B.A.S. Application Development

The significant gap between the number of computer programmer and software developer job openings in Washington state and the number of baccalaureate qualified individuals to fill those jobs represents a great opportunity for students contemplating bachelor-level training in IT.

According to a recent report from the Regional Economic Strategy for Central Puget Sound (as well as numerous articles by tech executives), “finding a sufficient supply of qualified employees in the region is the IT sector’s primary challenge.”

Washington state is producing fewer rather than more higher education graduates in science and engineering – even as the demand has increased. The state ranked 31st out of the 50 states in bachelor degree production in science and engineering in 1998, and 32nd in 2009.*

Economic Modeling Specialists International (EMSI) reports the following about computer programming and software development positions:

 • In 2012, there were 2,443 openings in the target occupations in King County.

 • Between 2013 and 2022 there will be 1,861 annual job openings in the target occupations, paying a median wage of $47.50/hr. Overall, there will be a 22 percent increase in total employment in the period in the target occupations.

 • Regional annual completions in 2011 are 93 in the target occupations, almost all of which were at the sub-baccalaureate level. Broadening it to include all related jobs that might possibly support the target occupation yields as many as 762 completions, 212 at the sub-baccalaureate level.

*Cheryl Vedoe, CEO of Apex Learning, delivering statistics on higher education degree production in her talk, “Benchmarking Washington’s Competitiveness,” Technology Alliance Annual Luncheon, May 29, 2013.