Where the Jobs are in Minnesota
The health technology industry is a significant contributor to Minnesota's workforce and economy. In fact, in 2014 a total of 826 firms in the medtech, pharma and biotech, in vitro diagnostics, and blood and organ banks sectors represented an economic impact of $3.9 billion to the state.
This was most significantly driven by high average wages and employment levels in Minnesota's medtech sector, which in 2014 employed 34,898 people at an average annual wage of $100,450. The pharma and biotech, in vitro diagnostics, and blood and organ banks sectors collectively contributed 6,668 high-paying jobs across 221 establishments.
The good news is that many of these firms are growing and hiring today. In the second quarter of 2015, Minnesota's health technology companies posted 3,097 open positions, 17% of which were engineering jobs. As a category, business positions (e.g., operations, marketing, management, sales) made up 45% of the openings, followed by technical positions at 35%. As the economy improves, companies may be looking to increase their profile and market share, as evidenced by 208 postings for Marketing Managers in Q2 alone.
So who is hiring? The majority of jobs posted last quarter came from medical device companies, including Medtronic (1,503), St. Jude Medical (285), Smiths Medical (214), and Starkey Laboratories (176). However, pharma, biotech, and diagnostics companies like Beckman Coulter and Upsher-Smith Laboratories contributed a number of openings as well (59 and 48, respectively).
Perhaps the most interesting and telling trends can be found in the list of top skills in demand. At the top of the heap, the word "quality" (in conjunction with "systems," "assurance," "management," and "engineering") appeared in 1,378 postings. Many soft skills were also mentioned, including oral and written communication and problem solving. Software development was mentioned often and programming skills in MiniTab, SolidWorks, Microsoft Sharepoint, C-Sharp, and Java were called out specifically.
For anyone out there looking to apply their skills and experience to improving health and the quality of life, Minnesota's Medical Alley is the place for you.
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