Shortage of IT workers, abundance of tech jobs in Bay area

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - "Every company will be hiring IT professionals," said Dr. Sharon Setterlind.

Setterlind is the Dean of Computer and Information Technology at St. Petersburg College. She's well aware of the shortage of information technology workers in the Bay area.

"The shortage comes in in many cases as a lot of companies have openings, but they're having a hard time finding the perfect fit to go into the companies," Setterlind said.

To address the technology skills gap,  SPC is hosting a forum this Thursday to bring together tech companies, staffing firms, students and anyone else that's interested to learn more about a career in IT.

"Are we really, really educating and sending the right students out into the workforce with the actual skills that are needed by the workforce," she said.

Feedback from the companies that look to hire workers is essential too.  Setterlind knows their input is key to helping to educate their students at SPC.

"Help us define what they term as an information technology professional; what does that mean," said Setterlind.

Starting salaries in the bay are in the information technology field are around $40K a year, but can quickly rise to the mid-sixties in the right conditions.  That's why SPC began an IT internship program that allows companies and students to test each other out.

"We are placing a lot of our students into permanent jobs through our internship program.  That tells me that it's working.  What we are doing in educating these students is working.  And the jobs are there," Setterlind explained.

Thursday's IT forum will take place from 6:00-8:00pm, at the Music Center on SPC's Gibbs Campus, located at 6605 Fifth Ave N. in St. Pete. For more information call (727) 341-4641.

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