How New Tech Talent Generates Growth in the Tampa Bay Economy

June 24th, 2019

Lauren Mabra

Marketing Outreach Coordinator @ Suncoast Developers Guild

The benefits of producing tech talent extends well beyond just creating new developers for recruiting companies. It boosts opportunities and innovation to stimulate the overall economy. And let's face it: the United States has been struggling with a skills gap in the workforce, as the push for new technology has workers' skills unmatched to ever-evolving job requirements. Even new college graduates lack neccessary training, according to this study, and are seeing very little growth in their wages. This not only puts economic futures at risk, but also holds industries back from thriving.

The good news is that huge steps are being taken right here in Tampa Bay to help the local community close this technology skills gap. Suncoast Developers Guild has produced almost 200 web developers and technologists. Our alumni are graduating with an average starting salary of $55,000. Within just a few years, these annual paychecks move up to $60,000-$80,0000, potentially increasing upwards of $100,000 per year as our grads evolve into more senior roles. This income and talent stays here in Tampa Bay which contributes to the growth of the region. As the primary web development academy in the area, we are proud to be a centerpoint for change. How are we making this happen?

1. Quality Technology Training

We give students, alumni, and companies a role in designing our curriculum. Each cohort provides feedback and we adjust our programming to constantly improve. (You can learn more about our responsive curriculum here.) Aside from being able to keep our courses up-to-date with technology and the current demands in the market, we also go beyond lecturing in the classroom. Every cohort participates in multiple field trips and mock interviews to give them direct experience in the workplace. This helps students be more successful and career-ready once graduation comes around. The field trips also gives them the ability to network with local companies, offering glimpses into what life actually looks like as a developer.

2. Funding Opportunities to the Workforce

Part of narrowing this gap is extending this training to as many passionate people as we can. To help with tuition costs, we often give a Diversity Scholarship. We also have partnered with different local companies, such as Proforma, to train students to meet the direct needs of their business. This means more talented developers who are trained specifically to companies' web development languages and needs. It makes career-shifting for students not as intimidating. There's peace of mind knowing your education is funded, you're learning exactly what you'll need to be successful in your career, and you have a job when you graduate code school.

3. Partnerships with Local Companies

Over time, Suncoast Developers Guild has developed some amazing partnerships with companies within the St. Petersburg and Tampa area. An established common purpose of growing the local tech community acts as the glue that holds us together. These companies lack talent to recruit, so we train new developers to level up their workforce. Not only does our hiring network sponsor students and even events, they also provide valuable feedback. Our students receive insights into the latest practices, languages, and in-demand skills necessary to succeed. Our SDG team and partners are passionate about creating more talent, more jobs, and more economic growth to positively affect everyone within the community.

Want to help make waves within the local community? Get involved and support the movement.