Op-Ed: Puerto Rico’s IT sector ranks #1 in value in U.S.
Yesterday we learned that, according to the Cyberstates 2015 report, published by the Technology Councils of America, Information Technology (IT) salaries in Puerto Rico rank lowest in the United States.
At first glance, the position appears disadvantageous, but to the professionals that make up the Puerto Rico IT Cluster, an organization dedicated to making IT a pillar of economic development for our island, this ranking means the services provided by Puerto Rico’s IT professionals offer the best value in the nation and this is a competitive advantage we fully intend to leverage to the benefit of our local economy.
Being at the bottom of the wage scale reflects many different factors; chiefly that our local economy has been stagnant for the better part of the last decade and that average private sector wages in Puerto Rico have historically lagged behind those in the mainland United States.
What is notable and encouraging about the report is that, even in this contracting economy, the IT sector in Puerto Rico managed to create 300 new jobs between 2012 and 2013. This figure is likely understated, as the report authors indicate that it does not take into account startups and independent contractors when calculating job growth. Further, as reported by News is my Business, Puerto Rico’s tech workers earned an average $44,016, nearly twice as much as other private-sector professionals on the island, who saw an average annual income of $25,700.
On a larger scale, the study proves that the IT sector has enormous potential as an engine of economic growth, as evidenced by the experience of such states as California, Texas and Massachusetts, where well paid technology jobs account for considerable percentages of total private industry employment.
We propose flipping the Cyberstates 2015 ranking upside down and visualizing Puerto Rico’s technology sector as being number one in value among all of the United States. Additionally, countless mainland-based companies could take advantage of this value proposition make Puerto Rico their near shore IT destination of choice.
Imagine what could happen if we harnessed our collective power as an industry and made it our priority to market Puerto Rico in those terms. The future appears bright for IT in Puerto Rico. Join us on March 20th for the second CIO & IT Leadership Conference and be a part of this conversation. For more information, visit www.pritcluster.com.