New York City, for all of it's associations, is rarely cited when listing the top tech centers in the U.S. Not to say there are no tech-savvy minds and businesses in the Big Apple, but rather, cities like San Francisco, Austin, Houston and Cambridge, MA often get more of the limelight. But New York City doesn't tend to stay out of the limelight for long. The largest city in the U.S. is beginning to get some attention from the tech crowd, who think New York's Silicon Alley is not far behind San Francisco's Silicon Valley.
Tech jobs could revitalize NYC
As in many cities across the country, New York City is suffering from an income divide. The widening gap between those living at or below minimum wage and those earning six-figure salaries is exacerbated by the paucity of decent-paying positions available to job seekers without a Master's or Doctorate degree. However, individuals with undergraduate degrees in technology who can find employment in New York City could form the backbone of a new, resilient and robust middle class, according to the New York University report "New York City: The Great Reset."
The reports showed that computer and mathematical occupations have increased by roughly 15 percent in the last five years and are just above national average in terms of strength. However, jobs involving science, architecture and engineering skills are stagnant and significantly weaker than the national average. New York City's new initiatives to improve computer science education in public schools will create a ripple effect across all of these occupations, bolstering some while hopefully revitalizing the weaker markets.
NYC Mayor pushes computer science education
Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced a 10-year deadline for New York City public schools to offer computer science to all of its students, reported The New York Times. As it stands, only 10 percent of schools in the city offer computer science and a mere 1 percent actually participate. So far, Chicago and San Francisco are the only other cities to commit to citywide computer science education. New York City anticipates it will spend $81 million over the ten-year period.
"I think there is acknowledgment that we need our students better prepared for these jobs and to address equity and diversity within the sector, as well," Gabrielle Fialkoff, the director of the city's Office of Strategic Partnerships, told The New York Times.
As those students graduate and pursue careers, there's a good chance many more of them will choose a computer science-based occupation. Those jobs should improve an already-diverse and resilient New York City market.
Given the wealth of resources New York City has at its disposal - not to mention the attraction of the bright lights and the big city - it should come as no surprise that tech startups are attracted to the Big Apple. As they say, if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere. A thriving tech scene in New York City would solidify the growing industry as one that's here to stay.
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