Tech sector continues to thrive in Atlanta

Tech sector continues to thrive in Atlanta

By: Felipe Rivas

2 min read July 2020From coding to game development, there is a great desire for more tech-related training in the metro Atlanta region and major companies are stepping in to help usher the next generation of tech workers.

 The Atlanta area, long known as a logistics and fintech hub, is bolstering its reputation as a producer of tech talent in the Southeast. Recently, Atlanta ranked No. 9 out of 50 North American markets in CBRE’s  annual Tech Talent Scorecard. Atlanta added 31,960 technology jobs over the past five years, the commercial real estate services and investment firm reported. Atlanta ranked No. 6 and No. 7 in the top 10 markets for educational attainment and degree completion, respectively, CBRE noted in its 2020 report. The report compared the number of tech degree graduates versus tech talent job creation to determine if brain gains or brain drains occurred in the different North American markets they analyzed. Atlanta posted a brain gain of +647. In comparison, other large metros did not favor as well as Atlanta, with the nation’s capital posting a brain drain of -28,819 and Boston, not far from historied institutions such Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, sitting at the bottom of the list with a brain drain of -32,426, according to the report. 

Though the metro Atlanta region is home to more than 70 higher education institutions, major companies are ramping up funding to meet the technological needs of students and residents. 

Technology giant, Apple, recently announced the deepening of existing partnerships with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU), adding more than 10 regional coding centers slated to serve as tech hubs for students and the local community. Among those institutions is Morehouse College, one of Atlanta’s most historic colleges whose alumni include civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr and filmmaker Spike Lee.

This effort is designed to expand coding offerings and workforce development opportunities to learners of all ages, Apple said in a press release. 

”Apple is committed to working alongside communities of color to advance educational equity,” said Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of environment, policy and social initiatives. “We see this expansion of our Community Education Initiative and partnership with HBCUs as another step toward helping Black students realize their dreams and solve the problems of tomorrow.”

Similarly, the Georgia Game Developers Association (GGDA) in June received a sizable grant from a major video game developer to help educational leaders teach a popular game engine supported by different industries.

Epic Games, host of the Unreal engine, a real-time 3D creation platform for photoreal visuals and immersive experiences, committed $100 million to support game developers and media professionals, students and teachers in the Peach State and beyond. 

“The Unreal engine has become not only the standard for making games, but also for pre-visualizing movies, creating great architecture designs, making great television shows and more,” said Andrew Greenberg, executive director of the GGDA. “Unreal has become one of the most valuable skills new graduates can know when they seek jobs in these fields.”

He added: “The GGDA applied for the grant because the need for skilled Unreal developers has far outstripped the current supply. Georgia companies like Hi-Rez Studios, Tripwire Interactive, the Weather Channel, Pinewood Atlanta Studios and more rely on this technology, and offer great opportunities to recent grads who can use it well.”

To learn more visit:

https://ggda.org/

https://www.cbre.us/

 

 

Charlotte drops out of the Top 5 in US for tech jobs

Charlotte drops out of the Top 5 in US for tech jobs

By: Felipe Rivas

In 2019, the Queen City nurtured a culture of tech company headquarter relocations with giants such as LendingTree and Honeywell settling into the region. Despite recognized names establishing in the area, the Charlotte Metro Area slipped from the top spot for tech jobs, according to CompTIA’s annual report. The world’s leading tech association ranked Charlotte No. 6 on its “Tech Town Index” for 2019, dropping from last year’s No. 1 spot. Though Charlotte ranked out of the Top 5 cities for tech jobs in the nation, the report and local education leaders say there is an exciting energy in the region as it relates to technology that they will continue to develop and invest in.

CompTIA cites long-term job growth as “one of the reasons the Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia metro just missed the Top 5.” According to the report, in 2018 “the area showed signs of an 11 percent job growth over the next five years” but as the end of 2019 nears, the growth projection sits at 9 percent. However, the report says that when it comes to the technology industry, Charlotte is “still putting its money where its mouth is.” 

In the past 12 months, more than 52,000 tech jobs were posted, the majority of those positions being for developers, software engineers, and data analysts, the report states. As such, local educational leaders say institutions need to capitalize on the energy, diversification, and growth of the local technology industry. “What is going on with fintech, healthcare, and energy is exciting here,” said Queens University of Charlotte President Daniel Lugo to Invest: Charlotte. “The most exciting part is the growth of the technology sector. We want to be at the forefront of working with those businesses.” As an institution focused on liberal arts, Queens University of Charlotte is meshing tech skills, such as coding and data analytics, with its liberal arts curriculum. “We are actually training students with hybrid skills,” Lugo said. “We want to be in a position to have retained that general education of the liberal arts, but to look at pedagogy and the curriculum to empower our folks to understand coding and data analytics, to look at this whole 21st century and technology in a more robust way.”

Similarly, Catawba College is also upgrading its curriculum to account for the growth of the region’s technology industry. “We’re launching a master’s in data analytics, as well as a minor in data analytics to accompany almost any other major,” said President Brien Lewis to Invest: Charlotte. “We’re trying to take advantage of what’s in our region.” Going forward, the Charlotte Metro Area has the opportunity to continue to distinguish itself as a tech town. “The opportunities are to be cutting-edge in specific areas, such as data analytics,” Lewis said. “It’s a matter of capitalizing and investing further in what’s already in Charlotte to create an environment where people know we’re a leader in that area.” 

For 2020, As the Queen City continues to grow and attract companies and new residents, factors such as access to banks and capital, a diverse and growing talent pool, access to a robust logistics and distribution infrastructure, and a cost of living that is lower than the national average will prove advantageous for the local economy and those wishing to tap into its technology sector. 

To learn more about our interviewees, visit: https://www.queens.edu; https://catawba.edu/

Miami Banks Leading Tech Charge

By Yolanda Rivas

July 2019

2 min read  — Advances in technology are having a dramatic influence in the banking sector across the globe. Innovations are impacting the delivery of products and services, making the banking process faster, easier and more reliable. Customer satisfaction and increased competition are driving the tech push, and there is more on the horizon.

“We are changing our core banking system and investing more than $25 million to make that change. It’s an important step for us because we know technology will be the driving force to our growth in the future,” Fernando Beyruti, CEO of Itau Private Bank, told Invest:. 

An article from Bank Innovation explains that banks are spending more than $100 million to replace their aging core systems. Advances in blockchain technology, IoT, fintech, online banking and robotics have helped many financial institutions improve efficiency and accessibility. 

The investment isn’t just to make banking easier now, it is also part of the future. Technology is an integral part of City National Bank’s five-year plan. “We will invest over $15 million in digital transformation for the organization. This will ensure that we continue to be innovative as well as impactful through improving our client experience,” President and CEO Jorge Gonzalez told Invest:.  

Many financial institutions are also partnering with financial technology (fintech) groups to improve their offerings. According to a 2017 report from multinational professional services network PwC, 82% of financial leaders expect to increase fintech partnerships in the next three to five years. 

Cybersecurity and fraud detection are other areas where technology is playing a key role. “When we invest in technology we are also investing in strengthening our cybersecurity,” Gonzalez stated. The investment is not just in the technology, but also in bringing in the right people who have the experience and talent to be able to instill their knowledge throughout the organization,” he said. 

In that regard, First American Bank recently created a senior-level position — information security officer — whose role is to train employees and allocate resources in preparation for possible cyberattacks. “Security threats are on the rise, forcing us to be mindful that our information can be compromised at any time. Through back-room investments and increased training, we are taking the necessary precautions to reduce risk by educating our employees as well as our customers,” Brian Hagan, Florida Market President for First American Bank, told Invest:. 

Although technology adoption can be a challenge for some financial institutions, especially smaller banks that do not have the financial capacity to keep up with the latest innovations, ultimately it can provide a cost-savings. “I think all of us as a banking community in Miami are saddled with compliance concerns. But I think that, with technology, those kinds of costs can be reduced gradually while still maintaining the kind of vigilance that we have to have. There’s a good opportunity for our industry here,” G. Frederick Reinhardt, Chairman and CEO of Brickell Bank, stated in an Interview with Invest:. 

To learn more about our interviewees, visit their websites:

Itau Private Bank: http://www.itauprivatebank.com/

City National Bank: https://www.citynationalcm.com/home/home 

First American Bank: https://www.firstambank.com/personalbanking/ 

Brickell Bank: https://brickellbankmiami.com/ 

PwC: https://www.pwc.com/ 

Bank Innovation: https://bankinnovation.net/