5 states dominating tech employment
As macroeconomic events — like trade wars, privacy watchdogs and a tightening federal budget — influence the technology industry, the United States tech workforce grows.
In 2018, net tech employment increased by nearly 261,000 jobs, according to the 2019 CompTIA Cyberstates tech workforce report. There are about 11.8 million net technology jobs in the U.S. as of last year.
The 2.3% year-over-year increase was shaped by consistent changes in the modern infrastructure and the growing reliance on software as a service.
CompTIA in part credits the following for spurring new tech jobs:
Cloud and the Edge
Internet of things and ambient computing possibilities
"Hyper" personalization for unique customer experiences
Distributed technology models
Digital-human models for integration in the workplace
The continuation of a skills gap sparks "creative solutions" for hiring requirements
The technology workforce represents almost 8% of all U.S. workers and contributes about $1.8 trillion, or 10%, of the U.S.'s total economy, according to the report.
Software and web developers dominate the majority of tech jobs with a total of about 1.5 million professionals as of 2018. Within the tech industry sectors, however, IT services and custom software services account for about 2.6 million jobs, followed by about 1.7 million R&D, testing and engineering services.
The rest of the jobs are comprised of about 1.3 million in telecommunications and internet services, 1.1 million in tech manufacturing, and nearly 400,000 in packaged software.
The usual suspects, California and New York, lead technology employment, but there is at least one surprise addition to CompTIA's list: Florida.
As the tech economy grows, new strongholds of jobs for the high-skilled workers will emerge. States' ability to attract tech talent often comes down the desire to innovate and a lower cost of living.
Where do the techies live?
Massachusetts is home to the highest concentration of tech workers in its state workforce, followed by Virginia, Washington, Colorado, the District of Columbia and Maryland.
However, the top five states for net tech employment gains in 2018 were California, Florida, Texas, North Carolina and New York.
Many tools users wouldn't be able to function without today came from an upstart's garage in California. The Golden State ranks first for net tech employment, net tech employment jobs added and is considered the most innovative, according to the report.
California is the home to Silicon Valley and its inventions. It also makes a nearly 19%, or $481.7 billion, contribution to California's overall economy.
The median wage in California, where the cost of living is among the highest in the country, is slightly above the national median at $96,237.
Aside from "Florida man…" headlines and Mickey Mouse-shaped ice cream, the Sunshine State ranked just behind California for net tech employment jobs added and came in fourth for net tech employment rank and innovation.
Florida's technology sector adds $71 billion to its state economy, representing nearly 8% of the overall economy.
It's not often Florida appears on national technology lists but the state boasts a 5% year-over-year increase in software and web developers and top schools for IT. The University of Central Florida's Collegiate Cyber Defense team has been a three-time national champion for the Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition Championships.
In addition to fresh college graduates, the temptation to remain in the state is high. While the median wage is decidedly smaller at $69,226, there is no state income tax.
The Longhorn state has long been on the heels of California as an emerging tech hub. It ranked just behind California for net tech employment and came in third for net tech employment jobs added and innovation.
The technology sector adds $141.8 billion to the Texas state economy and workers earn a median wage of $81,858. Austin, Texas and Dallas are among the top 10 cities for IT professionals to work and live, according to an October CompTIA report.
Apple is building a billion dollar campus and Walmart established its growing tech hub with Microsoft in Austin in late 2018.
While North Carolina ranked 13th, for net tech employment, the Tar Heel state had substantial gains in software and web developers, IT services and custom software services and packaged software.
The median wage is about $79,000 with a cost of living just a fraction of that in Silicon Valley. Charlotte, North Carolina ranked as the top city for IT professionals to work and live. Raleigh, North Carolina ranked second.
The cities are have sufficient barbecue to attract top college talent. The college town allure of North Carolina cities creates a climate where companies wanting to set up shop in places that offer an educated workforce.
New York is generally expected to be on a top tech employment list, though the median salary is lower than California at about $87,000, despite comparable costs of living in major cities.
Innovation-wise, New York was just behind California, and ranked third for net tech employment rank. Its tech sector adds nearly $119 billion or 8.1% to its state economy.
New York is often considered the east coast's answers to California's innovation hub and in November of last year, Amazon agreed. As of the end of 2017, New York had the more people employed in technology than any other city.
However, when Amazon named New York the second location for its HQ2, alongside Arlington, Virginia, the state and city officials were too critical of the deal and the plans were nixed.
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