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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.

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Building Houston

 
 

Growing Houston blockchain startup has raised $4 million to go toward supporting sales growth. Graphic courtesy of Data Gumbo

An industrial blockchain-as-a-service startup based in Houston has closed a series B funding round thanks to support from both new and returning investors.

Data Gumbo Corp., which uses its blockchain network GumboNet to optimize smart contracts for oil and gas supply chains, announced its first close in its $4 million series B funding round that was led by new investor L37, which has operations in the Bay Area and in Houston. The round also saw contribution from returning investors Equinor Ventures and Saudi Aramco Energy Venture.

The funds will go toward growing Data Gumbo's sales team, which has been busy with the company's growth. While providing their own set of challenges and obstacles, both the pandemic and drop in oil prices meant oil and gas companies are prioritizing lean operations — something DataGumbo is able to help with.

"The opportunity in all this is companies have got to cut expenses," Andrew Bruce, CEO and founder, tells InnovationMap. "What's happened to us is our sales have absolutely exploded — in a good way. We have a huge number of leads, and we have to be able to deliver on those leads."

Bruce says leading the sales growth is Bill Arend, who was hired Data Gumbo's chief commercial officer this spring. Data Gumbo also recently announced that Richard Dobbs, 30-year veteran of McKinsey and former director of the McKinsey Global Institute, has joined the board as chairman.

"Dobbs is a recognized strategic industry thinker," Bruce says in a release. "His distinct expertise will lend structure, support and validation to Data Gumbo as we experience aggressive company growth."

Of course, fundraising in this unprecedented time, isn't easy. Bruce says he and his team were able to succeed thanks to a new investor, L37, which came from an introduction within Bruce's network.

"Data Gumbo is the category leader for industrial smart contracts, which is an inevitable next step in digital transformation of the oil and gas industry," says Kemal Farid, a partner in L37, in a statement. "There is a lack of transparency, visibility and accuracy between counterparts of contracts that increases the costs of doing business and this has been greatly exacerbated by the current business landscape. We look forward to applying our experience to propel the company along its journey to bring transactional certainty and cost efficiency to commercial relationships."

Additionally, Bruce says he's very proud of his company's return investors, who are also clients of DataGumbo.

"[We also have] the continuous support by our original investors — Aramco and Equinor — they invested in us not just once but twice," Bruce says. "They have been tremendously supportive, not just from an investor perspective, but also proving the value. We've got multiple projects starting with both of those companies."

Bruce says he already has eyes for another venture capital round — perhaps sometime next year — for Data Gumbo, which has raised $14.8 million to date. However, the company isn't far from profitability and growth from that avenue too.

"We're going to have the luxury of choice," Bruce says. "We want to grow as aggressively as possible so we are probably going to go the venture capital route."

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