NorthBridge Blog

Pat DuganWe’ve mentioned it before, but yet another study now confirms that Chicago is a leading jobs creation hub when it comes to technology positions.

The Brookings Institution has verified that we ranked ninth among the U.S. metro areas demonstrating the greatest increase in tech jobs between 2013 and 2015. Chicago added about 10,000 jobs over that span.

It translated into a growth rate of 5.8% a year for Chicago, which put it in the same bracket as New York and Portland, though still not as fast a growth rate as seen in Austin (16.1%) or even Indianapolis (13.9%). San Francisco and San Jose, naturally, kept up a strong pace, growing 12% over those two years.

Digital jobs cluster in the top 10 metro areas nationwide, according to the report, accounting for 46% of those jobs. In 2015, Chicago had 94,000 digital services jobs, while the U.S. had 2,782,000 digital positions in all.

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Pat DuganFrankly, there can never be enough support given to our military veterans as they adjust to civilian life, try to launch careers, and are otherwise rewarded with the same kind of opportunities so many of the rest of us take for granted.

That’s why this program, Code Platoon, needs to be recognized for the good work it’s doing on behalf of those vets in the Chicagoland area.

Intended exclusively for vets, the program is an accelerated curriculum that teaches the basics of the Ruby full-stack programming language over the course of 20 weeks of combined remote and in-person training. As a code “boot camp,” it immerses students who have very little or no tech background in both instruction and actual programming, and also supplies them with job counseling, interview prep and employer matching.

technology-1283624_640It’s a necessarily initiative, because post-9/11 veterans find it harder than other jobseekers to land full-time work.
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Pat DuganWe’ve mentioned repeatedly how Chicago is becoming a real hotbed of opportunity for tech jobs, and this latest survey justifies that judgment. Real estate firm CBRE has been keeping track of who’s renting commercial office space in various nationwide markets, and Chicago has “cracked the top ten,” according to this coverage in Crain’s Chicago Business.

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Pat DuganWhen you think about autonomous/driverless cars - the kind being worked on by Google, Uber, every car company under the sun and (at least until recently) Apple, you think about the Bay Area as being Ground Zero for all that innovation.

Surprisingly, Chicago is also a hot spot for driverless car development, and for job openings that occur because of it. Not Austin, or Detroit: Chicago was in second place behind the Bay Area in terms of new job listings, according to a USA TODAY story that cited data from website Paysa.Automomous Tech Jobs

Cambridge, MA was in third place, with 27 openings; Michigan accounted for only 15 jobs, spread across three cities.

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pat_smallHere’s a surprising run of statistics that, for some people, show Chicago in an unexpected light: according to a recent report compiled by commercial real estate firm CBRE, Chicago was one of the fastest-growing cities in the U.S. when it came to generating tech jobs as the country emerged from the recession.

Between 2010 and 2013, the number of tech jobs here rose an impressive 25.8 percent. That’s significant not just because they’re good jobs in a region that’s been written off by doomsayers as being inescapably trapped in its “Rust Belt” heritage, but because that rate of growth actually put Chicago in the top three cities in America – actually ahead of New York, L.A. and Atlanta.  Chicago has 133,170 jobs in tech fields, according to CBRE, or about 3.5 percent of all jobs.
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