Austin Claims Top Spot As Leading Tech Hub In WFH World


CompTIA’s latest report provides a great look at how the pandemic has impacted tech hubs. For the second year in a row, Austin clinched the number #1 spot as the go-to city for tech jobs.

For the second year in a row, Austin has taken the top spot in CompTIA’s U.S. Tech Town IndexOpens a new window . The city has proven to be more resilient in the face of unprecedented change. As writer Adam BluesteinOpens a new window puts it, amid the WFH boom, “Austin could find itself inheriting an entirely new class of workers who don’t actually work here.”

According to CompTIA’s Tech Town Index 2020Opens a new window , Austin, one of the fastest growing cities in the U.S., continues to be an increasingly favorable alternative to more traditional tech hubs like the Bay Area and New York City. The city’s lower cost of living and unique culture and lifestyle make it attractive to IT pros as well as tech companies looking for access to capital and a skilled workforce.

“There’s no doubt remote work is here to stay—even after the pandemic. IT pros are likely to be beneficiaries of such a change, and this could certainly shake things up when it comes to traditional tech hubs,”  Nancy Hammervik, executive vice president of industry relations at CompTIA told Toolbox.

Besides tech majors Apple, Google, Facebook, and Amazon that expanded their footprints in Austin in 2019, the city is also home to 5,500 startups and tech companies, earning it the nickname ‘Silicon Hills.’

See Also: Are Developers Happier in Their Role Amid COVID-19?

Here’s why the Lone Star state continues to outshine Silicon Valley:

  • The cost of living in Austin is 4% lower than the national average, making it one of the most affordable cities as per 2020’s Tech Towns Index Rankings 
  • More than 100 companies moved to Austin in the last two years, which created over 4,600 jobs in the city 
  • In total, companies in Austin posted 68,323 IT jobs between August 2019 and March 2020, a 19,000 year-over-year increase since August 2018

Source: CompTIAOpens a new window

“It’s possible that IT pros who live in costly cities will take advantage of the opportunity to work from anywhere, but I think we’ll continue to see many of our Tech Towns remain centers for innovation and commerce. Despite remote work, companies will want to keep a presence in areas where they have access to capital, culture and tech talent, even if that talent doesn’t need to be in the office five days a week,” Hammervik said.

Meanwhile, Dallas moved up from the seventh to the second position, thanks to a surge in demand for tech professionals, including in Fort Worth and Arlington areas, that played a major role in Dallas’s rise.

  • 178,579 IT jobs were posted in the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metroplex between August 2019 and March 2020, a 32,000 year-over-year increase 
  • Dallas offers a higher median salary ($94,044) than the first-ranked city, Austin ($87,880)

See Also: Biggest Technology Mistakes During the Rush to Remote Work (Plus How to Avoid Them)

So, where’s Silicon Valley? It’s worth noting that with San Francisco slipping to the seventh rank, this is the first time only one Californian tech hub features in the top five.  Raleigh clinched the third rank, followed by San Jose, Charlotte, and Seattle.

Interestingly, CompTIA’s data indicates that despite offering lower opportunities, lower IT growth prospects (8%) than San Jose (11%), and a significantly lower median income ($93,781 vs. $137,100), Raleigh managed to stay afloat and ahead primarily because of its lower cost of living. Raleigh’s cost of living is 4% below the national average, while San Jose’s is 47% higher.

 The report clearly illustrates that IT pros are in demand and have more options than ever before in choosing where to live and work.

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