Boise may be the next big tech center
The Boise area has more than 350 software and information -technology companies, according to the Idaho Department of Commerce. Washington based Microsoft is eying Boise Idaho along with Denver Colorado for it's next major expansion due to take place 3-5 years from now.
Microsoft has eyed Boise Idaho because of it's strong family and business climate. The deciding factor will be if Boise can produce enough quality workers necessary for a major technology based expansion.
Idaho State leadership in the past has been tepid at best regarding support for the computer science sector of Idaho. Leadership will have to step up to the plate and provide necessary funding if Idaho is to compete. Tech workers elsewhere often are reluctant to come to Idaho because they don't realize how much of a tech industry the state already has, and they worry about limited job mobility, leaders say.
Money needs to be spent on research at universities to help develop the innovations that will become the tech businesses of tomorrow, tech leaders say. Neighboring states like Utah and Oregon have poured millions into building and promoting thier science and tech industries. Idaho has barely scratched the surface and needs to play catch up if Idaho state is to remain competetive.
Last year (2007) Boise State University graduated just 28 students with computer-science degrees. All had jobs before graduation. Undergraduates landed jobs with salaries of $55,000 to $60,000 a year, and those with a master's degree were offered $80,000 or more. In 2006, only 26 percent of Idaho high school graduates attended college, according to the National Center for Public Policy in Higher Education. Tech leaders say state officials need to play a bigger role in encouraging high school students to enter college and purse high-tech careers.
With the presence of Micron Technology and Hewlett-Packard in Boise and the interest of Microsoft, it makes a lot of sense for Idaho to invest money in the promotion of computer-science education for high school students and to play a major roll in the promotion of Idaho as a competetive force in providing not only a great family and business climate, but a work force to compliment any viable high-tech company wanting to open it's doors and do business in Boise Idaho.