Florida is ranked third in the nation for high-tech establishments, and the Florida High Tech Corridor, anchored by the Tampa Bay region, has been named one of the top tech job hot spots in the United States. Holding 20 percent of the state’s IT positions, Tampa is ranked among the Top Ten Best American Cities to Work in Tech, according to SmartAsset.
In the past five years, local IT jobs have grown at nearly twice the rate of overall average job growth, and are projected to increase by 10 percent over the next five-year period.We have quickly become a hub for IT companies of all shapes and sizes, and there doesn’t seem to be any stopping our growth in the industry.
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Florida’s software and computer systems design and integration industry is one of the largest in the U.S., with nearly 12,600 firms. The Tampa metro area ranks first in Florida in terms of the concentration of .NET developers, data warehousing specialists, and Hadoop developers. We also rank #2 for NoSQL developers and e-commerce professionals and #3 for PHP developers. We also rank first in Florida and tenth in the U.S. for the number of computer network architects employed.
What makes Tampa and Hillsborough County so attractive for IT? Partnership opportunities, a pro-business environment with job creation tax incentives, low tax rates, a robust network of industry professionals, a developed infrastructure, and a trained workforce have emerged to create a cohesive unit of IT firms and other high-tech industries thriving in Tampa Bay.
Tampa and Hillsborough County’s intellectual depth comes from having attracted entrepreneurs from a wide variety of educational, cultural, and professional backgrounds and our extraordinary educational assets such as the University of Tampa, Hillsborough Community College, Saint Leo University, and the University of South Florida, one of the top 50 research universities in the nation.
The first of its kind and funded with $5 million from the state budget, USF’s Florida Center for Cybersecurity will work to make Florida the national leader in this emerging and critical field.
Tampa Bay also has a wide network of support organizations and programs focused on supporting IT industry success including the Tampa Bay Technology Forum (TBTF), Florida High Tech Corridor, TampaBay WaVE, and USF Connect.
Understanding the challenges IT firms across the country face in hiring and retaining the right talent with the right skills for their growing businesses, Tampa Bay business leaders and economic development organizations created a task force to identify local needs and skills gaps through an intensive Tampa Bay IT Workforce Gap Analysis. Since the study was released in 2012, relationships between the region’s educators, businesses, trade organizations, and students have been strengthened, new curricula have been developed to address gaps, and partners are proactively implementing creative solutions to deepen the IT talent pool.
One of the outstanding examples of entrepreneurial success in Hillsborough County is Tribridge, a technology services firm specializing in business applications and cloud solutions. From a start-up company to one of the leading technology services providers in the country, Tribridge was recognized in 2013 by Inc. magazine as #55 among the Top 100 Job Creators in the U.S. and was also ranked as the #3 job creator in Florida and the #3 job creator in the IT services category.
Tribridge joins a growing list of companies that have made the decision to locate or expand their IT workforce in Tampa and Hillsborough County, including Peak 10, ConnectWise, LabTech, Cognizant, and Syniverse. These companies send a strong message about the size and strength of Tampa’s IT business community.