Beyond the Pitch

The Startup Tech Talent Gap in Columbus

Columbus Tech Talent

Assessing the Tech Talent Gap

The talent gap is real and a growing priority for our region and the startups Rev1 supports. Nationally, there are a reported 627,000 unfilled tech jobs. The market for technical hires grew 2 percent to 7.3 million workers last year, with a jobless rate well below the nation’s average. Some of the fastest growing fields include software, cybersecurity, and cloud computing.

The talent challenge is even more acute in Columbus, given our lower-than-average unemployment rate and our growing startup economy. Our city was ranked #1 for scaling startups by the Kauffman Foundation. With the growth our city is experiencing, comes an ever-growing need for tech talent.

Columbus was named one of the top three contenders for corporate site selections in the coming years. As our city continues to attract major national corporate attention from the likes of Facebook and Amazon, the crunch will only intensify until those companies can draw outside talent. We want to avoid a scenario in which our startups and corporates in the region are poaching talent from one another to the detriment of both.

We see the need for senior tech talent keenly in our portfolio. The Rev1 Jobs Board typically has 75+ open jobs at any given time. Nearly 60 percent of these positions are technical roles, ranging from blockchain engineers, to data scientists, to information security analysts and developers. It is taking companies in Columbus an average of 100 days to fill some of these positions.

Solutions for filling the tech talent gap

What can we do as a community? This is a key part of our strategy in 2018 and beyond. We’re working to test and expand approaches to place diverse tech talent into startups. We have a record of matching business leaders with vetted opportunities within our portfolio. Our curated talent network stocks potential mentors, startup employees, and executives. We are partnering with universities, as well as groups like Tech Elevator, i.c. Stars*|Columbus, and others to create more matches.

We have more work to do, and we’ll need help from our strategic partners, the region’s outstanding colleges and universities, and others to fill the talent gap for our region.

  • Jeremiah Gracia

    Thanks Rev1 Ventures for all the work you continue to do in the start-up and tech space. Here is what Dublin, Ohio is doing to contribute to filling the tech talent gap in the Columbus Region. http://www.econdev.dublinohiousa.gov/workforce-development/

  • Michael S.

    Interesting article Tom. To what extent do you think the employers are open to older workers or those transitioning from another/related field? Conversely, how would someone move in this direction short of going back to college and starting their entire career over?

    A very quick scan of your job board does show a great number of openings but also indicates a strong desire among some employers for deep experience in the precise business line the firm is pursuring, perhaps understandable in a lean startup situation. Looking from the outside, it is hard to see how to get from “here” to “there” since there seems to be a strong premium placed on prior experience. Thoughts?

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