New study of Utah’s “core IT” sector



A new study of Utah’s information technology industry shows a fast-growing and high-paying sector for those with STEM-focused bachelor’s degrees and higher, as well as those with vocational training. The in-depth labor market study focused on coding workers, or “core IT” — those who design and build an IT company’s product.


Key findings of the study, A Labor Study of Software Publishing and Computer Systems Design, conducted by the Utah Workforce Research and Analysis Division, highlight the core IT industry’s strength and room for growth. With more than 90 percent of core IT new hires coming from other industries within Utah, researchers believe the vast majority are Utah-educated.


“Most encouraging to me is that much of the talent found in this industry is Utah-grown and Utah-educated,” said Jon Pierpont, executive director of the Department of Workforce Services. “We are committed to continue providing development pathways in relevant and prospering industries for Utah’s skilled workforce to find the right opportunities for them and their families.”


Computer and mathematical occupations make up half of the core IT industry’s occupational mix; and, within that, two-thirds are programmer, analyst and developer occupations. The study found that core IT occupations pay noticeably above the Utah all-industry average wage.


Researchers with Workforce Services validated the long-held belief that Utah’s core IT is prospering, based on Utah’s IT economic growth paired with a trained and educated workforce ranging from certificate, vocational and associate degree levels — levels that establish foundational coding skills — to STEM-focused bachelor’s degrees or higher.


“Utah’s core IT industry shows a near-balanced mix of educational levels,” said Mark Knold, supervising economist for Workforce Services. “There are ample opportunities for job seekers, with or without a four-year degree, to establish a rewarding and lucrative career in Utah.”