The tech scene in New York City is at the heart of technology’s evolving role in personal and business activities. High-tech companies range in size from modest start-ups to huge, multinational corporations, integrating new products and technologies they create into other enterprises, such as retail, media and finance.
The sight of myriad high-tech offices in New York City is now common, particularly with a $5 billion valuation for WeWork at the end of 2014. While Silicon Valley may still be the hub for technology on the West Coast, the startup tech scene on the East Coast in New York City continues to grow. In fact, a recent report from the New York State Comptroller indicates that the booming tech industry continues to offer high-paying job opportunities even though other industries struggle to survive.
The High-Tech Sector
New York City’s tech sector is celebrating its 20th birthday. During those two decades, it has matured into a gifted pool of entrepreneurs and innovators adding creativity in software development, telecommunications, game design, and financial technology. The progression of a thriving tech sector has helped lead New York become one of the most innovative cities in America. Here are five indications that it will continue to develop and grow.
- It now employs over 300,000 people, putting it on equal footing with Silicon Valley.
- Groups of high-tech companies have expanded beyond Midtown South to Downtown Brooklyn, Lower Manhattan, and Long Island City.
- A 33% job growth rate in the high-tech industry is four times that of the rest of the city.
- New York City is developing initiatives to promote growth, such as the Applied Sciences NYC initiative that aims to expand the high-tech workforce.
- Venture capital firms invested $1.3 billion in 2013 in 222 high-tech companies in the NYC metropolitan area.
New York City’s tech scene is a traditionally consumer facing one, although the strength of the city has been the financial services industry for centuries. What used to be regarded as a smaller field is now on par with Silicon Valley in the business and financial technology sector.
Establishing a skilled workforce of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) workers is a challenge to the destiny of NYC’s high-tech industry. In many ways, the city has more STEM opportunities than qualified candidates needed to fill them. More recently, the city, state, and private sectors have started support initiatives for the emerging high-tech industry by maintaining a talent pool of workers for these jobs. Now growth in the NYC tech scene looks sustainable and permanent.