MTSU report: Midstate software development talent ...

MTSU report: Midstate software development talent in demand, growing

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — App developers are the most in-demand tech workers in Middle Tennessee accounting for 17% of all tech job postings, according to a new MTSU report.

The “Software Development Middle Tennessee” report was developed by the Department of Information Systems and Analytics in MTSU’s Jones College of Business in partnership with the Nashville Technology Council.

The report examined job postings for four software development occupations: app developers, systems software developers, web developers and computer programmers.

Dr. Amy Harris, associate professor, Information Systems and Analytics

Dr. Amy Harris

Report author Amy Harris, associate professor in information systems and analytics, moderated a panel of experts from area tech companies earlier this week to discuss the report findings and what they mean for the region.

“There’s a lot of talk about demand for software development talent, so we wanted to examine what that demand looked like for our region,” said Harris. “The study’s findings provide evidence of increased interest in software developers and tech workers in general. Of the 49,000-plus postings tech job postings targeted to Middle Tennessee over the past year, approximately one-quarter were for software development occupations.

“While there isn’t a one-to-one relationship between a job posting and an actual job, the sheer volume of job postings indicates that software development jobs are being marketed heavily in the region.”

Released Wednesday, the report — which includes breakdowns in areas such as most in-demand occupations, job titles, and skills — covers the Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin and Clarksville, TN-KY metropolitan statistical areas, or MSAs.

“Business across every industry rely on software to operate, manage and grow. Successful companies appreciate the competitive advantage of creative software development talent,” explained Brian Moyer, President and CEO of the Greater Nashville Technology Council.  

“This report, produced by Dr. Harris and the MTSU Department of Information Systems and Analytics, is key to understanding our creative software development talent and will provide vital insight to our business and economic development leaders to continue to fuel the growth of Middle Tennessee’s tech community.”

Other report highlights:

  • The number of job postings grew for software development occupations, as well as for tech occupations in general, over the two-and-a-half-year timeframe included in the analysis. The volume of postings grew by 23% from 2017 to 2018. Halfway into 2019, the posting volume is already at 99% of 2018’s volume.
  • For both software development and overall tech, “Software Engineers” was the top-ranking job title. Postings for Software Engineers accounted for 16.4% of the software development postings and 4.7% of the overall tech postings.
  • SQL, a common form of database programming language, is the top-ranking hard skill for both software development and overall tech, appearing in 37% of the software development postings and 20.1% of the postings for overall tech.

This report is part of the Middle Tennessee Tech research program, which has the goal of providing industry, economic development, and academic audiences with data on the current state of the Midstate technology workforce.

— Amy Harris ( and Jimmy Hart (