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Southwest Region

southwest minnesota mapSouthwest Minnesota is a national leader in agricultural production, and renewable energy.

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Information Technology in Southwest Minnesota

4/13/2022 9:00:00 AM

Luke Greiner

Information Technology (IT) is vital to Southwest Minnesota's economy, but it can be hard to quantify the full impact of IT because it is not separately classified with its own NAICS code. Sometimes confused for an industry, the IT field is actually better classified as a set of occupations, specifically Computer and Mathematical occupations. While focused more heavily in certain sectors, IT employment is actually spread across every industry, since every industry utilizes some amount of IT.

In Southwest Minnesota, there are about 2,000 people employed in IT occupations, accounting for just over 1% of total employment in the region. The largest computer occupations include Computer User Support Specialists, Software Developers, Computer Systems Analysts, Computer Network Support Specialists, and Computer & Information Systems Managers.

Though relatively few people are employed in these occupations in the region, they are extremely high paying. The median hourly wage across all occupations in Southwest was $19.34 in 2020, while the median wage for Computer & Mathematical occupations was $33.90, or 75% higher than the overall median. The highest wages were for Computer Network Architects, which had a median approaching $55 per hour, or well over $110,000 per year. Wages were also near $100,000 annually for Computer & Information Systems Managers, Database Administrators & Architects, and Information Security Analysts (see Table 1).

Table 1. Southwest Minnesota Computer Occupations, 2020
SOC Code SOC Occupational Title Estimated Regional Employment Median Hourly Wage
00-0000 Total, All Occupations 166,690 $19.34/hr
11-3021 Computer & Information Systems Managers 190 $50.71/hr
15-0000 Computer & Mathematical Occupations 1,690 $33.90/hr
15-1211 Computer Systems Analysts 210 $43.37/hr
15-1212 Information Security Analysts 30 $47.09/hr
15-1231 Computer Network Support Specialists 200 $24.73/hr
15-1232 Computer User Support Specialists 440 $25.81/hr
15-1241 Computer Network Architects 70 $54.39/hr
15-1244 Network & Computer Systems Administrators 190 $38.36/hr
15-1245 Database Administrators & Architects 20 $48.51/hr
15-1251 Computer Programmers 60 $37.33/hr
15-1256 Software Developers & Software Quality Assurance Analysts & Testers 330 $42.40/hr
15-1257 Web Developers & Digital Interface Designers 30 $30.40/hr
15-1299 Computer Occupations, All Other 70 $31.67/hr
15-2041 Statisticians 10 $39.39/hr

Some IT jobs were already in high demand in the region and were expected to be among the fastest growing into the future before the pandemic. But the rise in telework brought on by COVID-19 has made IT workers even more important, with rising numbers of job vacancies and above average projected growth rates. The number of openings for IT workers increased significantly from the second quarter of 2020, at the outset of the pandemic, to the second quarter of 2021, as employers have adapted to changing technology.

Looking at the new 2021 Occupations in Demand for Southwest Minnesota, there were six IT occupations in the top 250, showing above average demand in the region. Most notably, this included high demand for Computer User Support Specialists and Software Developers. And though all of these openings offer higher wages, IT occupations also typically require higher education, either a vocational award, associate's degree, bachelor's degree or higher (Table 2).

Table 2. Southwest Minnesota Computer-related Occupations in Demand, 2021
SOC Code SOC Occupational Title Current Demand Rank Median Annual Wage Education Requirements
15-1232 Computer User Support Specialists 123 $53,697 Vocational award
15-1256 Software Developers & Software Analysts 138 $88,202 Bachelor's degree
15-1244 Network & Computer Systems Administrators 158 $79,791 Bachelor's degree
15-1231 Computer Network Support Specialists 189 $51,435 Associate's degree
15-1211 Computer Systems Analysts 192 $90,206 Bachelor's degree
11-3021 Computer & Information Systems Managers 217 $105,465 Bachelor's degree
Source: DEED Occupations in Demand

For More Information

Contact Labor Market Analysts Luke Greiner at 320-308-5378 or Mark Schultz.

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