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New report computes Austin’s status among North America’s tech hubs

New report computes Austin’s status among North America’s tech hubs

Woman working at a computer
With more tech-focused companies moving to Austin, the city will continue to grow as a tech hub. Photo by Laurence Dutton/Getty Images

Austin still reigns as a top-rated tech hub in North America, but its standing in an annual tech ranking slid slightly from 2020 to 2021.

The recently released 2021 Scoring Tech Talent report from commercial real estate services company CBRE puts Austin in the No. 7 slot among North American tech hubs. Austin ranked sixth in last year’s report.

Two factors favoring Austin in the 2021 report are:

  • Austin has the most concentrated millennial tech workforce of any top 50 tech talent market, with 34.6 percent of the entire population falling into the 22-36 age bracket.
  • Austin ranks sixth among the top 50 tech talent markets for educational attainment, with 46.2 percent of the population over age 25 holding at least a bachelor’s degree.

“We are now seeing a new wave of tech companies looking to move or establish an office presence here, with the pandemic just accelerating the rapid growth that Austin has been experiencing for the past 20 years,” says Erin Morales, senior vice president with CBRE’s tech and media practice in Austin.

“Austin has the high-quality talent and lifestyle amenities of other top tech hubs at a significantly lower cost,” Morales adds. “This is why the city will continue attracting companies and people for the foreseeable future. It’s a vibrant, youthful, and accessible place where people enjoy a high quality of life.” 

CBRE defines tech talent as 20 key tech professions, such as software engineers and systems managers, across all industries.

Software developers and programmers account for 38.7 percent of the total tech talent in Austin and commanded an average 2020 wage of $105,404, CBRE says. That puts Austin in eighth place for the concentration and 17th for the average wage among large tech markets.

Preceding Austin in the 2021 ranking are the San Francisco Bay Area, at No. 1; Seattle, No. 2; Washington, D.C., No. 3; Toronto, No. 4; New York City, No. 5; and Boston, No. 6.

Elsewhere in Texas, Dallas-Fort Worth comes in at No. 13, Houston at No. 39, and San Antonio at No. 45.

CBRE’s annual report judges the top 50 North American markets by analyzing 13 measures of their ability to attract and develop tech talent, including tech graduation rates, concentration of tech jobs, size of the tech labor pool, and labor and real estate costs. CBRE also ranks the 25 emerging tech markets on a narrower set of criteria.