Illinois’ app industry has grown at an enviable rate over the past few years, and is projected to hold this status going into the future. Today Illinois employs the seventh-largest amount of software app developers in the nation. Between 2010 and 2014 the number of these professionals statewide has increased by nearly 50 percent to today’s current level of 28,270 professionals, who earn an average salary of $85,740.
Illinois’ average job growth rate of 8.31 percent between 2012 and 2022 pales in comparison with the projected growth rate for app developers. During this time frame the Illinois Department of Employment Security projects there will be 970 app developer job openings across the state each year, which comes out to a growth rate of 25 percent – more than three times the average job growth rate.
The benefits the state gains from successful app developers serves as an economic stimulus. According to 2012 estimates released by CTIA The Wireless Association, Illinois’ app industry generates $847 million in revenue each year. Of course, state law makers and business leaders have recognized the benefits of fostering a healthy app industry in the state, and have therefore supported upgrades in Illinois’ wireless networks to support the widespread adoption of smartphones and other mobile wireless devices.
Infrastructure Underlying Illinois App Industry
Today the FCC estimates there are more than 8.1 million smartphones and other wireless devices in circulation throughout Illinois. This has been made possible by improvements in the state’s wireless coverage areas as well as network speed.
The vast majority of all Illinois residents can choose between at least four internet providers, with the Shawnee National Forest being the only area of the state where a wireless connection may be difficult.
According to a report from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, 96.90 percent of Illinois residents have access to broadband internet that is at least 10 Mbps, while 87.53 percent of residents have access to speeds of at least 25 Mbps.
The number of internet and wireless providers has also grown in Illinois, increasing by 20 from 2009 to the beginning of 2014 for a total of 160 statewide. Over that same period of time residential internet connections have increased from 3.9 million to 9.9 million. Today approximately 44 percent of Illinois households are wireless-only.
As mobile devices continue to increase in importance, so too will apps and the people who create them.