The East and West Coast tech scenes often get more screen time, but tech communities like the Dallas metro area are a vital part of the U.S. tech industry. The third largest city in the Lone Star state has often been recognized as one of the fastest-growing, most appealing IT job markets in the United States.
But with the nationwide competition for that sovereign spot, the best tech sectors need to consistently fight for their place in the sun. How does the Dallas IT job market stack up in 2016 and where do we expect it to go in the coming years?
Where the Dallas IT Job Market Ranks
Dallas is still regularly recognized as a smart bet for IT professionals in search of work. A study conducted by SmartAsset set out to find which cities, both large and small, offer the most attractive situations for tech workers. They looked at what percentage of the local workforce was employed in tech fields, how the average wage compared to the national scale, and how the overall cost of living index stacked up to the U.S. average. Dallas was strong on several fronts.
Take tech salaries. SmartAsset found that the average tech salary in Dallas is 70 percent higher than the national average. And the percentage of the local workforce involved in the Dallas IT job market? In 2015, Dallas tech workers made up 4.9 percent of the workforce, growing almost a full percentage point from the year before.
Even the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the Dallas professional services sector, which includes information technology, has grown 1.8 percent faster than the national mean. That bodes well for job seekers entering the market.
The Dallas Startup Community Is Strong
The startup side of the Dallas IT job market has had explosive growth in recent years. Looking at the numbers from Dallas Startup Week 2016 alone gives an idea of the local scope. In 2015, there were 2,200 people who attended the startup events and talks given around the Dallas metro area. In 2016, the number of Dallas Startup Week attendees rose to 5,241, a new record. Few national startup weeks can claim those numbers.
The robust nature of the Dallas startup community is helping to strengthen the bonds of the tech community. Moreover, the sheer variety of different tech industries that these startups serve goes to show that Dallas is not a one horse town. After a shaky end to 2015, Dallas-Fort Worth startups raised $104.1 million in venture capital funding. That amount is four times greater than Q4 of last year. There is even a local venture capital fund that has just taken root in the Dallas area.
Data Science: The Hottest Talent in the Market
The Dallas IT job market continues to offer opportunities across the expanse of tech positions. Our recruiters find that certain positions like Network Engineers and .Net Developers are evergreen roles sought after year over year. However, the local job market is always changing and there has been a recent surge in the call for data scientists, making the local demand almost palpable.
Businesses at several ends of the spectrum are adamant about acquiring IT professionals with big data skills. Many long-running Dallas business leaders, those with petabytes of historic data left untapped, are clamoring for the skills of data scientists to better predict historic and future trends, subsequently leveraging that knowledge for strategic decisions.
Healthcare businesses are also hiring data scientists in greater numbers. The ripple-effects of the ACA have caused a greater variety of mergers and acquisitions within the healthcare community. Look at the recent joint venture between several healthcare corporations. By combining forces across five North Texas hospitals, they strengthened their position and improved the wellbeing of patients. But with their collaboration comes a dire need for expert level data scientists who can interpret their mutual and individual data to spur on action.
Technical skills related to big data have seen a corresponding growth in demand across the Dallas tech sector. Companies are regularly asking for candidates with Hadoop expertise so that they can filter and assess large data sets. Additionally, knowledge of data driven languages and tools like SAS, R, and MATLAB and database extensions like T-SQL and PL/SQL are a surefire way to find work in the Dallas IT job market.
A Big Opportunity for Unrooted Tech Workers
What is the biggest appeal of the Dallas IT job market? Employers have more open positions than they can fill. Trey Bowles, co-founder of the Dallas Entrepreneur Center, said in an interview with the Dallas News that “there’s no problem with demand. People want more talent than we have.” Let’s take that thread of thought to its next logical conclusion: the harder hiring tech talent becomes for companies, the more they will fight for the best contenders in and outside of the local market. Quality candidates will have innumerable opportunities.
Even though opportunities are plentiful, why spend all of your time wading through job openings for the right fit? The Dallas IDR recruiters have the market insight to quickly find you a position that fits your skills and personality. Check out the IDR job list for Dallas opportunities or contact us directly with your resume to get your career moving in the right direction.