Data-related jobs of growing importance

Kitty McConnell

How much new data do businesses & consumers store every year?

Thirteen exabytes.

That's according to a report cited in the US Commerce Department's report on "The Importance of Data Occupations in the U.S. Economy," released in early March. One exabyte is equal to 4,000 times the amount of information catalogued by the Library of Congress. And taken in 2010, that measure of data usage has undoubtedly increased by 2015.

"Private sector industries with the highest concentration of data occupations added 1.8 million jobs over the last decade, representing about 31 percent of total private job growth which was four times faster than in private industries overall," according to the report summary.

The definition of a data-related job is wide and variable. Statewide, federal labor statistics indicate a rise specifically in Ohio's computer design & service jobs (top graph) over the past decade, a trend mirrored in the Columbus metro area (bottom graph):

This month's Columbus CEO cover article is a deep dive into the infrastructure and economic forces girding the Columbus region's growing data center industry, with experts forecasting the benefits the sector will bring to central Ohio.