Majority rate the state of Florida poor or average in its ability to produce qualified IT workers
March 3, 2008 — Ft. Lauderdale-based technology placement specialist, PROTECH released the results of its sixth annual survey of IT leaders in which 58% of respondents characterized state and local government’s commitment to developing the technology sector as ‘weak’. In addition, 61% rated the state of Florida’s ability to produce qualified technology workers as ‘poor’ (23%) or ‘average’ (38%). The survey of targeted over 350 chief executives in Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach with direct responsibility for their organization’s technology operations and was conducted in January.
The outlook for the sector as a whole seemed more positive, while the effects of the housing market continued to contribute to recruiting woes:
- 58% reported technology budget increases for 2008
- The average budget increase reported was 5% over 2007
- 75% said that their technology budget was adequate in relation to actual need
- 67% viewed the current health of tech-related purchasing as being neutral, 25% saw it as very strong and 8% said it was in decline
- 92% viewed the current health of tech-related hiring as being neutral, 8% saw it as very strong and 0% said it was in decline
- 55% of respondents said that cost of living was the most difficult challenge in attracting new employees
“The key message in the data is that the high-tech industry is not a priority, and it should be. The technology industry continues to provide strong economic growth for states like California and Texas, and Florida could miss out on this growth if we do not better support our strong base of tech innovators and entrepreneurs.” said PROTECH CEO Deborah Vazquez. She said the survey results show serious concerns about the future. “Technology business leaders and public officials have been actively engaged in a dialogue but, she added “The executives in this survey seem to be saying, ‘Where’s the action?”.
PROTECH (www.protechfl.com) is South Florida’s IT placement specialist, providing search and contracting services across IT disciplines from development, infrastructure and project management to marketing and executive leadership. Headquartered in Broward County, the company helps IT, HR and executive management by serving as a knowledgeable and discrete resource for securing quality talent, expertly matched to the demands of their technical environment and corporate cult
PROTECH CEO, Deborah Vazquez, was quoted in an article by the South Florida Business Journal “Times are changing as workplace diversity gets better.”
Deborah Vazquez, CEO of PROTECH, was featured in an article in the South Florida Business Journal “It was a very good year for local technology and innovation.”
PROTECH’s 2007 Tech Survey results were featured in an article in the South Florida Business Journal “Techies consider hitching occupational star to trek out of state IT Jobs.”
January 31, 2005
Information technology is supposed to be fun, but don’t tell that to people working
in the sector.
In a survey of 150 tech professionals in South Florida, 62 percent said their
employment experience in the last four years has been negative. The words most
frequently used to describe that experience were frustrating, stressful,
disappointing, stagnant, unfulfilling, impersonal, overworked and
In the survey, conducted by Protech, an IT job placement firm with offices in
Miami and Fort Lauderdale, 28 percent viewed their work as positive. Ten percent
said they felt neutral.
Ninety-one percent said they are willing to make a job change. After all, you can’t spell I QUIT without
To be sure, plenty of people in all fields hate their jobs. But the survey results reflect the tech sector’s
The findings also support the long-held notion that tech professionals feel less loyalty to their employers
than other workers do. Considering that thousands of techies have been fired since the sector began to
slump in 2000-01, it is no wonder workers are quick to look for new opportunities.
The culture of stock options — the lure that attracted many techies in the late 1990s — also undermined
loyalty. A lot of people’s careers were shaped by the idea that they should grab riches while they were
available. When so many stock options ended up worthless, workers felt burned.
The Protech survey also asked which criteria professionals consider when evaluating job options.
Thirty-five percent cited a company’s culture, including career development and work/life balance; 32
percent said compensation; and 22 percent said the company’s strength. Eleven percent listed other
factors, including the commute and the job title.
When asked what a prospective employer could offer that would make them accept a job, the workers
said: a sound business plan, opportunity to grow and interesting work.
Because many techies have worked for companies that no longer exist, they are far more likely than
others to scrutinize a company’s business model before taking a job. It might sound odd if a candidate
for a newspaper reporting or auto mechanic position questioned the prospective employer about the
business model. Newspapers and car repair shops have been around as long as anyone can remember.
But there’s nothing strange about a candidate asking a software developer or Web design studio about
the nature of their business, since so many have sunk in recent years.
The South Florida Interactive Marketing Association will host a presentation called “Google:
Demystifying Search,” 6:30-8:30 p.m. Feb. 10 at the Riverside Hotel in Fort Lauderdale. Ron
Carpinella, a regional manager for Google, will be the speaker. For more information, www.sfima.com.
The South Florida Technology Alliance named Joel Ledlow, CEO of Boca Raton-based Acarra,
president. Other officers include: Deborah Vasquezof Protech, vice president; Elizabeth Bates of
Consultrex, secretary; Bill McGloin of KPMG, treasurer; Brian Nelson of Edwards & Angell, legal
Tech stat of the week: Even as the Internet has become almost essential for gathering information on
health care, only 31 percent of Americans age 65 and over have ever gone online, according to a study
by the Washington-based Kaiser Family Foundation. However, 70 percent of the next generation of
seniors (ages 50-64) have been online.
Only 21 percent of those 65 and older have surfed the Internet to look for health information, compared
to 53 percent in the 50-64 age group.
Ian Katz can be heard talking about tech every Monday at 8:10 a.m. on WFTL (850-AM). He can be
reached at email@example.com or 954-356-4664.
Copyright © 2005, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
IT pros see lot of major cons to their chosen field Page 2 of 2
PROTECH Wins Second Place in South Florida Business Journals’ Business of the Year Awards in HR Category
In annual South Florida Business Journal Business of the Year awards, PROTECH took home second place in the the Human Resources under $10 Million Category.
LATEST NEWS January 10, 2005
Tech Alliance plans employment panel
A nonprofit organization that works to foster technology development and discussion plans a
presentation to help employers learn about the latest industry employment trends and how to
improve their appeal to recruit and keep the best employees.
The South Florida Technology Alliance said its “Outlook 2005: Attracting, Retaining and
Developing Talent,” is to begin at 6:30 p.m., Jan. 27. A networking reception starts an hour
Deborah Vazquez, Protech chief executive officer, is to moderate a panel discussion to feature
insights and findings from local experts in corporate technology, human resources, search and
staffing, software development and education.
Panel members are to include Bill Hicks, Ultimate Software chief information officer; Alicia
Blain, Visa International vice president of information systems; Barry Shiflett, Florida
International University’s graduate program director of career management services; Kathleen
Bocek, Campus Management vice president of human resources; and Tom Holmes, JM Family
Enterprises vice president of operations.
The meeting is to be at Citrix Systems, 851 West Cypress Creek Road, in Fort Lauderdale. It costs
$15 for members and $25 for non-members, if registered in advance. To register, go to
© 2005 American City Business Journals Inc.