Americans Confident in U.S. Tech Leadership Position

Among respondents who disagreed the U.S. is a global technology leader, a lack of quality education was the reason most cited, the Modis survey found.

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More than 60 percent of Americans are confident the U.S. is a global technology leader, and 79.1 percent feel this leadership will continue for the next five years, boding well as the U.S. enters an election year, according to a Modis survey of 1,010 Americans over the age of 18.

Among respondents who disagreed that the U.S. is a global technology leader, a lack of quality education was the reason most cited (56.5 percent).

This was followed by a lack of government support of tech growth (39.3 percent) and a lack of financial investment in tech innovation (38.7 percent).

"More than 94 percent of those we surveyed agreed that technology education was important to maintaining a leadership position," Jack Cullen, president of Modis, told eWEEK. "To help bridge the technology skills gap, there needs to be a greater emphasis on technology education and talent development from educators to employers. We can begin by encouraging students to pursue tech related degrees and employers can work to upskill talent. There are a variety of resources to help candidates increase their IT skills, such as Code School or Khan Academy."

Younger individuals are more willing to relocate; those ages 18 to 25 were most likely to indicate they would relocate, followed by those ages 26 to 34, then by those ages 35 to 54.

"Our survey found that the younger generations--the Millennials and the Gen Ys--are the most willing to relocate, likely because they are early enough in their careers to consider cross-regional relocation," Cullen said. "Across all age groups, though, the most desirable perk is flex time--so the combination of a higher salary and greater flexibility, even if it is in a less-desirable region--may trump staying in a current role. Candidates are willing to move if the offer is attractive enough."

Of those respondents who were willing to relocate, 51.5 percent were most willing to relocate to the Northwest, while 29.5 percent would not be willing to relocate to the Northeast.

Regarding the 2016 presidential elections, 41.2 percent of respondents were not confident that establishing the U.S. as a leader in technology is a priority to the candidates, while 42.1 percent were somewhat confident that it was a priority, and 16.7 percent were very confident.

"The survey does indicate that Americans place importance on the U.S. being a leader in technology, yet many reported they didn’t believe this was a top issue for the candidates," Cullen said. "It will be interesting to see how this issue continues to play out in the election year."