Former Senior Vice President, Chamber Technology Engagement Center
March 27, 2017
It wasn’t too long ago that technology was considered its own business sector. But now – from transportation and energy to finance and medicine – technology is deeply integrated across sectors and across our economy. Businesses rely on technology to interact with their customers, improve their services, and make their operations more globally competitive. Technology is transforming all industries, which helps grow our economy.
By transforming these industries, technology is also creating the jobs of the future. New jobs are being created across our economy; they can be seen anywhere from transportation logistics to programmers and radiologists. In 2016 there were 6 million jobs in the U.S. technology industry with expected growth of 4.1% this year.
It can be intimidating to see technology change the modern workforce. But to think that robots will take away everyone’s jobs misinterprets the growth that comes as a result of innovation. Each high-tech job created creates five additional jobs in other sectors like construction, law, medicine, education, and retail.
Internet of Things (IoT), autonomous vehicles, unmanned aerial vehicles, and artificial intelligence are some of the many advanced technologies that will fundamentally change our economy and how we work. To keep America on the cutting edge, here are three things that America’s technology companies need:
- A well-trained workforce. Technology means constant change, and investing in human capital will determine which country leads the innovation race. America must focus on training people in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) for both children and adults. This requires improvements at the K-12 level as well as embracing many forms of training from colleges and universities to community and technical schools to apprenticeships and online education.
- Improved infrastructure. Accelerate investment and infrastructure deployment at all levels. Knock down the many regulatory barriers to much-needed infrastructure improvements and make sure modernizing involves speedy deployment of IoT technologies.
- Regulators on the same page. Deploying advanced technology like autonomous vehicles and unmanned aerial vehicles across the country runs into an uncertain, uncoordinated patchwork of state and federal regulations. Government should examine existing regulations to ensure they support and not obstruct advanced technologies.
It’s an exciting time for technology. With the right policies and investments, it can continue to innovate, grow, create jobs, and improves the lives of all Americans.
NOTE: On Thursday, March 30 at 12:00pm EDT, U.S. Chamber Technology Engagement Center (C_TEC) Senior Vice President Tim Day participated in a Facebook Live discussion about the state of American technology. Watch it below:
About the authors
Tim Day is the former senior vice president of C_TEC (Chamber Technology Engagement Center) at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.