In a report released Monday by Dice, a technology career and advice website, Florida was named the second-fastest-growing state for technology jobs. The findings present a large jump from 2013.
The job site compiled data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Month to Month Payroll Survey to form the list of states that have the fastest-growing job markets for technology. The list uses two factors to rank the states: the highest percentage of growth and the number of new positions added in the first half of the year.
In the first six months of 2014, Florida added nearly 4,100 jobs in technology fields. This puts the state just behind Texas. In all of 2013 Florida added just around 4,500 tech positions.
Why the large shift?
According to Dice, Florida put more focus on starting the tech force at younger ages with initiatives like techCAMPS by the Florida High Tech Corridor. These are high-tech workshops offered to middle- and high-school students excelling in math and science.
Kathleen Laufenberg is the spokeswoman for the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, or more simply, the Mag Lab. She says the Mag Lab has hired around 10 people in engineering and computer science in the last two years. Laufenberg also emphasizes the increase in youth programs that the Mag Lab has started to offer, one of them for college undergraduates.
“This year we’ve had our biggest program ever, this summer with undergraduate intern. It’s called our Research Experience for Undergraduates," she says. "And for the first time ever we had 29 undergraduates come here to the Mag Lab. We hooked them up with different science staff members and they mentored them.”
This opportunity for students interested in high-tech jobs and the sciences is one of many available at the Mag Lab.
The website Dice also notes another possible reason for Florida’s tech job growth: hiring tech professionals has become a campaign issue in this year’s gubernatorial election.