New Jersey tech companies will be increasing their staffs next year.
The areas of tech expertise most in demand are programming/design, project management, custom programming/app development and mobile information access/sharing.
Those are some of the results of the 2014 Tech Talent and Employment Trends Survey, conducted and sponsored by Giordano, Halleran & Ciesla (Red Bank), WithumSmith+Brown (Red Bank) and the New Jersey Technology Council (NJTC) (Mt. Laurel).
The results were announced at the NJTC annual meeting July 17, 2014.
More than 130 New Jersey-based tech companies — representing global, national and local businesses — responded to the survey. C-suite executives and company decision makers were the respondents.
More than 72 percent of those who participated work at small companies of fewer than 100 employees, 10 percent represented midsize companies of 100 to 279 employees, 12 percent of the respondents are from large companies of between 250 and 1,499 employees and six percent are with superlarge firms of more than 1,500 employees.
The participants said New Jersey’s technology strengths are healthtech, telecom and IT/software. Only seven percent of the respondents considered FinTech to be a strength.
This year the state took some bashing in answers to the question “Do you believe the state of NJ is doing enough to foster growth in the state’s technology sector?”
Some 81 percent of the respondents replied “no.”
Commenting on that question, one participant said, “Never enough! NJEDA is doing a lot of great things, but this is never ending. We have to keep raising the bar.”
Making the point that Bell Labs’ Marcus Weldon made here, another commenter said, “We promote the state as a nice place to spend a week at the beach. We should promote the state as a technology and startup center.”
Yet another respondent commented, “NJ needs to respond to … New York’s ad campaign regarding tax free New York.”
When the respondents were asked what else New Jersey can do to help attract and retain tech companies, their answers included “Reduce taxes and fees, lower the cost of doing business in NJ,” “Promote the wealth of education institutions in and nearby NJ,” “Set up Tax Free Zones in Multiple areas including Princeton” and “Provide grants and support for startup incubators.”
A panel discussion accompanied the survey results announcement. One panelist pointed out that many companies seem to want “corporate welfare. The money has to come from somewhere,” he said, adding, “You can’t have lower taxes and fees and higher incentives all at the same time.”
When asked the question “What changes have you observed within the NJ technology entrepreneurial community over the past 12 months?” the respondents said more startups had been popping up, more women had been getting involved, there were more incubators and accelerators, more private money had been involved and there had been more collaboration on events.
One respondent felt the New Jersey tech industry had become more fragmented, with too few meetings.