If you think Utah’s tech sector has exploded during the past few years, growth in both the near and short terms could reverberate even louder.

Utah’s technology-related employment is expected to grow more than any other state’s this year and over the next decade, according to a new report from CompTIA, a nonprofit association for the information technology industry and workforce.

The association last week released its “Cyberstates 2021” report that projects 6,372 net new tech-related jobs in Utah this year. That 4.2 percent growth rate is the highest of any state and far above the projected national rate of 2 percent.

The Cyberstates report also projects Utah tech occupation growth to jump by 27 percent by 2030. Nevada is second at 24 percent, with all other states below 20 percent.

If the projections for Utah are correct, they would follow a U.S.-best 1.5 percent year-over-year increase that the state experienced in 2020. Net new jobs were up 2,275, or 10th among states.

Meanwhile among the 51 metropolitan areas included in the report, Salt Lake City ranks third, with a forecasted tech employment growth rate of 3.7 percent this year.

The report pegged Utah’s current net tech employment at 152,687, which includes 103,898 jobs in the tech industry and 96,938 tech jobs across all other sectors of the economy. The total puts Utah 24th among states.

“Job growth this year [in Utah] is expected to be led by companies hiring core IT workers in a variety of roles, including cybersecurity, data scientists, software developers and IT user support specialists,” CompTIA said. “Demand for workers with experience and skills in emerging infrastructure and hardware, artificial intelligence, data, next-gen cybersecurity and other areas of emerging tech will continue to grow as employers across industries pursue digital transformation strategies. Over the past five years, job postings for these types of positions have surged 190 percent.”

The report, available at https://www.cyberstates.org/, indicates that Utah’s tech-job total represents 9.6 percent of the state’s overall workforce. The estimated median wage of $77,492 for tech workers is 82 percent higher than the median wage for all occupations in the state.

Utah has nearly 8,200 tech businesses, and the tech sector has a direct impact of $20.1 billion, or 11.5 percent of the state economy. That percentage is the ninth-highest among all states.

The report also shows that women account for 21 percent of the Utah tech workforce, matching the national percentage. Blacks or African Americans make up 7 percent of the state’s tech workforce (the national figure is 8 percent), while representation of Hispanics or Latinos is at 1 percent (7 percent nationally).

Nationally, the report projects 245,000 net new tech jobs will be added this year, putting growth at 2 percent and helping total net tech employment to reach about 12.4 million. Year-over-year tech job growth nationally was essentially flat last year.

“As we look ahead to a rapidly evolving future of work and the ever-expanding digital economy, both immense opportunity and challenges loom,” said Tim Herbert, executive vice president for research and market intelligence at CompTIA. “Cyberstates confirms the importance of building resilient workforces and businesses through skills development, robust and secure digital infrastructure, and innovation-minded leadership.”

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