NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Nashville is moving toward its new status as a premier destination for tech talent, as the industry continues to smash records.

In fact, the tech sector is predicted to be the engine behind Nashville’s economy in the coming years, nearly doubling the area’s overall job growth rate.

A new report from the Greater Nashville Technology Council (NTC) and MTSU confirms that Nashville is and will continue to be a premier destination for tech.

“The need for tech workers is consistently growing year after year,” said Sandi Hoff, Chief of Staff at the Greater Nashville Technology Council.

The 2021 State of Middle Tennessee Tech Report shows tech jobs in our area have grown by 51% from 2015-2020, outpacing the nation’s tech job growth by 32%.

The projected growth rate for tech jobs in Middle Tennessee (2020-2025) is 12% with the report also predicting that Middle Tennessee will far outpace the nation in tech job growth over the next five years, meaning people are choosing to move here, work here and stay.

“Over the last several years our focus has been around growing the tech talent here in Nashville to take Nashvillians through a grassroots effort and turn them into technologists,” Hoff said.

That new talent is driving economic development which is incredibly valuable as companies look to move to Tennessee.

Those companies, including Amazon, Facebook and Oracle, are paying up.

In 2020, the median compensation for tech jobs in the region was $71,188. This is 76% above the median compensation for all jobs in the region.

The average number of new monthly job postings across all tech occupations in the region last year was 14,462.

The challenge now, experts say, is to get more women and minorities to apply for these positions.

“I’m very proud of the work we’ve done thus far in terms of gender and racial diversity but there’s more work to do and the great thing about the tech community here is our people are willing to do the work and I think that’s why we’re successful in our efforts,” Amy Harris said, the report’s author.

The study found women comprise 51.1% of the population in Middle Tennessee, 50.8% of the
workforce as a whole, and 40.1% of tech workers. Non-white workers comprise 29.3% of the local population and 26.3% of the regional workforce — but only 22.7% of the regional tech workforce.

Across tech occupations, female representation Middle Tennessee was slightly higher than that
observed for the state and nation.

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“Moving the needle on diversity numbers was never going to be a sprint. It was always going to be a marathon, but even though the numbers might be creeping up by a tenth of a percentage, it is encouraging to me that they are creeping up,” Harris said.

Since last year’s report, NTC has launched its TechIntoNashville initiative to encourage workers from the six leading US tech cities — San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Boston, and Washington, D.C. — to relocate to Nashville.