure for these roles.
These trends have some of our local employers exploring creative ways to attract IT talent and grow their tech workforce. Secura Insurance shared how they have started an IT Youth Apprenticeship program to help educate high school students about IT careers in the insurance industry, while building leadership skills within their team, and helping grow the next generation of tech employees. Check out the Secura YA Program presentation to learn more about what they are doing and how.
If you missed the summit, or would like to refer to some of the information that was shared, presentations can be found here on the NEW Digital Alliance website.
On October 28 we launched our Cybersecurity Roundtable. Security leaders from around the region gathered at UWO and virtually to connect with one another and to learn about the new Cybersecurity Center of Excellence at UW Oshkosh. CCOE co-founder and UWO instructor Michael Patton discussed the cybersecurity program through the College of Business and gathered feedback from leaders on what skills they’d like to see students graduate with. Jerry Eastman, Executive Director for WICTRA and CCOE co-founder, shared the capabilities of the CCOE and how companies and schools can benefit from the partnership.
Our next meeting will be on December 16 at 8:00 where we will be discussing the world of cyber insurance. We will be bringing in a guest speaker, and leaders can share their challenges and concerns with the recent changes in cyber insurance. Future topics will include security frameworks, C-suite/board cyber education, and understanding attack tactics.
This discussion group is open to cybersecurity leaders from our investor companies and is designed to:
- Help regional cyber leaders connect and build a local network they can reach out to for support
- Share cybersecurity hiring, skills & training needs, tool usage, best practices, and the latest threats
- Learn about local resources to help them and their teams
The Cybersecurity Roundtable will meet every other month in a hybrid format. To learn how you can take part in the discussions, contact NEW Digital Alliance Director, Kim Iversen, at Kim@newDigitalAlliance.org.
Computer Science Teacher Licensure Cohort
The Computer Science Teacher Licensure cohort is up and running. The 14 teachers in the program are working through their online training, and are meeting with NEW Digital Alliance Director Kim Iversen, and CSTEY Coordinator Amy Bires on a monthly basis for check ins, and networking.
During our October NWTC and MPTC shared their IT program pathways with the teachers, and UW Green Bay presented their Rising Phoenix program where students can work on their bachelor’s degree while still in high school. Teachers shared some of the challenges they are facing with the program curriculum. In order to help them succeed, Kim and Amy have implemented weekly office hours.
At the end of November, teachers will be visiting four Northeast Wisconsin companies. During the visits they will be meeting with IT professionals, and learning about how the IT department operates. Host companies Plexus, Secura, Community First Credit Union, and Smart IS represent a cross section of industries. This will help highlight the differences in IT departments across industries, as well as the similarities.
Department of Public Instruction (DPI)
The NEW Digital Alliance is also working with the Department of Public Instruction (DPI). We are actively involved in the STEM Pathway Working Group, and Digital Technology Pathway Working Group. These working groups are defining career pathways that are rolling out across the state, and being used in districts as part of the academic and career planning at the middle school and high school level. They help to introduce students to the variety of careers in the pathway area, levels of education required, and to connect them with state and regional opportunities for career exploration.
The Alliance director is also actively participating in the WI Statewide Computer Science Plan discussions. This working group has developed and reviewed a state level plan for expanding CS education in K12 across the state. With Northeast Wisconsin and Milwaukee leading the state in CS education, DPI has leaned heavily on leaders from these regions to help develop the plan which includes elements for CS licensure, funding, and more.
NEW Connect IT
In early November, we launched our NEW Connect IT event. This annual event connects high school students with local companies and colleges to help them learn about the variety of IT careers, as well as the college programs that prepare them for those careers. As one teacher shared, she was thrilled to have students learn about cybersecurity roles as this was not a field familiar to them.
Thank you to all our volunteers who make this event possible!
Looking to the Future
November 30: CS Licensure Cohort IT Shop Hop
December 6-12: CS Education week
December 16: Cybersecurity Roundtable
The NEW Digital Alliance team wishes you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving!
Updated data for September was not yet available at the time of publication.
Demand for talent continues to remain strong for Wisconsin and the New North region. National demand for tech talent also remains high, with the tech unemployment rate for October dropping to (2.1%) and lower than pre-pandemic levels of 3% in January 2020. National unemployment was at 4.6% for October while Wisconsin held steady at 3.9% in September (October data not yet available).