CompTIA on SOTU: Jobs and Education Are Top Priorities

Around 33.5 million people watched President Obama deliver his State of the Union address before Congress on Tuesday night, less than the 38 million viewers last year, according to the New York Daily News. Devoting the majority of his speech to the economy and jobs, the president spoke of job creation, preparedness, and retention in the country. He emphasized the importance of immigration, demanding that Congress send him an immigration reform bill in the next few months. Educational programs and training was another topic of discussion. While many of us were watching the speech, CompTIA, a non-profit association for the IT industry, was preparing a response to the annual address. CompTIA President and Chief Executive Officer Todd Thibodeaux released a statement on the speech Tuesday night. Here's his response.

Thibodeaux's official statement below:

"Each year we turn to the State of the Union as a blueprint of our nation's aspirations. This year we welcome the focus of the Administration on the relationship of job preparedness, creation and retention to our knowledge-based economy. The information technology (IT) industry and small and medium-sized IT firms in particular, can be a key engine for these outcomes.

"High skilled immigration is an important component to this mission. Retaining the best and brightest foreign students here in the U.S. will help this country lead in building the next generation of innovative products and services leading to new jobs and generating economic strength.

"CompTIA is particularly invested, however, in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education, but with a particular emphasis on the role of career and technical education. We have a skills gap in this country and it is not just a gap related to computer sciences.

"We must ensure that young people have access to career and technical education; can get industry-recognized certifications; and have the choice to gain a great job in technology after high school graduation or pursue higher education in STEM fields. We need to feed conversations and partnerships between public institutions and private companies so that technical education matches the skills and certifications needed by new market trends and job vacancies."
CompTIA recently released its IT Industry Outlook 2013, revealing a strong demand for technology, while also acknowledging caution in the industry. CompTIA’s forecasts project a growth rate of 3 percent for the global IT industry in 2013. The forecast for the U.S. market, however, is slightly lower at 2.9 percent on the low end, potentially reaching 4.9 percent.

IT employment increased in January, according to the TechServe Alliance IT Employment Index. IT jobs grew 0.37 percent sequentially last month to 4,339,800, according to the report. Since January 2012, IT employment has grown by more than 4 percent. If you’re looking for a job, the market is in your favor. Take a look at the available job listings on the MSPmentor job board for the latest jobs in the channel.
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