‘Favorable alternative’

Austin again outranks Silicon Valley in new best tech cities report

Austin again outranks Silicon Valley in new best tech cities report

Austin skyline fireworks
Austin took the spot for the second year in a row. franckreporter/Getty Images

Austin continues to outshine the San Francisco Bay Area. For the second year in a row, Austin tops a list of the best tech towns in the U.S., with both Silicon Valley and San Francisco slipping in the third annual ranking.

Based on job-posting data from August 2019 to July 2020, the CompTIA trade group looked at 20 metro areas with populations over 250,000 and where demand for tech workers is greatest. CompTIA then ranked the metros on cost of living, number of postings for IT jobs, and projected IT job growth over the next year as well as the next five years. The analysis placed Austin in first place.

“Home to 5,500 startups and tech companies, Austin has become a favorable alternative to the Bay Area and New York City for companies of all sizes that are looking to grow,” CompTIA says in its Tech Town Index report, released November 10.

The Capital City ranked first in CompTIA’s 2019 and 2020 reports and third in the inaugural 2018 report, besting Silicon Valley every year. By comparison, San Jose, California, holds the No. 4 spot this year, down one spot from 2019, while San Francisco appears at No. 7 this year, down from No. 5 the year before. 

Sandwiched between Austin and San Jose in this year’s ranking is Dallas-Fort Worth (No. 2) and Raleigh, North Carolina, (No. 3)

CompTIA says more than 100 tech companies have relocated to the Austin area in the past two years, adding more than 4,600 jobs. IT job postings continue to grow in the region, with a year-over-year increase of 19,000 jobs. The group notes that the Austin area remains one of best places to live in terms of cost of living — about 4 percent below the national average and the fourth most affordable market among the 20 metros on this year’s index.

Over the next five years, CompTIA predicts IT job growth of 16 percent job in the Austin area. The region’s median salary for tech professionals is $87,880.

CompTIA identifies these companies that are aggressively hiring IT professionals in Austin:

  • IBM
  • Dell
  • The Home Depot
  • Deloitte
  • Charles Schwab
  • Amazon
  • Apple
  • AMD
  • Visa
  • Accenture

The other Texas metro to make the list is DFW, which jumped from No. 7 last year to No. 2 this year. CompTIA attributes DFW’s leap to the sheer number of IT jobs available (178,579 job postings last year), with projections of more to come (3 percent growth from 2020 to 2021 and 11 percent in the next five years). The median salary for IT professionals in DFW is $94,044. CompTIA says the cost of living in DFW sits 2 percent below the national average.

Rounding out the top ten is Charlotte, North Carolina (No. 5); Seattle (No. 6); Atlanta (No. 8); Huntsville, Alabama (No. 9); and Denver at No. 10.