Summary: Friday, September 29, 2000, 12:00 a.m. Pacific
Education is the key to high-tech success
by Edward D. Lazowska
Special to The Times
A new study of "high-tech economic development" or "high-tech workforce" crosses my desk nearly every month. These studies
all agree that the Puget Sound region has joined Boston, Silicon Valley and a handful of other regions as a center of the high-tech
boom. These studies also agree that there are tremendous workforce gaps in the high-tech economy, both nationally and within
our region - gaps that are stifling the growth of high-tech companies.
The Information Technology Association of America predicts that 1.6 million new IT jobs will be created nationally during the
coming year, and that more than half of these jobs will go unfilled. The Washington Software Alliance estimates that there are
eight jobs in Washington's software industry for every in-state bachelor's graduate with a relevant degree, and four jobs for every
in-state community college graduate.
Why should you care? There are at least two reasons.
First, the high-tech boom is creating unprecedented prosperity for our region. This prosperity does not yet reach all parts of the
state - a challenge that we must face. But even today it extends far beyond Redmond, and far beyond high-tech employees. Each
new job in the software industry, for example, is responsible for creating four jobs in other sectors of the economy. And the
wealth created by the most successful high-tech entrepreneurs benefits us when we watch the Mariners, catch a show at the
Paramount, or enjoy the outdoor recreation made possible through the efforts of environmental organizations. Further, the