Information Technology (IT) and cybersecurity are hot topics these days. The industries are in high demand, and are predicted to continue seeing growth in the coming years. In this post, we’ll take a closer look at the role these industries play in the West Michigan economy.

West Michigan is home to more than 580 IT companies, which are responsible for 12,566 jobs in the region. Since adding IT and communications as an area of strategic growth in 2014, The Right Place has assisted with 10 IT/cybersecurity projects, seven of which were expansions, and three which were attractions. Those projects yielded:


Additionally, The Right Place Business Development Team regularly meets with IT/cybersecurity companies to ensure they’re receiving the support they need to remain in the region. In 2017, the team met with 77 of these companies and recorded the following findings:


JOBS

From 2013-2017, the job growth for IT related occupations across all industries in West Michigan was at 12 percent, outpacing the national growth rate by 2 percent. The growth rate of the IT industry itself in West Michigan was 13.6 percent, outpacing the national growth rate by 2.4 percent.

Our research found that the recorded average earnings per job in the region was approximately $91,800, and approximately 70.3 percent of IT jobs are held by males, while 29.7 percent are held by females.

The occupations with the highest number of jobs in 2017 were: Computer User Support Specialists, Software Developers, Computer Systems Analysts, Network and Computer Systems Administrators, Computer and Information Systems Managers, and Computer Programmers.

There are 15 regional colleges and universities that have IT programs as a part of their curriculum, and more than 830 students in the region completed and IT-based college program in 2017.

As our world becomes increasingly automated, it is predicted that the IT sector will continue seeing upward trends in terms of job and industry growth.