What’s New This Quarter
Some 155 Chicago tech companies raked in $1.6 billion in tech investments in 2014, according to Built In Chicago. That’s in addition to 34 area companies exiting to the tune of $7 billion, and a number of tech startups enjoying increased funding.
“Historically, the coasts have been popular hubs for tech and analytics jobs. However, with many top engineering programs in the Midwest, many tech companies based on the West and East Coasts are opening up offices in Chicago,” Sarah Doll, Enova’s senior director of talent management, told Chicago Inno.
Illinois’s tech industry employed 227,700 people in 2014, making it the state with the eighth most tech workers in the nation, according to CompTIA’s “Cyberstates” 2015 report. “The tech industry is a major contributor to the state of Illinois,” said Alexi Madon, director of state government affairs for TechAmerica. “We have a strong manufacturing cluster, ranking third in communications equipment, fourth in electronics components, fifth in communication equipment, and eighth in measuring and control instruments manufacturing.”
If there’s any bad news out there these days, it’s coming out of Motorola, which continues to fade. While the company still has 15,000 employees worldwide and 3,500 in Illinois, that’s one-tenth of its headcount 15 years ago. One glimmer of hope on the local mobile scene is Iris Mobile, founded by former Motorola technologists, which plans to double its staff to 60 this year.
In Chicago proper, Yelp just opened its new, 400-employee office in the downtown Merchandise Mart.
Skills in Demand
According to IT recruiting firm Robert Half Technology, 60 percent of Chicago technology executives surveyed said that network administration is among the skill sets in greatest demand within their IT departments, followed by database management and Windows administration.
According to the “Cyberstates” report, tech industry workers statewide in Illinois earned an average wage of $91,800 (ranked 16th in the nation), 75 percent more than Illinois’s average private-sector wage.
According to the 2015 Dice Salary Survey Report, the average salary for a Chicago IT professional is $88,866, up 2.6 percent from the previous year but still a bit below the national average of $89,450. Chicago salaries rank 19th among cities surveyed by Dice.
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Local Employment and Research Resources
- Chicago Business Journal
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- Crain’s Chicago
- Illinois Technology News – Technology Today
- Tech Cocktail Chicago
- Xconomy Chicago
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