What’s the hottest job market for tech talent?
Purely by the number of jobs posted, that would be the San Francisco Bay Area. Between San Jose at the southern end of the bay and San Francisco at the Golden Gate to the north, companies posted 303,466 IT jobs, according to CompTIA’s Tech Town Index.
In sheer numbers, the other metro areas in the Index pale in comparison. Only Washington, D.C. and Dallas come close, posting, respectively, 260,000 and 178,579 jobs in the year ending July 31.
If volume was all there was to consider, then Austin, Texas wouldn’t hold the top position on the Tech Town Index. But it does, because the annual report, as CompTIA explains, “Points IT pros in the direction of where opportunity intersects with affordability and quality of life across the United States.”
With a cost of living far below that of Silicon Valley, and 4% below the national average, Austin’s affordability is 4th among the 20 metro areas included in the Tech Town Index. “That’s a bonus for IT pros who earn a median salary of $87,880 here,” says the report.
Austin is also booming. In 2019 58 tech companies relocated to the metro area bringing with them 4,648 jobs. Collectively, the 5,500 startups and tech firms posted 68,323 jobs in the 12 months covered by the report.
Right behind Austin is Dallas. Between the 2019 and 2020 CompTIA reports, the number of advertised tech positions increased by 22%. Total jobs are projected to grow at 3% next year and, in 5 years, by 11% to 190,000. With a cost of living 2% below the national average, a median tech salary of $94,044 and a vibrant night life and sports teams “tech professionals are finding opportunity and quality of life in Dallas,.” the report says.
Most of the metro areas on the list are familiar tech centers. Seattle, Boston, the Research Triangle metro areas of Raleigh and Durham-Chapel Hill, Denver and Silicon Valley’s San Jose and San Francisco are all represented, the latter two in 4th and 7th place despite their high cost of living.
Some less well-known tech areas such as Madison, Wisconsin and Huntsville, Alabama, home of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, also made the list.
Trenton, New Jersey, which had been among the top 20 metros on the Index in 2018, then fell off a year later, returned in the recent report ranking 20th. “Advertising for nearly 13,000 technology jobs in the past 12 months, the tech economy is on the rise,” the report notes, “and the city’s location is the biggest draw. Located in central New Jersey on the Delaware River, Trenton is easily accessible to both New York and Philadelphia.”