We’ve all heard the saying, “Everything’s bigger in Texas.” Maybe you’re imagining the sheer size of the state (only Alaska has more land mass) or the huge plates of Texas BBQ that make your mouth water. Or perhaps you’re picturing big hair, big cowboy hats, and big crowds at the local rodeo.
But have you ever thought of Texas for its huge tech industry? You should. As of 2019, Texas was second only to California in net technology employment, and even with the ongoing pandemic, Texas still has IT jobs to fill.
When considering cities with a large technology presence, Dallas might not be top of mind. Yet, as of May 2020 and despite decreases in job postings due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Dallas metro area ranked third in tech job openings, trailing only Washington and New York. Here are three big reasons Dallas is the next place to take your tech career.
1. The Next Silicon Valley
As early as 2015, Dallas was getting buzz as a tech city to watch. Thanks to its combination of low unemployment, median tech salaries above the city average, the presence of major companies, and lots of venture capital funding, Dallas was one of several cities seen as potential alternatives to Silicon Valley.
Fast forward to today and Dallas tech companies employ nearly 43 percent of Texas’s technology professionals. Pre-coronavirus, CompTIA, a nonprofit tech association that provides IT industry resources, estimated that IT jobs in Dallas would grow by 10 percent over the next 5 years, and while the pandemic has changed predictions, the outlook is still positive.
Most significantly, several of Silicon Valley’s big tech companies have identified Dallas as a future corporate hub. Uber, for one, is planning to establish their largest corporate hub outside of Silicon Valley in Dallas. Although Uber did have to make cuts to its workforce and pause hiring as a result of the pandemic, its long-term strategic plans remain the same. Similarly, as the IT industry continues to adapt to the pandemic, Facebook identified several cities as future remote-work hubs including Dallas.
2. A Hub for Business
In addition to the Silicon Valley tech giants, the Dallas-Fort Worth area is home to dozens of large companies including American Airlines, Bank of America, and AT&T to name a few. The city also boasts a history of commerce and innovation that goes back to its early days. Originally a small frontier town, Dallas grew to become a major center of the cotton, railroad, merchant, oil, and financial industries.
Today, Dallas’ growing IT industry includes everything from mobile app development to global energy production. According to a report put out by the Office of the Texas Governor, the Texas IT services industry is also highly specialized in the areas of computer systems design, computer programming, and data management services.
More recently, Dallas has become known as a great city for startups thanks, in part, to its demographics. With more than 60 percent of the city’s population under working age, Dallas is full of future tech talent ready to make an impact.
3. The Best of Southern Living
Beyond its industry and business credentials, Dallas is a city with personality. While the Big D may be famous for the assassination of JFK, it’s also known for its live music, professional sports teams like the Dallas Cowboys and Texas Rangers, and the nation’s largest arts district.
With a warm climate and good weather year-round, Texas’s cities are great for young professionals while the space and average cost of living make the suburbs appealing to many families. According to data from PayScale, the average cost of living in Dallas is only 2 percent higher than the national average. Although housing expenses are on the rise, the city is still seen as an affordable place to live, especially for IT professionals relocating from more expensive markets like California.
While the long-term effects of the pandemic on the IT industry can’t yet be determined, we have seen a rapid acceleration in remote work that is changing the way people think about their IT career. Many technology professionals now have the flexibility to work from anywhere. As result, some are starting to move away from established technology hubs like San Francisco and Seattle to cities that offer all the benefits without the cost. As the Texas tech industry continues to grow, Dallas offers IT professionals some big and compelling reasons to make the move.
Searching for tech opportunities in Texas? IDR is here to help. Get in touch with our IT staffing experts in Dallas and Fort Worth today!