Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz has proclaimed April 2021 Technology Month in Minnesota.

It’s an opportunity to draw attention to the state’s technology sector and workforce, as well as its importance to Minnesota’s economy.

While the importance of these jobs has been highlighted during the pandemic, technology workers have been in demand in Minnesota’s economy for a long time and represent some of the highest-paid, best jobs in our state.

Minnesota is home to about 110,000 people working in information technology occupations, according to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) Labor Market Information (LMI) Office. That’s about 3.8% of total employment in Minnesota; the national average for such occupations is about 3.4%.

“Minnesota’s reputation as a leader in innovation is growing rapidly,” DEED Commissioner Steve Grove said in a statement announcing the proclamation. “We want to make sure that more Minnesotans know about the great career opportunities here in tech, and we want to help Minnesota employers build the talent pipelines they need to grow and thrive in our state.”

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DEED’s data points to a continued trend toward well-above-average growth in demand for technology workers in Minnesota. It projects employment in computer occupations to grow 10.5% through 2028, while the average growth of all occupations in Minnesota is 4.7%.

Because of the high demand for technology workers, wages in these occupations are higher than for most occupations in Minnesota, according to DEED. The median hourly wage for technology occupations was $42.71 an hour in 2020 – more than $20 an hour higher than the median for all occupations in the state.

During the entire month of April, DEED said it and its workforce development partners in CareerForce are working together with industry leaders, employers, educators and others to highlight the many opportunities in information technology, help overcome educational and other barriers to those who want to pursue a career in Information Technology, and encourage Minnesotans to explore this in-demand career field.

DEED’s Immigrant and Refugee Affairs and Vocational Rehabilitation Services teams will provide specific resources to invite New Americans and people with disabilities to explore IT careers. And it is working with employers to overcome barriers to hiring – from unnecessary minimum requirements to unwarranted concerns about disability accommodations.

Find out more about technology employment in Minnesota, get information about Tech Month virtual events and access other related resources on the Tech Month page on CareerForceMN.com.

“Information technology is critically important to Minnesota’s economy and a key component of an innovative and dynamic ecosystem critical to the state’s current and future economic success,” Gov. Walz said.