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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.

The University of Houston campus has 30 new members — self-driving, food-delivering robots. Photo courtesy of UH

For a small delivery fee of $1.99, students, faculty, and staff across the University of Houston campus can now get their lunch delivered by self-driving robots.

Thirty of San Francisco-based Starship Technologies' autonomous delivery robots now roam the campus thanks to a partnership with New York-based Chartwells Higher Education. The Houston campus is the first to roll out robotic food deliveries.

"This revolutionary delivery method will make it more convenient for the campus community to take advantage of our diverse dining program from anywhere on campus while expanding the hours of operation," says Emily Messa, associate vice president for administration, in a news release. "By opening our campus to this innovative service, which is paid for by the customers, the university didn't have to spend any money purchasing the technology, yet we're enhancing our food delivery capabilities."

Through the Starship Deliveries app, which is available on iOS and Android, users can select from 11 dining institutions and then identify where they are on campus. The platform allows the user to track the progress, and the device can hold up to 20 lbs of food and has the space for about three shopping bags of groceries.

"This increases our capacity to reach more customers, and I expect the robots will quickly become part of campus life," says David Riddle, Chartwells resident district manager, in a news release. (Chartwells manages UH Dining). "Robot delivery will also grow opportunities for UH Dining employees by increasing service hours and growing sales. It has also created additional jobs for students dedicated specifically to servicing the autonomous robots. It's an important advancement for foodservice at UH."

Using machine learning, artificial intelligence and sensors, the company's robots have driven over 350,000 miles and completed over 150,000 deliveries. The Starship robots "can cross streets, climb curbs, travel at night and operate in both rain and snow," per the release.

"Robotic delivery is affordable, convenient and environmentally friendly," says Ryan Tuohy, senior vice president of business development for Starship, in the release. "We're excited to start offering students, staff and faculty at Houston delivery within minutes when they need it most."