Nashville Sings the Tune of Technology Jobs
While Nashville may be the country music capital of the U.S., it's also singing the tune to a high number of technology jobs. Nashville and its surrounding counties in middle Tennessee had 925 tech jobs open in the first quarter of 2011, primarily for positions related to healthcare IT, according to the Nashville Technology Council. The bulk of these jobs, 625, were in Nashville, with Memphis having 206. Overall, the state of Tennessee had 1,396 tech positions open in the quarter, down from 1,065 IT positions during the last quarter of 2010. A recent search on Dice found 363 tech positions in the region at 50 different companies. Deloitte listed 49 of these positions. "We love the moniker music city and that's in our blood and DNA, but sometimes people forget about how many technology companies are in the area," said Tod Fetherling, president and CEO of the Nashville Technology Council. The Healthcare industry continues to lead all industry sectors for IT positions in the region with 42 positions at Hospital Corporation of America (HCA), 28 positions at Community Health Systems (CHS), 16 positions at St. Thomas Health Services and 15 positions at Healthcare Management Systems (HMS). Other large employers of tech professionals in the region include Vanderbilt, Deloitte, Ingenix, Asurion, and the state of Tennessee. The highest number of Nashville IT jobs were for analysts (292), followed by developers (290), then management (132), web developers (52), network engineers (51), database professionals (44), help desk (28) and quality assurance (26). The programming language most in demand for these positions was .Net/C# (80 positions), followed by SQL, Java, PHP, PERL and Linux. The future looks bright for technology jobs in the region, as Asurion plans to add more than 500 jobs over the next five years to its 2,400 workforce in Tennessee, Fetherling said. Pure Safety, a healthcare IT software company that moved to middle Tennessee a year and a half ago currently has 20 job openings and plans to add as many as 40 additional positions in the future, according to the local TV station WKRN. "While the tech market is much smaller, there's really a lot going on," said Bill Grana, president and CEO of Pure Safety. "A lot of it is being driven by healthcare IT. But I think there's an overall feeling that there's a lot of big things to come in Nashville and it's centered around tech and health care IT."