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Here's how Houston and Texas rank for tech job growth in the U.S.

Houston's tech growth has been consistent over the past decade, as has the entire state of Texas. Christina Morillo/Pexels

Since 2010, Houston has seen an influx of over 16,800 tech-related jobs added to the workforce, which now includes an estimated 227,788 workers. Both Houston and Texas' tech workers are now estimated to represent over 7 percent of the total workforce.

Texas comes in second nationwide — behind California — for its net tech employment, according to CompTIA's Cyberstates 2019 report, and third for net tech jobs added in 2018 in the study's Cyberstates Innovation Score. Meanwhile, Houston ranks No. 12 out of 46 metros for net tech employment.

"Houston has long been on the leading edge of innovation since our earliest days, thanks to the oil and gas industry, medicine, and NASA," says Mayor Sylvester Turner in a release. "Now, as hub for STEM talent and one of the top cities for attracting millennials, Houston is charting a course to become a leading digital tech hub. We have the legacy know-how, digital smarts and diversity of people and ideas. Houstonians work every day to solve the problems that matter across industries like energy and life sciences. I think that leaves us well-positioned for the future."

While the past decade shows job growth, Houston actually lost its footing a little between 2017 and 2018, the report finds. The Bayou City had a net loss of almost 2,000 jobs in that timeframe. Meanwhile, Houston's emerging tech job postings increased by 140 percent.

While the number of jobs shrunk, the report finds that Houston's tech job median wages are significantly higher — 93 percent higher, to be exact — than the country's median wages. When it comes to tech gross regional product, Houston had a reported $28.1 billion in 2018, which is less than half of what Dallas is estimated to have ($64 billion) and around what Austin had ($31.3 billion).

"Home to several innovative cities, Texas is a real leader in not only attracting tech talent, but also in capturing venture capital funding – $1.5 billion last year – to help startups flourish throughout the state," says Sarah Matz, director of state government affairs for CompTIA in Texas, in a release. "The state's dynamic tech industry plays a vital role in our economy and provides a growing number of high-wage jobs for Texans."

The report, which estimated tech job growth projections for 2026, shows the future looks bright both in Houston and the state as a whole. For Houston, the research predicts a growth of almost 9,000 (5.9 percent) tech jobs by 2026, and Texas is expected to grow by almost 85,000 jobs, a 13.3 percent increase.

Technology wasn't one of Houston's top four growing industries, the report found. The industries that saw the most growth in Houston were construction, manufacturing, health care, and hospitality, respectively. However, when you zoom in on tech specifically, the jobs that had the most growth were software and web developers, computer system and cybersecurity analysts, and computer support specialists.

"As the pace of change in Houston's core industries such as energy, life sciences and manufacturing quickens, Houston has embarked on a broad, community-wide effort to ensure the digital disruptors across these and other sectors bring their talents to bear in Houston," says Bob Harvey, president and CEO of the Greater Houston Partnership, in the release. "We're a city where startups and tech innovators have access to the top customers and leading minds across these fields, reducing friction and speeding time-to-market on game-changing products and technologies."

The study's methodology analyzed data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Economic Modeling Specialists International (EMSI), Burning Glass Technologies, Hoovers, PwC/CBInsights MoneyTree, and more.

Paladin Drones wants eyes in the skies within 30 seconds of an emergency call. Getty Images

When 911 is called, first responders usually arrive at the scene around three or four minutes after the call's placed. But Houston-based Paladin Drones wants to have eyes on the ground ­— or eyes in the sky — within the first 30 seconds.

The company's mission is simple: to outfit public agencies and first-responders with drones that can be autonomously deployed to the site of an emergency. Equipped with thermal sensors and flying around 200 feet high, the drones can give police and firefighters near-instantaneous information on a situation underway.

At the beginning of April, Paladin Drones began working with the Memorial Villages Police Department to respond to incidents in Memorial Villages, Hunter's Creek, Piney Point Village, and Bunker Hill.

"(This is) one of the first departments in the country to be testing this technology," says Paladin Drones co-founder Divyaditya Shrivastava. "We're very limited in the area that we cover, and that's just because we're taking baby steps and going as carefully and deliberately as possible."

Paladin Drones was co-founded by Shrivastava and Trevor Pennypacker. In 2018, the company went through a three-month boot camp at Y Combinator, a California-based incubator that's churned out Dropbox, AirBNB, Instacart and more. Through Y Combinator, Paladin Drones was connected with venture capital investors in Houston.

The company's drones capture critical information, such as a vehicle's color and body type, a suspect's clothing, or the direction a suspect fled the scene. And since roughly 70 percent of 911 calls involve witnesses or passerby giving inaccurate information about the emergency's location, these drones will be able to pinpoint the exact location of an emergency, further aiding the arrival of first responders.

"We're working on tracking technology to give the drones the capability to auto-follow (suspects)," Shrivastava says.

Paladin Drones is looking to hire a handful of employees in the coming months, Shrivastava says. He declined to disclose any information on the company's funding plans, but said it's still involved with Y Combinator in California.

Shrivastava began developing Paladin Drones when he was finishing high school in Ohio. The summer before his senior year, a friend's house burned down. While nobody was injured in the fire, the home was destroyed, and Shrivastava spoke with the local firefighters. Tragically, the 911 call that alerted firefighters of the emergency was one of the 70 percent of calls that involved inaccurate location information.

"If they'd known the exact location, the house would've been saved," Shrivastava says. "A fire doubles every 30 seconds."