NYC tech: Small companies, giant opportunities

Posted by Shankar Mishra

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December 4, 2013

TheLadders study reveals smaller companies have driven 90 percent of the growth in NYC technology jobs.

The U.S. job market has changed dramatically over the past five years. As reported by dozens of media outlets and experts (and recently validated on our blog), the value of STEM skills among job seekers is on the rise. As we dig beyond the national averages and focus on the local job market in New York City, some interesting observations start to emerge.

At first glance, it’s clear that the technology sector in NYC has exhibited stronger-than-average growth over the last five years. There are currently five times as many technology jobs available in NYC than there were in October 2008, while the growth of tech jobs nationwide has only doubled since then. Furthermore, displaying a consistent annual growth pattern, technology jobs in NYC have consistently outpaced the national growth rate each year since 2009.


This level of explosive growth within the NYC technology sector made us wonder which companies were leading this progression. In analyzing our data, we found that company size was a primary factor, as relatively smaller companies (those with fewer than 100 employees), are driving the current tech boom in NYC.  


In 2010, companies with fewer than 100 employees were responsible for less than 15% of the available technology jobs in NYC. That number has increased each year over the last three years, and as of October 2013, more than 60% of the available technology jobs in NYC were with relatively smaller companies. For additional context, this means that in just three years, while the number of jobs available at larger NYC tech companies (more than 100 employees) has remained steady, the number of jobs available at relatively smaller NYC tech companies has multiplied 14 times. What’s more, over the past four years, smaller companies have driven about 90% of the growth of NYC technology jobs.

However, despite this shift towards smaller companies, job seekers unjustifiably prefer larger technology companies. While the volume of technology jobs at smaller NYC companies has grown 14 times over the past three years, there hasn’t been much of an uptick with job applications. It is the large technology companies (more than 1,000 employees) that are generating the highest volume of job applications (20x the average volume).

For the tech community, this study should prompt those with STEM skills to look beyond company size and brand recognition when considering their next career move, for it’s the less-obvious, smaller companies that are hiring. For New York City as a whole, this study is a great indication that the local tech landscape is not only healthy, but thriving. As these smaller companies continue to grow, organically and through acquisitions, more of the world’s top tech talent will begin calling New York City home.

Shankar_Mishra_-_TheLadders_VP_Data_Science_and_Analytics_HIGH-RESShankar Mishra is the Vice President of Data Science and Analytics at TheLadders. When he is not working to find a simpler solution to difficult problems, he is brainstorming ways to leverage available data to tell a good story. Some of this brainstorming may very well take place on a golf course with three strangers in his foursome.

Topics: TheLadders Insights