High-tech industries are seeing enormous growth, but some companies are left barely recapturing their financial position held early in the decade. The downsizing effect of economic losses left its mark that has been difficult for many companies to overcome, according to business experts.
New growth in the high-tech fields sits between eight and 10 percent in some California areas, but those same areas remain with 12.6 percent fewer jobs than 15 years ago. Similar growth occurred elsewhere, but barely covered the jobs lost prior to the recession.
The numbers point to a lot of volatility in the high-tech industry over the past decade, according to analysts. There was an explosion of high-tech in the 1990s, but then came the economic disaster of the recession and the result was that Silicon Valley had 170,000 fewer jobs in 2011 than it did in 2000. The reason for the downsizing was the closing and outsourcing of many manufacturers, business and financial services companies. Those companies employed a lot of tech people prior to economic downturns.
While the nucleus of high-tech remains in Silicon Valley, there are other areas growing too. Austin, Texas, has developed a reputation for technology and is flourishing. Provo, Utah, and San Francisco, Calif., also are places where people can land a good technology job.
Those watching the industry said technology has grown faster than other industries since 2004 with job growth in science, technology, engineering and mathematics out performing all other jobs by 27 to one. The field is ripe for those looking for steady jobs. Demand is expected to rise for at least the next five years, and technology employees tend to make between 17 and 27 percent more than other employees. Typically, the industry is able to withstand unstable economic forces and maintain stability, although that proved to not be the case over the past decade.
The top high-tech companies named by Forbes two years ago were those dealing more in anonymity rather than software or sophisticated gadgets. LinkedIn was named the fastest growing high-tech company in 2013 and Facebook was put in the number two spot with Apple in third place. With growing technology in the 3D field, printer producer 3D Systems took the number four spot followed by IPG Photonics, which specializes in laser and amplifier production.
The 2014 list is slightly more diverse, indicating new industries in the growing sector. LinkedIn remained number one with Apple moving into the number two spot for fast growth. Third went to Qlik Technologies, which deals in software designed to gather, analyze and report data, and AthenaHealth moved up the list from previously to garnish the spot for the fourth fastest growing tech company. AthenaHealth provides cloud-based software for physicians’ offices to handle their both the business and clinical portions of their practice. The fifth fastest growing company is Equinix, which in essence, provides for businesses to network with their partners and customers globally using high-performing data centers.
With such a diverse field of technology, and new breakthroughs occurring regularly, business experts said there would not be another tech bust anytime soon. Enormous growth in high-tech industries is here to stay and consumers will be seeing more fruits from it, according to business leaders.
By Melody Dareing
Photo by Martin Terber – Flickr license