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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.

Technology is changing America's pastime, and the Houston Astros have the lead off. Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Over the past decade or so, sports franchises have seen a boom in technology integration. The fact of the matter is that both the teams and the players need to tap into tech to have a competitive advantage on the field — and especially when it comes to the business side of things.

"Technologically advanced companies want to do business with technologically advanced companies," says Matt Brand, senior vice president of corporate partnerships and special events at the Houston Astros. "Old cats like me need to realize you have to stay current or else you're just going to get passed up."

Brand was the subject of a live recording of HXTV — the video arm of Houston Exponential — at The Cannon. He addressed several trends in sports technology, and shared how the Astros are approaching each new hot technology.

The Astros are pretty ahead of the curve when it comes to technology, Brand says, and the trick is keeping a pulse on potential game-changing technology far in advance of implementation.

"The things that we're developing now in 2019 and 2020 are the thing that are going to help us in 2024 and 2025," Brand says.

The approach to technology in sports is changing as younger players enter the scene.

"This generation of players want all the technology they can get," Brand says. "They want what's going on up to the day."

From esports to sports betting sites, here's what the hometeam has on its radar, according to brand.

The evolution of pitching technology

One aspect of the game that's been greatly affected by technology is pitching. Brand says that pitching coach, Brent Strom, is better able to do his job nowadays that there's better quality video and monitoring technologies. Brand cited the transformations of former pitcher Charlie Morton and current pitcher Ryan Pressly. Both saw impressive transformations in their pitching ability thanks to Strom and his technology.

"Brent has the ability to take technology and blend it with the craft," Brand says.

The players as industrial machines

One way the franchise thinks about its players is as machines — in the least objectifying way, surely. But Brand compares baseball players to major, expensive oil and gas machines, and in heavy industry, it's very common for a company to drop $30 million or more on a machine. Of course the company would schedule preventative maintenance and service appointments to protect their investments.

"We've got players now who are high performance machines," Brand says, citing players like Justin Verlander. "We want to make sure we have the best technology and the best care around them."

From doctors and nutritionists to the latest and greatest technologies, implementing the best practices is a good way to protect your assets.

Wearables and sleep technology

Another trend within sports is tracking sleep using technology. Wearable devices to track sleep and health are widely used, says Brand, but the Astros weren't comfortable with the constant monitoring.

"They feel like it's an invasion of privacy," Brand says. They feel like the data would be used against them when it came time to negotiate their contracts.

But prioritizing sleep is crucial in a sport where players travel across the country playing 162 games a season. Brand says investing in the players' sleep equipment is something they make sure to do.

Esports

Brand says, somewhat controversial, that esports is pretty low on the franchise's priority list, and there's one reason for that: Money.

"A lot of these sports teams aren't profitable right now," Brand says, noting that he knows that will probably change over the years.

While the teams themselves might not be making money, the number of users of video games makes for a different avenue to revenue.

"The platforms are what we see as profitable," Brand says, explaining how he's seen brands like Nike advertise in gaming apps.

"There's definitely a pathway to profitability, but esports means different things to different people," he says.

Sports marketing and betting

Looking toward the future, Brand says he sees movement coming in marketing and betting within sports.

With mobile devices in the hands of most sports event goers, brands have access to authentic, engaging content.

"Everyone with a phone is a producer of content, and a lot of brands want that content," he says.

Sports betting technologies have seen profitable success in other United States markets that allow it.

"Betting is the next biggest thing in sports," Brand says. "All the major leagues are saddled up with big money there. In Texas, it's illegal still, but it's coming."