Report: Boulder software developers bring $600M to area's local economy

Tuesday July 5, 2016 0 comments Tags: Boulder, software developers, Jonathan Godfrey, Jared Polis, ACT/The App Association

BOULDER -- A new report reveals the Boulder metropolitan area has the fifth-highest concentration of software developers in the country, contributing more than $600 million in annual income to the local economy.

But despite earning some of the highest wages in the country, companies still struggle to find qualified applicants to fill open jobs, the report said.

The report from ACT | The App Association  entitled, “Six-Figure Tech Salaries: Creating the Next Developer Workforce” finds there are about 460 unfilled software development jobs in Boulder.

The average salary for these positions is more than $110,000 – about twice the average overall salary in the area.ACT_logoUSE_1

“Boulder has one of the highest concentrations of software developers in the country, but there aren’t enough to meet demand,” said Jonathan Godfrey, VP for public affairs at ACT | The App Association. “This means that about $50 million in annual income is left on the table by companies unable to hire developers."

“The problem is that we aren’t teaching students the necessary skills from an early age. Barely one in eight high schools teach AP computer science across the country, which leaves many students unable to pursue it at the college level and qualify for these lucrative jobs.”

Prospects for Boulder students are slightly better than the national average, with 20 percent of high schools offering AP computer science.

Representative Jared Polis (CO-02) has been a leading voice in Congress on the issue, working to make computer science education a national priority.

“To meet the needs of the global, high-tech economy, we must provide all students with access to a top-quality education in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields, no matter their zip code, Polis said.

“In Colorado, high-tech businesses are constantly scouting out skilled workers for good-paying jobs with room for promotion.”

The new report shows the urgent need for graduates with computer science skills. Interactive maps show where software developer jobs are, how much they pay, and where to find openings.

It also reveals which locations teach AP computer science and where computer science education needs are the greatest. Users can zoom in and out to see data by region, state, city, or congressional district.

To view the full report, click here.