A new report says tech jobs are leading toward economic opportunity and upward mobility for non-Asian minorities in the U.S., but that women are being left out.
According to the Progressive Policy Institute study Tech Opportunity for Minorities and Women: A Good News, Bad News Story, tech-related jobs—defined here as all computer and mathematical occupations across industries, and including computer systems analysts, network architects and statisticians—accounted for 730,000 new jobs between 2009 and 2014.
That’s nearly as many positions as the health care industry—which includes doctors, nurses, lab technicians and therapists— which added 787,000 jobs throughout the same time period.
“Tech jobs are creating enormous economic and social opportunity for minorities that could help expand and rebuild America’s shrinking middle class,” Diana Carew, the co-author, said in the report. She adds: “It is imperative that our nation’s higher education system heed labor market signals by providing more pathways into tech jobs.”
Blacks with a college degree took on more tech than health care jobs from 2009-2014: employment rose by 79,000 in computer and mathematical occupations (an increase of 58%) versus 76,000 gained in health care (an 18% increase), according to the report. For Hispanics with bachelor’s degree, health care jobs increased by a total of 104,000 (40% increase) and 81,000 in computer and mathematical occupations (103% increase).
However, the study said that though women make up 47% of the workforce, they only made up 25% of college-educated tech employment.
Other key findings include:
- In 2009, blacks comprised 6.7% of tech jobs, rising to 8.3% in 2014. Meanwhile, their share of health care jobs remained flat.
In 2009, Hispanics comprised 5.4% of tech jobs, rising to 6.6% in 2014.
- In 2013, the ratio of bachelor degrees in health care to CIS was 23.4:1 for women, compared to 1.7:1 for men.