Texas gains software tech jobs in Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth
Efforts by Texan cities to attract more software-related jobs are working, although the state’s growth is still lagging behind some other tech-friendly parts of the US, according to a recently released report.
And while Austin is gaining more prominence as a Silicon Valley-like travel destination, nearly 40% of Texas jobs that are directly related to computing, software design, and publishing are actually in Dallas-Fort Worth.
“Of course Austin is getting a lot of attention and there has been a lot of movement in Austin, but employment growth in the Dallas-Fort Worth area is 11%, one percentage point higher than in Texas as a whole (as of 2018),” said Chris Hopfensperger, managing director of Software. org: The BSA Foundation, a non-profit organization created to support the industry and influence public policy regarding new technology.
In a report released Tuesday, Software.org reported that Texas now employs 244,830 directly in software-related jobs. The report was produced in collaboration with the Economist Intelligence Unit and includes data from federal labor statistics, census figures, and other sources.
Of those Texas jobs, about 109,000 are in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, up from about 98,000 in 2018, Hopfensperger said.
But many other states grew faster than Texas.
According to the report, the states of Idaho, Nevada, and Washington saw software jobs grow more than 25% from 2018 to 2017.
And California still has the highest number of software jobs overall at 618,968 jobs. This makes California the only state with a total of more software jobs than Texas.
Nationwide, 3.3 million people worked directly in software jobs in the United States last year, according to the report.
The Software.org organization includes board members from some of the largest players in software, including Adobe, Microsoft, and IBM.
In Fort Worth, business and government leaders have been speaking for several years about the need to create more high-tech, high-paying jobs in the area.
Les Kreis, who co-founded Fort Worth venture capital firm Bios Partners, built expertise in identifying overlooked biotechnology markets, said it was critical that Fort Worth become more competitive in order to attract all types of tech companies.
And, according to Kreis, that means creating an environment in which startup companies feel empowered to take risks with their high-tech ideas.
“I think the missing link in Fort Worth is just technology, period,” he said. “Software is only part of it. I wouldn’t say software is central. “
Greg Head is the founder of Gregslist.com, a company providing a platform for 666 software companies in Dallas-Fort Worth to post job vacancies. There are currently 442 job vacancies listed on the website.
While much of the growth shown in the Software.org report is due to North Texas’ large employers with an established workforce – AT&T, Texas Instruments, Lockheed Martin – the region needs to do more to keep smaller startups a better one Option for potential employees, Head said.
While some of these smaller businesses may stall or fail, some of them will grow fantastically – and that potential for success can lead to a culture shift in the region.
“In Silicon Valley and Austin, the common culture is never to work for the big companies. Always work for the crazy little businesses, ”Head said. “We need Dallas and Fort Worth to be crazier with our entrepreneurial, tech companies.”
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Gordon Dickson joined the Fort Worth Star Telegram in 1997. He’s excited about the hard news coverage. His beats include transportation, growth, urban planning, aviation, real estate, jobs, and business trends. Originally from El Paso, he loves food, football and long car trips.