Competition for engineers and developers in NewYork is fierce, as it is in tech hubs around the country. It’s a well worn story that Silicon Alley competes with Wall Street for the best programmers. But there is another multi-billion dollar industry in the Big Apple hungry for those mathematical minds: advertising.
Over the last year, reports the New York Times, the number of want ads for highly technical positions has nearly doubled on the industry job board AdExchanger. The wave of big data is rich soil for advertising companies to mine, but it requires some serious quants to seperate the signal from the noise.
“The demand has far outstripped the supply,” said Joe Zawadzki, chief executive of MediaMath, told the NY Times. “The number of things that you need to know is high and the number of people that have grown up knowing it is low.”
It’s stories like this that inspired Union Square Ventures to participate in the $2.5 million funding round for Code Academy last week. The irony of our current economic climate is that persistent unemployment sits alongside a growing hunger for workers skilled in computer science.
Mayor Bloomberg’s plan to build a new engineering campus in New York will help in the long term. But it can’t hope to keep up with demand. In the meantime, a host of new programs like General Assembly and Code Academy are going to begin filling in the cracks with a new breed of education for the new economy.