Memphis Is a Hub of Progression in the Tech Industry

The Memphis Tech industry is booming and blooming.

Actually, the world’s tech industry is booming. This is because technology consumes every facet of our lives and can’t be escaped, especially in the workplace. 

Historically, women have been underrepresented in the STEM industries. A study from Anitab.org shows that women comprise only 28% of the tech workforce, with black women only making up 2.2%.  

This alarming gap is explained by the limited exposure, preparation, and opportunities that women and minorities have to enter these fields as adults. 

If a woman attempts to take her skills into the world of tech, there is a high percentage she may turn right around and leave. According to the Harvard Business Review, 41% of women working in tech eventually leave the field (compared to 17% of men). 

Women tend to feel alienated from their male coworkers, have high pressure to perform, face unnecessary bias, and have inferior paychecks. 

These problems do not go unnoticed. But, real progression toward diversity and inclusion is often not made.  

However, Memphis? Now Memphis is changing the game.

Memphis has become a center of growth, innovation, and representation in the tech industry.

CompTIA’s 2022 State of the Tech Workforce report shows that out of the top 51 tech markets in the US, Memphis has the highest percentage of African-Americans in the tech industry in the country. Equally, Memphis also has the highest percentage of women in tech in the country.

What is the reason for the bridging of the employment gap in Memphis?

Organizations like Tech901, Black Girls Code, CodeCrew, and more are paving the way for this movement by creating programs that embrace the tech market. 

Tech901 addresses the increasing need for IT and Technology workers in Memphis. They’ve created programming to recruit, train, and develop a pipeline to place skilled workers in positions.

As a nonprofit, Tech901 provides affordable training and works with Memphis’ leading businesses to create targeted programming.

This year, Tech901 has smashed through industry standards. 

TECH901 2022 stats:

Tech901 graduates now report 503-lifetime jobs filled, with their starting pay of $55k. This is an astounding statistic, given that 28% of Tech901 students are unemployed when enrolled. 

Miquelle Clements graduated from Tech901 in 2017 and now works as a Systems Technician at Carhartt. 

“Tech901 immediately changed the trajectory of my career,” Miquelle stated. “I came into the class with a warehouse job at Amazon and left two months later with an IT Job.” 

When asked what advice she’d give someone entering the field, Miquelle said, “Make sure you try everything and pursue it wholeheartedly. Tech901 will support you, help you craft a resume, and make it suitable for specific jobs. They teach you everything you need to know.” 

Tech901 Graduates

"Memphis is a very supportive city. Many employers are specifically looking for graduates of Tech901."

Miquelle Clements

Code Crew is a Memphis-based nonprofit educating and mentoring individuals most underrepresented in tech to be tech leaders and innovators.

Their programming includes several summer camps, after-school programs, in-school electives, an adult coding boot camp, teacher training, and more.

Since its inception in 2015, CodeCrew has had more than 10,000 students pass through its programming.

Each week they serve 800 kids. 93% are Black and Latino youth, 42% are girls, and overall, 89% leave more likely to pursue an education in the tech industry.

CodeCrew Executive Director, Meka Egwueke, stated, “CodeCrew programs are working to build a prominent and better-paid workforce while maintaining diversity.”

Schools today need digital literacy and computational thinking just as much as science, math, and reaching. It has become an educational necessity in the classroom, and CodeCrew is a steward of that movement.

Edqwueke believes the Memphis tech industry is different from other cities for many reasons.

Edqwueke believes the Memphis tech industry is different from other cities for many reasons.

“Memphis is the premier city to begin your career. There is such a diverse workforce any major company can reach diversification goals, there are plenty of assets like Epicenter and Start Co., and the professional class is easy to navigate and connect with than other markets.”

Meka Egwuekwe

Memphis contains diverse ways to pursue a career in tech, with comprehensive educational options from 2-year and 4-year universities. Then you have alternatives like Tech901 and Code Crew, engaging individuals in tech at all stages of life. 

Moving the needle is difficult, but organizations like Tech901 and Code Crew steward the progression in Memphis.

If you’d like to learn more about Code Crew or get involved, click here

If you’d like to learn more about Tech901 or get involved, click here

 

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