UMass center is aghast Boston is creating so many tech jobs

The same day the state announced no change in our unemployment rate, the Venture Development Center at the University of Massachusetts Boston tweeted:

Dear Boston, you are creating way too many tech jobs. Please slow down while your universities catch up preparing workers. Thanks.

The "Dear tech workers, please go to California," was, of course, too long to fit.

High-tech marketer John Cass found the statement disconcerting:

Would zero jobs open mean everything is okay? I think that's rather an indication of the strength of the MA economy.

The center replied:

Mass last year created 3,550 new inno economy jobs. But are they filled? 3,772 tech jobs open according to Dice. 3,772 tech jobs open in Boston Metro Area, +10% over last year. Shocking failure to prepare workers for innovation economy jobs. Mismatch of jobs and qualifications undermines innovation economy.

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Family of Elephants in their Midst

Possibilities also include "mismatch between money offered and high cost of living" and "outbid by cities with better weather" among other reasons young people in particular might not take those many open jobs.

Wild guesses, sure - but a job existing and open is not the same as a job that is attractive and pays enough to live in an area. We are having some difficulty hiring in my office because the most interested people know that, despite Boston's charms, their chance of owning a house in the near future here is low given their student loan debts and the available pay scales.

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People who can move to better places, do

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Virtually everyone with whom I went to school at MIT, in high-tech fields, moved away from the Boston area immediately after graduation. Mostly to California Bay Area and NYC. Two of them stayed in Boston for a few years, starting businesses here (one a few high-tech startups, one a local business), but they both recently decided that the action is elsewhere -- one going to the Bay Area startup scene, and the other becoming CTO of a prominent company in NYC.

Besides the weather, and the high prices for run-down housing, there's also the problem that Boston proper has more than its share of anti-intellectualism, thuggishness, and political corruption. What educated person would want to live in that if they don't have to? It's kinda like the roughness of NYC, but without the benefits of NYC. The only reason I haven't left yet myself is... well, that's a good question, since my small business can be relocated easily, and I still live in an overpriced rental. (Typical Boston 'local' response: "Yeah, don't let the door hit your ass on the way out," while they are coasting economically on what the newcomers and transients bring to the city.)

Cleaning up local government and patronage would be a great start.

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I have to question you a bit

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Anti-intellectualism? Just don't hang out at Faneuil Hall and you will be all set. At times I think Boston is TOO intellectual.

Obviously I'm self selecting but almost everyone I know and associate with have degrees from "top 100" universities. If anything I'd love to live somewhere where going to the old state university is plenty sufficient and you DON'T have to get advanced degree.

Thugishness? Are there no bridge-tunnel-dbag BROS in NYC, DC, CHI SF, etc? Again, avoid college bars and Faneuil Hall.

I know BOS has a lot of shortcoming in the start up world but I don't buy the other stuff.

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I came back

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The grass is always greener, right? I lived in the Bay Area for 7 years and have now been back in Boston for almost 10. It is, absolutely a different environment, but your dismissal is unfair. New England has tremendous character and complexity and a connection to history that is absent in most of the Bay area. I get where you are coming from...I know in 1995, I felt I was absolutely in the right place driving down 101 and passing Oracle, Intel, HP, etc. on my way to work or meeting somebody at a coffee shop in Palo Alto to design some website that would change the world...
But different things appeal to different people and there is a heck of a lot going on in Boston in terms of innovation. I grew up in a place where nothing was going on and my goal was to get out--I did that by getting in to MIT. For my own kids--they start from an awesome place. I love this place and even though I love the California weather--and laugh at people who think Massachusetts is "liberal"--I think when you have so much good in a place, you make the best of it for yourself. In the end, while working in Silicon Valley was fun, it was not home for me.

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The key issue here

The tech job market is not local.

It isn't even all that regional. It is national if not international.

This is particularly true of entry-level positions. Young people frequently relocate for work simply because they want to try a new place that isn't this place. (a lot of younger workers in tech firms my husband has worked for came to Boston from other places for similar reasons).

The idea that locally unfilled openings implies that the area universities are not training enough workers indicates a misunderstanding of the nature of this particular job market.

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Is a small bit of analysis too much to ask?

A 10% increase could be explained by a single company opening a new division. The sample size isn't large enough to know whether 10% Signifies any broad or meaningful trend.

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So what are the necessary

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So what are the necessary qualifications? Are they qualifications one would get with a college degree, or as they asking for experience on the job? In other words, is everyone looking to poach someone else's trainees? If so, I'll shed no tears. Universities can't be expected to provide students with 3-5 years experience in diddling the ram-fram. Employers frequently want to hire kings and pay them like pawns.

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Young people leave because boston

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is the city that always sleeps. As one who got the "necessary credentials" for one of these high tech jobs, this is why I left. Yes the weather in boston sucks and rent is high, but above all night life was a bore. I moved to austin where there are many 24 hour joints, and it's a city set up for the young. Boston is setup for the old, which is fine, but don't expect the young to stay.

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?

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If you don't live here anymore and didn't like living here, what makes you read this site, which is all Boston news?

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Glad you're happy in Austin

The weather sucks in Boston? I'll take the weather in Boston over Austin any day - I don't like heat.

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Boston is anti-fun

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Social options for singles in Boston are horrible. All the politicians make any business wanting to provide night life impossibly expensive and burdened with regulations. How many music festivals or raves get held in a given month? Basically, none. Performers are at existing venues with expensive tickets and more expensive drinks. Anti-intellectualism is promoted by having sports venues be the expensive, endorsed social outlet. Menino sends out the cops to break up any group having too much fun and house parties in Allston. Boston is boring.

I agree that employers are unreasonable to no longer do any training, yet expect to find workers with years of experience in the latest software technology of the moment. They need a clue also.

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preparing workers?

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I don't comprehend these complaints from companies that cannot find enough skilled workers. I'd love to hear an honest flamefest because in all the startup and technology companies I've ever worked in, the issue was not finding people with particular skills, but rather finding people who "fit" the culture. That fit was often a workaholic mindset and always included the ability to mindread bosses. When you have those attributes, the skills and training are easy. I don't think these people with time to tweet and moan about the undersupply of talent would ever really be satisfied if schools cranked out graduates with whatever skillset de jour they think is requisite.

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one explanation

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"There's an undersupply of high-tech talent! Give us more visas so that we can import indentured servants from India, rather than pay citizens enough that they don't need to rent in a Boston slum with roommates!"

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Dear UMass Boston, Shove it.

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That is such BS. I just lost my job on Friday as a systems analyst and there are jobs out there but it's going to take a while to find a new one. I have 20 years of experience and one of the reasons I got ditched is that the company hired a couple of young kids right out of college who work for about half of what I make.

There are many more grads who don't/can't find jobs in their technical fields. When they entered college, jobs were everywhere. Now, not so much.

So UMass tweeter, slow down there and ask people in the field what they see on the ground.

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The job market in Boston stinks. Stop the hype.

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I haven't seen a job "opportunity" in Boston (or environs) that any self respecting person would accept, since, maybe, 1985. The cost of living is high and the salaries are so low that you can't afford the basic human needs: housing, food, medical care, etc. The last decent job I had was eliminated in 2009 when the company I worked for decided to move their operations to California and they gave their crew (in Merrimack NH) 30 minutes to get out of the building because the moving vans were backed up to the loading dock. The CEO told me I was very fortunate because I had become (temporarily) disabled and now I was able to collect disability pay. The people who were moved to CA, were "given" pay cuts. They were all laid off last year. You could drive a truck through their office and not hit anyone.

The jobs that I see now pay less, even when adjusted for cost of living, than they did in 1998. The only way I can make ends meet today is by working three jobs. (I have the great fortune of working from home, which saves on commuting costs and evaporated time due to meetings and driving.)

I have a PhD and almost 30 years of very successful industry experience, and great references. I have most of the hottest technical skills that the market wants. But, the pay sucks. And, the commitment of employers to their employees is nonexistent. You are given all the love and joy that would be given to a clay pigeon or a styrofoam coffee cup.

So, don't lay this BS on any of us that there aren't enough qualified employees in the Boston area. They'll be some here for a while longer... but most have moved on to greener pastures, or they simply dropped out of the profession to start catering, landscaping, or rough carpentry businesses. The supply is dwindling because of the lack of meaningful opportunities.

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