A leading information technology staffing services company has ranked Chicago as the No. 1 tech hub city in the country — a status that bodes well for Kane County businesses, job-seekers and public-private sector initiatives.
According to a press release by Modis, business leaders named Chicago as the No. 1 future U.S. tech hotspot. More than half (51 percent) of the respondents said Chicago had the most potential to ramp up its tech offering this year, with the following cities also making the list:
- Chicago — 51 percent
- Houston — 47 percent
- Boston — 43 percent
- Denver — 36 percent
- Philadelphia — 31 percent
- Dallas — 28 percent
- Detroit — 25 percent
- Omaha — 10 percent
Jack Cullen, president of Modis, said the tech-savvy workforce in the Chicago area is one reason Chicago is poised to be transformed by the tech industry.
“Chicago is set to see an impressive growth in tech jobs over the next decade,” he said. “Network engineer positions are predicted to get a 17 percent boost in numbers in the city.”
High-profile initiatives in Kane County, the seven-county region and the state of Illinois are in position to piggyback on Chicago’s growing tech reputation and “street cred.” Among the most notable are:
- Kane County’s investment in 47 miles of dark fiber cable, which connects county businesses and institutions with Chicago and the world.
- The Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy’s IN2 Innovation Hub, the $1.9 million, state-of-the-art facility made possible by the Steve and Jamie Chen Center for Innovation and Inquiry, which encourages entrepreneurship through business and education partnerships.
- The ambitious FARM Illinois initiative, which hopes to employ new technologies that can position Chicago as the epicenter of a global agriculture system. Illinois already is a leader in biotechnology and agro-ecology research and innovation.
- Fermilab’s Deep Underground Nutrino Experiment, which an international mega-science project that is estimated to have a $1.1 billion positive effect on the local economy.
In Chicago, Google’s chic new Chicago headquarters is making Chicago’s “tech hub status is starting to feel more real,” according to a recent article in the Chicagoist. Chicago has also been named the Top University-Related Business Incubator in the U.S.
Among the tech trends cited in the Modis news release, 46 percent of business leaders said they thought artificial intelligence would be the biggest trend of 2017. This prediction may already be coming to fruition, as already this year, a Japanese insurance firm announced it would be replacing 34 employees with an artificial intelligence system designed to calculate pay-outs.
Other predicted trends included advanced 3D printing using new materials like ceramics and metals, with 44 percent of tech company “presidents” saying this would be the biggest trend of the year.
A fifth of respondents (19 percent) said drones would become more prominent over the next 12 months, and with companies such as Amazon already planning to roll out drone delivery services, this may also soon be a reality. That’s more good news for Kane County workers, because of our proximity to two new Amazon fulfillment centers that could bring 1,000 jobs to the area.
SOURCE: Modis news release