The President said, "If we're not producing enough tech workers, over time that's going to threaten our leadership in global innovation, which is the bread and butter of the 21st century economy."
According to the White House, of the 5 million jobs currently available in the US, more than 500,000 require highly-skilled tech workers. This is a number which is predicted to grow in the future. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) suggests the number of jobs in the tech industry could increase by as much as 36.5% by 2022.
In addition to having access to more jobs, highly-skilled workers earn a significantly higher wage. While the White House is pleased with the falling unemployment rate, it remains worried about the stagnate earnings of workers. The average wage of US workers rose only three cents during the first quarter of this year to an average of only $24.81 an hour. The White House released a statement highlighting the fact that tech jobs pay an average of more than 50% higher wages than other positions in the private sector. In his speech at National League of Cities, the President called securing a high-tech job, "a ticket to the middle class."
Deputy White House Press Secretary Jen Friedman told reporters, "Helping more Americans train and connect to these jobs is a key element of the President's middle-class economic agenda."
More Americans who are capable of handling high-tech job will reduce the number of foreign workers in the U.S. needed under the controversial H-1B Temporary Worker's Visa, and make the the U.S, less dependent on foreign workers, while providing better paying jobs to American citizens.
Although most people believe securing a well-paying, high-tech job requires at least a degree from a four-year university, Matt Sigelman, a labor market analysis and technology expert, disagrees. Sigelman said, "many of these in-demand positions are skills-based, and are available for workers with intensive training and certifications." These certifications Sigelman alludes to are information technology certifications like those of Network Administration, which students can receive at CCI Training.
Sigelman states, "People tend to think about [high-tech] jobs that are only available to workers who have a college degree. There isn't necessarily a reason why somebody needs to have a college degree in order to do them."
The Obama administration plans to rely on universities, community colleges, and high-tech (Technical College) educational programs to help train Americans to meet the technology demands of the future. Under the program trainees will be able to develop the skills necessary for some of the most in-demand high-tech jobs in as little as three months of intensive study, all without earning a traditional university degree.