Gone are the days when Silicon Valley dominated the technology field. Tech jobs are sprouting up like mushrooms in metros across the U.S., and that’s rocket fuel for those housing markets. For real estate investors, it’s not only important to know about existing tech hubs, but to keep track of IT jobs in general, and which cities will be doing all the hiring.
Menlo Park-based Robert Half Technology released its “State of U.S. Tech Hiring” recently. It’s the result of a survey of more than 2,800 executives responsible for hiring new IT professionals. These are not small companies — they each have at least 100 employees — but they also include any kind of companies hiring IT workers, not just technology companies.
Robert Half executive, Robert Vaughn, told the Houston Business Journal, “It’s not just companies that specifically make technology software or technology initiatives that we work with,” he says, “It’s different manufacturing companies, health care companies, oil and gas companies. There’s not a limit on the type of company.” (1)
Houston Tops List for Tech Hiring
According to the Robert Half report, the city that ranked the highest for tech hiring plans is Houston. The Robert Half team surveyed 100 companies in the Houston metro. 80 of them said they have big hiring plans, and 74 of them have already included those plans in their 2019 budget.
Vaughn says, if you are a tech worker looking for a job, there are plenty of position in Houston but that you probably won’t be working at a tech company. He says, “Houston is probably more corporation-driven in terms of the workplace compared to the Amazons, the Facebooks, and the Googles.” He says, “We don’t really have that presence here in Houston.” But, Houston companies are planning to boost their tech talent.
Other Top Cities for Tech Hiring
The survey lists 28 cities as top cities for tech hiring. Some of the other top cities include Charlotte, North Carolina where 77% of those IT decision-makers say they’ll be hiring. Phoenix, Chicago, and Dallas also have high numbers along with cities in the Southeast like Miami, Washington, D.C., and Nashville.
Possibly more impressive is the confidence that they have for growth. 97% of them expect to report strong growth in the first half of the new year. They also offered details on the top skills they are looking for. It may come as no surprise, that cybersecurity is first on the list. Various aspects of cloud computing are also in high demand, along with business intelligence and reporting services.
Top 10 High-Tech Markets
It’s also good to keep your finger on the pulse of existing tech hubs. Cushman & Wakefield recently published its annual report on tech cities, called Tech Cities 2.0. It attempts to identify both existing and emerging tech hubs, as well as the economic impact they have in the commercial real estate market.
The report generated city lists in three major categories starting with cities where tech is critical to the local economy. The other two categories include cities where tech is either “key” or “important” to the business environment. (2)
You’ll find your typical tech powerhouse cities on the critical list including San Francisco, Silicon Valley, San Diego, Seattle, Austin, and Washington, D.C.. Other cities where the economy is heavily dependent on tech include Boston, Provo Utah, Raleigh/Durham North Carolina, and Salt Lake City.
The findings show that Provo has been the fastest growing tech market for the last eight years, since 2010, although it’s still a smaller market than other tech hubs. But this past year, the tech workforce in Provo grew almost 65%, which beat San Francisco.
Among the top 25 tech markets, commercial property prices have skyrocketed. The report says they’ve gone up almost 60%, on average. Some of the biggest price bumps have been in Austin, Silicon Valley, and San Francisco.