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November 14, 2012Digital communication has brought on a whole new language. Early adopters of this language are young people.
So why stifle their momentum?
Digital natives continue to incorporate their surroundings almost like second nature, and the Forsyth County School District took note of this.
They have implemented a "bring your own technology" program that allows students who feel more at ease using their iPhone instead of a calculator to do so. They have also embraced the STEM Academy, an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. STEM is a program that aims at helping students interested in careers in these fields prepare to compete.
The students are also leading the state in their digital change.
Several school districts have looked at the county as a leader and hope to incorporate this in their schools.
The importance of embracing the technological future is huge.
The tech revolution happening today is this country's greatest asset for good jobs and innovative talent.
A high-tech job is much more than a gig. In the book, "The New Geography of Jobs," Enrico Moretti points out that his research data suggests that for each new high-tech job created in a city, five additional jobs are ultimately created outside the high-tech sector in that city, both in skilled occupations (lawyers, teachers, nurses) and in unskilled ones (waiters, hairdressers, carpenters).
"For each new software designer hired at Twitter in San Francisco," Moretti writes, "there are five new job openings for baristas, personal trainers, doctors and taxi drivers in the community."
The impact of the tech economy is huge. Currently, Atlanta ranks 10th out of 20 major U.S. tech markets, according to a Jones Lang LaSalle report.
Atlanta's tech sector generated $113.1 billion in revenue and nearly 30,000 jobs, or 4.6 percent of all jobs.
The industry grew at nearly 10 percent, according to the JLL report, a commercial real estate brokerage.
North Fulton has been successful in luring call centers and other back office and IT operations, while Midtown has become the hub for the creative digital media, the Business Journal has recently pointed out.
According to Careerbuilder.com, a computer specialist is the No. 1 in-demand job with a median salary of $56,750. Network and computer system administrators are No. 3 and industrial engineers are No. 5.
They all have a median salary higher than $50,000 a year.
In July 2012, the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed a net gain of 18,200 jobs across four jobs segments commonly associated with IT professionals — the largest monthly IT employment increase since 2008.
It's really telling that Forsyth County's school leaders have been paying attention to this trend and have stepped up to prepare students for the jobs of tomorrow.