ICT Report

The Information and Communications Technology Industry and its Workforce in the Los Angeles Basin

Introduction

The partnership between our region’s community colleges and industry has never been more important.  LAEDC, as the region’s economic development leader, is a strategic partner facilitating regional industry engagement efforts and providing the labor market research expertise from which good planning and data-driven decisions can be made.  Together, the colleges and LAEDC are leading this important regional initiative to sustain our economy and deliver opportunity for students and businesses.

CCW leads and supports regional workforce development and employer engagement efforts, on behalf of the 19 colleges in the L.A. region, to better understand industry trends and the demands for talent, especially in middle-skill occupations, to ensure students and jobseekers are competitive for the jobs and careers of today – and tomorrow.   The center’s work addresses the talent gaps employers face and the supply of skilled talent to meet projected workforce demand. CCW was founded as a Strong Workforce Program regional project of the 19 community colleges in the Los Angeles region, the L.A./O.C. Center of Excellence for Labor Market Research (COE), and the LAEDC and its Institute of Applied Economics. CCW has several work streams:

• Labor Market Analysis    • Industry Councils    • Regional Program Advisory Meetings    • Work-Based Learning Partnerships   • Company Visits and Career Videos   • Workforce and Education Partners Portal     • Bioscience Industry Portal

This CCW report, The Information and Communication Technology Industry and its Workforce in the Los Angeles Basin, is the 11th in a series of labor market and occupational reports since 2017.  The purpose of this report is to analyze the major growth occurring in our region’s ICT sector, identify the jobs that have the brightest future for community college students in the region, and provide a wealth of information about talent needs to inform faculty, students, job seekers and others in the workforce development system.  With this report as a guidepost, CCW seeks to facilitate industry-college engagement and partnerships including work-based learning, talent pipeline development and exchange of ideas.

IN THIS REPORT, CCW:

  • Analyzes the major trends occurring in ICT
  • Identifies the jobs that represent the best targets for community college students in the region
  • Compares supply of talent to demand
  • Identifies key skills that are valued by employers

Industry Outlook

Information and communication technology is a growing area that is particularly promising because it supports many middle skill occupations that both pay well and are represented across numerous industries that are benefitting from technological advances.

With over 43 percent of the projected ICT industry job openings over the next five years in the LA Basin being middle-skill occupations, the community colleges have an outstanding opportunity to prioritize the ICT industry for the development and expansion of training and educational programs

  • Based on regional community college completions, there will be a projected undersupply of ICT industry workers each year over the next five years in the LA Basin. More than 2,400 annual job openings are projected for middle-skill and higher-skill “pathway” occupations in the 10 ICT industry subsectors studied in the full report; yet, LA Basin community college completions only totaled about 1,370 awards in the last full academic year (2018-19).
  • Looking more broadly at employment opportunities, there will be even greater opportunity with 9,800 ICT-related annual job openings over the next five years across all industries.

During the past decade, real wages in ICT grew by 21.2 percent overall, far outpacing wage growth across all industries. The ICT industry employs 341,610 payroll workers across all educational attainment levels in the Los Angeles Basin (2017); there will be over 200,000 total job openings over the next five years due primarily to replacement job openings, with net new jobs being added too.

Three component industries employ the bulk of these workers: motion picture and video production industries, which accounted for nearly one-third of total industry employment; corporate, subsidiary and regional managing offices, which accounted for a quarter of all industry employment; and custom computer programming services.  Much of the job growth in ICT can be attributed to increases in the electronic shopping and internet publishing industries.

341,600

ICT currently employs over 341,000 workers in the LA Basin across all educational attainment levels and pays workers average wages that are higher relative to the combined average of all industries in the LA Basin.

70%

The three largest subsectors account for over 70 percent of the L.A. Basin’s total ICT employment: motion picture and video production (30%), corporate subsidiary and regional managing offices (25%), and custom computer programming services (15%).

201,380

More than 200,000 total ICT occupational job openings will be created in the LA Basin over the next five years, with employers seeking to fill many of those openings with middle-skill workers.

43%

About 43 percent of projected openings will be for middle-skill occupations – an increasing percentage, reinforcing the fact that the ICT industry is well-matched to the community college programs in the Los Angeles Basin.

What do we know about ICT jobs and the workforce ?

Looking deeper

$108K

ICT workers earned, on average, $108,000, which is almost double the regional average across all industries, $61,520.

Real wages in ICT grew by 21 percent this past decade, more than the wage growth of all industries in the Los Angeles Basin, where inflation-adjusted (real) wages increased by 5 percent.

9%

Prioritization should be given to developing student expertise in design and security, as occupations in the ICT industry exhibiting the most robust growth have the shared characteristic of being driven by the importance of data and network security due to cyber threats.  For example, security analyst jobs, with almost 9 percent growth in projected employment.

There may be an undersupply of community college students to fill the target occupations because only 1,371 awards were conferred in 2018-2019, versus 9,800 annual openings across all industries.

$$$

High-growth, well-paying jobs abound in the ICT industry, with even greater income available for community college students who continue on a pathway to high-skill occupational opportunities

Jobs with a bright future

Within the ICT industry, CCW has identified two groups of target occupations with good wages and significant job openings, five (5) of which are middle-skill occupations and five (5) of which are pathway occupations, which typically stipulate a bachelor’s degree but where at least 25 percent of incumbent workers have less than a bachelor’s degree, for community colleges to train students looking to further their education with a bachelor’s degree:

Computer User Support Specialists

What they do:

Provide technical assistance to computer users. Answer questions or resolve computer problems for clients regarding hardware and software, including printing, installation, word processing, email and operating systems.

 Wage: $27/hr.

Telecom Equipment Installers and Repairers

What they do:

Install, set-up, rearrange or remove switching, distribution, routing and dialing equipment used in central offices or head-ends. Repair telephone, cable television, internet and other communications equipment on customer properties.

Wage: $27/hr.

Web Developers

What they do: 

Design, create, and modify websites. Analyze user needs to implement website content, graphics, performance, and capacity. May integrate websites with other computer applications and convert content to compatible Web formats.

Wage: $33/hr.

Computer Network Support Specialists

What they do: 

Analyze, test, troubleshoot, maintain and evaluate existing network systems, such as local and wide area networks and internet systems.

Wage: $33/hr.

Telecom Line Installers & Repairers

What they do:

Install and repair telecommunications cable, including fiber optics.

Wage: $31/hr.

HIGH-SKILL “PATHWAY” OCCUPATIONS

Computer Systems Analysts

What they do:

Analyze science, engineering, business, and other data processing problems to implement and improve computer systems. Analyze user needs and problems to automate and improve systems, including review system capabilities, workflow and scheduling limitations.

Wage: $45/hr.

Network and Computer System Administrators

What they do:

Install, configure and support an organization’s networks and internet systems. Monitor network availability, test website performance, assist in network modeling, analysis, planning and coordination between network and hardware/software. May supervise staff or administer network security.

Wage: $43/hr.

Computer Programmers

What they do:

Create, modify and test the code, forms and script that allow computer applications to run. Work from specifications drawn up by software developers. May analyze user needs and design software solutions, including to store and retrieve documents and data.

Wage: $42/hr.

Database Administrators

What they do:

Administer, test and implement computer databases, applying knowledge of database management systems. Coordinate changes to computer databases. May plan and implement security measures to safeguard databases.

Wage: $45/hr.

Information Security Analysts

What they do:

Plan, implement, upgrade or monitor security measures for the protection of computer networks and information. May ensure security controls are in place to safeguard digital files and electronic infrastructure. May respond to computer security breaches and viruses.

Wage: $49/hr.

ICT Jobs on the Rise

Immediate attention should be directed toward component industries within the ICT industry where the greatest amount of growth is expected to occur:

  • computer systems design and custom computer programming will add 2,200 new jobs to the region by 2022
  • internet publishing and web search portals will add 730 new jobs to the region by 2022

Prioritization should be given to developing student expertise in design and security, as occupations in the ICT industry exhibiting the most robust growth have the shared characteristic of being driven by the importance of data and network security due to cyber threats. For example, security analyst jobs, with an 8.9 percent growth in projected employment from 2017 to 2022, have the fastest growth rate of the ICT target occupations.

Prioritization should be given to developing student expertise in data analysis, as a major technological trend for businesses is harnessing data analytics and the internet of things to gain better insight into industry opportunities and weaknesses; thus making decisions informed by this understanding

Overall, 201,380 total ICT industry job openings will be created in the LA Basin over the next five years, with employers seeking to fill many of those openings with middle-skill workers.

Skills Employers Want

  • Workers capable of gathering data and structuring it in easily accessible formats
  • Workers proficient at both assessing alternatives and making decisions using analytics
  • Workers skilled at diagnosing and solving technical, infrastructure and/or hardware problems
  • Workers who are highly adaptable and able to work with new technologies and new products in real-time, often learning specialized skills on-the-job
  • Workers that can perform many different tasks instead of being relegated or restricted to only one responsibility
  • Workers with strong interpersonal skills, as well as oral and written communication skills, because effective communication, relationship building and client interaction and support will be greatly emphasized

Soft skills are also highly valued in ICT occupations

In addition to the specific skill sets within each of the ICT occupations, there are general competencies that will be required of nearly all workers moving forward. These include:

    • adaptability
    • the use of technology
    • cross-training
    • advanced communication and interpersonal skills, not only to interact with customers but also with other co-workers in team based environments
    • Additional people skills, along with high social and emotional intelligence, will be invaluable

View Slides from Report Webinar

Shannon Sedgwick, Director of LAEDC’s Institute for Applied Economics, and primary author of the ICT report, presented the following slides to community college leaders to frame the key points of the report.

View and share here: ICT Report Release Webinar

Engage with CCW

After clicking the links near the top of this page to read the full report or the highlights version, please explore this website.  CCW works with the community colleges and industry partners, to help establish work-based learning partnerships and pathways, to enable conversations about scale and content of college programs to meet the hiring demand in industry.  In addition the CCW partner portal serves as regional infrastructure to efficiently connect students and employers, so they can share job leads, work-based learning opportunities and resumes, on a Salesforce community platform.

CCW brings LA’s Industry, Talent, and Community Colleges together to be more demand‐driven, industry responsive, future‐forward and adaptive.

Start by asking a question and we are happy to point out high value ways you can use CCW to your advantage:

Reach out to:  [email protected]   or  [email protected]