In two years, Missouri jumped six spots in the State Technology and Science Index, a national benchmark by the Milken Institute that reports on states’ science and technology capabilities that fuel job growth. Here are four numbers that stood out in the 2016 report.
Nearly 700 businesses are started per 100,000 people, the third highest rate nationally, reflecting an entrepreneurial boom, says Sherry Coker, founder of the Mid-America Technology Alliance. “When I started MATA in 2009, there was no eFactory or co-working spaces in Springfield,” she says. “Now, they’re full.”
The average yearly growth of Missouri’s high-tech industries from 2010 to 2015 was just over 7 percent, the third highest nationally. “Large tech companies in St. Louis and Kansas City are thriving,” Coker says. “Their success will ultimately influence the success of smaller, high-tech companies here in Springfield.”
By 2014, the percentage of bachelor’s degrees granted in science and engineering doubled since 2009, but Missouri still ranks 40th nationwide. Coker says the number of local undergraduate and master’s programs has grown recently to include computer science and cybersecurity degrees.
In two years, Missouri fell eight spots in the tech and science workforce readiness ranking. “There’s a skills gap,” Coker says. “We have so many experienced professionals who are getting ready to retire, but the individuals we have to replace them are lacking the experience to take on those jobs.”