Sources say the next Silicon Valley could be in Arkansas

    4:44 PM, Oct 27, 2011   |    comments
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    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- A new report says that the next Silicon Valley isn't in big metropolitan areas, but in small town U.S.A.

    Two counties in Arkansas are on a list of potential growth areas, Saline County at number eight out of 20 and Craighead County listed at number one.

    According to the report by Business Insider, all of the locations on the list have unemployment rates as much as five points below the national average and the top five have a broadband availability rate at 100 percent.

    It's something you may never have imagined -- the next big idea coming out of a place like Saline County, but Tech experts are making note of this growing area and Computer Science Department Chair, Dr. Remzi Seker says technology jobs are needed.

    "Any job is going to require some sort of IT knowledge or skill."

    Dr. Seker says that demand is only going to increase.

    This week in Business Insider, an online publication, Saline County and Craighead County are among the top ten rural areas where internet business may develop.

    Dr. Seker says bringing some truth to a theory developed by a professor at UC Berkeley.

    "It's called the IT cottage industry, even in small villages today, the skillful people, the people who have great ideas can implement an application and provide it to people's consumption"

    Which for rural America is now easier than ever with the expansion of high-speed internet.

    Dr. Seker says you don't even have to be a good coder anymore to develop software applications--it's as easy as dragging and dropping your idea into a program.

    "There is this huge opportunity for people to develop skill sets of building applications for mobile devices"

    Dr. Seker says, he's skeptical Saline County could become the next Silicon Valley, but encourages the entire state to embrace technology.

    "Why should we want to be the Silicon Valley and not find our niche as a state."

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