Digital dominance

Austin named national hot spot for this tech career, says report

Austin named national hot spot for this tech career, says report

Person office work on computer
Artificial intelligence jobs usually command salaries of $109,314 to $142,859. Zackary Drucker/The Gender Spectrum Collection

The Austin area ranks as one of the hotspots in the country for one of the hottest areas of tech expertise — artificial intelligence.

A new report from career website LinkedIn says jobs like artificial intelligence (AI) specialist, machine learning researcher, and machine learning engineer are in particularly high demand in the Austin, Denver, and San Francisco Bay areas. The report features an array of career categories exhibiting the highest year-over-year growth rates in hiring (based on the period from last April to October).

Austin already boasts a robust AI presence, with six of the world’s key players in AI — Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, IBM, and Intel — are major employers in the area. According to the Built In Austin website, 82 AI companies already call the Capital City home.

Furthermore, Analytics Insight names Austin one of the six best places in the world to start an AI company. Likewise, the Re-Work blog ranks Austin among the world’s top 10 cities for AI.

Meanwhile, U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Texas at Austin among the country’s top five schools for undergraduate students studying AI, an arm of computer science that simulates human intelligence. In 2020, the National Science Foundation picked UT as the home of its new $20 million AI Institute for Foundations of Machine Learning.

“The university’s strengths in computer science, engineering, public policy, business, and law can help drive applications of AI,” entrepreneur Amir Husain, founder and CEO of Austin-based AI company SparkCognition, said last year in a UT release. “And Austin’s booming tech scene is destined to be a major driver for the local and national economy for decades to come.”

Globally, AI is a fast-growing specialty among employers. A 2020 report from the World Economic Forum identified AI and machine learning positions as the No. 1 emerging category of jobs. Ninety-three percent of U.S. companies surveyed by the organization indicated they had adopted AI technology. Grand View Research predicts the global AI market will soar to $733.7 billion by 2027.

In 2019, Austin-based job website Indeed reported that average salaries for the highest-paid AI jobs in the U.S. ranged from $109,314 to $142,859.

Austin isn’t the only Texas metro area highlighted in the LinkedIn jobs report.

The report pinpoints Dallas-Fort Worth as one of the hottest U.S. markets for user experience (UX) specialists, including UX consultants, designers, and researchers. And the Houston area gets a nod from LinkedIn as one of the top U.S. markets seeing demand for creators of digital content, such as podcasters, bloggers, writers, and strategists.

In 2019, the tech sector in Texas wielded an economic impact of $141.7 billion and employed more than 1 million people (including AI engineers, UX designers, and digital content creators), according to CompTIA, a trade association for the IT industry.

“Technology powered job growth and economic gains in the past decade in Texas and across the country while delivering countless benefits in how we work, communicate, create, and share,” Todd Thibodeaux, president and CEO of CompTIA, said in a 2020 release.