Factors Contributing To North Texas’ Emergence As A High-Tech Job Magnet
January 7, 2024
by Elena Garrett, January 6, 2024
North Texas has emerged as a thriving hub for high-tech job opportunities, attracting both established tech giants and startups alike. Cities such as Dallas, Plano, and Frisco are rapidly transforming into magnets for tech professionals due to several key factors.
Business-Friendly Legislation and Initiatives:
A significant contributor to this boom is the region’s business-friendly legislation and initiatives. North Texas stands out for its regulatory environment that favors business growth and innovation. The state’s approach to regulation is often characterized by lower bureaucratic hurdles and more streamlined processes, which are particularly appealing to startups and established companies looking to expand quickly and efficiently.
Tax Incentives and Economic Policies:
Texas’ pro-business stance is further underlined by its tax policies. The absence of a state income tax is a well-known advantage, but the state also offers various incentives and programs designed to support businesses, especially in the tech sector. These incentives include tax credits, grants, and other financial aids that reduce the cost of doing business and encourage investment in technology and innovation.
Support for Entrepreneurship and Innovation:
Local governments and business communities in North Texas have been proactive in fostering an ecosystem that supports entrepreneurship and technological innovation. This is evident through the establishment of tech incubators, accelerators, and partnerships with academic institutions to support research and development. Such initiatives not only provide the necessary infrastructure and resources for startups but also create opportunities for networking and collaboration among tech professionals.
Cities as Catalysts for Tech Growth:
The Dallas – Fort Worth Area (or the DFW as the locals call it) has attracted thousands of both US-based and foreign hi-tech companies of all sizes who are relocating their headquarters to this incredibly fast-growing region.
Here are just a few companies and cities worth mentioning (for the full list, review the web sources cited in the References section):
- Dallas: With its thriving startup ecosystem and a diverse talent pool, Dallas has attracted numerous tech companies across various sectors, including telecommunications, software development, cybersecurity, and e-commerce. Cision, a leader in earned media software and services, and OutboundEngine, a marketing software provider, are both located in downtown Dallas. Texas Instruments, a global semiconductor and manufacturing giant, and Telvista, offering telecommunications solutions, are also based in Dallas. Optimizely, known for its experimentation platform, is another notable tech company in Dallas. Another notable company is AT&T, one of the largest telecommunications providers worldwide. With its strong presence in Dallas and surrounding areas, AT&T has been instrumental in driving advancements in telecommunications infrastructure and services.
- Carrollton: Carrollton hosts Tellabs, an innovation leader in fiber-based technologies, emphasizing fiber optics research and development.
- Irving: Irving has recently attracted the headquarters of Caterpillar, a Fortune 500 company, signifying the area’s growing appeal to large corporations.
- Plano: It hosts several renowned technology companies specializing in telecommunications equipment manufacturing, semiconductor production, and information technology services. Plano’s strategic location near Dallas allows it to benefit from the region’s business-friendly environment while offering a slightly lower cost of living.
- Frisco: Recognized for its state-of-the-art infrastructure, Frisco is becoming a hub for innovation-driven industries like telecommunications and healthcare technology, drawing in companies like Oracle Corporation.
- Westlake: In Westlake, Solera stands out as a top tech company offering risk and assessment software and services, primarily catering to the automotive and property market.
- Fort Worth: The city has experienced substantial growth in recent years due to its focus on emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, aerospace engineering, and biotechnology. Fort Worth’s collaborative business community and access to world-class research institutions have contributed to its success as an attractive destination for tech companies.
Surge in Tech Job Growth:
The number of tech jobs in North Texas has seen significant growth from 2020 to 2023, reflecting the region’s burgeoning status as a major tech hub. In 2021, the Dallas-Fort Worth area (DFW) had a net tech employment of 313,447, ranking it sixth-highest in the country. A substantial portion of these jobs were in software development, programming, web development, and quality assurance. (Dallas Innovates).
Furthermore, the DFW area led the nation in the growth of high-tech jobs from 2021 to 2022, with an increase of 9,784 positions. This surge is part of a broader trend in Texas, which has seen a significant spike in corporate headquarters relocations, particularly during and following the pandemic. For instance, there were 42 relocations in 2020, a record high of 80 in 2021, and 35 in 2022, solidifying Texas as a leading state for Fortune 500 headquarters. This influx of companies and talent is indicative of the state’s strength in various sectors, including semiconductor manufacturing, general manufacturing, energy, IT, biotech, life sciences, corporate services, aerospace, aviation, and defense.
In 2022, CompTIA reported a 5.5% growth in net tech employment in Texas, with over 45,000 new tech jobs created. This trend is expected to continue, with a forecast of an additional 38,400 tech jobs in 2023. Dallas alone was home to approximately 329,000 tech workers, making it one of the largest tech cities in the U.S. (D CEO Magazine).
Amid this tech talent boom, North Texas has also been facing challenges in filling tech vacancies, leading to innovative solutions like software development outsourcing and tech value networks. These strategies have been crucial in bridging the talent gap and maintaining the region’s competitive edge in the tech industry.
Investments and Infrastructure:
Companies like Texas Instruments are expanding in North Texas, with plans to build new manufacturing plants in Sherman. These investments, which could reach up to $30 billion, are expected to create thousands of jobs. Similarly, companies in different sectors, such as Charles Schwab and Walmart, are also contributing to the tech-driven job market in the region (D Magazine).
North Texas’ tech workforce fuels economic growth, with the metro tech labor pool being the sixth-largest in the nation. The area has seen a 16% increase in the number of tech workers, positioning it as a top destination for tech talent (D Magazine).
The growth in the tech sector is also supported by local universities, with institutions like the University of Texas at Dallas, University of Texas at Arlington, and Southern Methodist University offering robust tech degree programs. In 2021, there was a 10.5% increase in tech-related degrees conferred in the DFW area compared to 2017 (Dallas Express).
Demand for Residential and Commercial Real Estate in the DFW Region:
The exponential growth of the high-tech industry in North Texas, marked by the arrival of leading tech companies and the proliferation of innovative startups, is not just reshaping the business landscape. This technological revolution is also having a profound impact on another critical sector: real estate.
As we delve deeper into the dynamics of this tech surge, it’s essential to understand how it’s simultaneously fueling a transformation in the real estate market of North Texas. This transformation is not only redefining the region’s physical infrastructure but also significantly boosting the potential for return on investment in property ventures. Here are five key reasons why the real estate market in North Texas is becoming increasingly attractive for investors, riding the wave of the region’s tech-driven economic growth.
- Increased Demand for Housing and Commercial Spaces: The influx of tech companies and professionals is driving up demand for both residential and commercial real estate. This demand is likely to result in higher property values and rental rates, making real estate investments in North Texas more lucrative.
- Economic Growth and Job Creation: The burgeoning tech industry in North Texas is fueling economic growth and creating high-paying jobs. This economic prosperity increases the purchasing power of residents, thereby elevating the demand for quality housing and commercial properties, which can be a positive indicator for real estate investors.
- Infrastructure Development and Urban Renewal: With the tech boom, there’s a corresponding increase in infrastructure development. Upgraded transportation networks, improved utilities, and the construction of modern facilities make North Texas cities more attractive for living and working, thereby enhancing real estate appeal.
- Attracting a Diverse Workforce: The tech industry tends to attract a diverse and skilled workforce, including young professionals and families. This demographic shift can lead to a higher demand for diverse housing options, from apartments to family homes, and a vibrant community life, all of which can boost the real estate market.
- Long-Term Stability and Growth Potential: The tech industry’s expansion in North Texas shows signs of long-term stability and growth. This sustained economic vitality provides confidence to real estate investors about the continuous appreciation of property values in the region.
The Future of Tech in North Texas:
The combination of a skilled workforce, strategic location, supportive business environment, and government backing has solidified North Texas as a leading emerging tech market. The region’s unique landscape, marked by job opportunities, affordability, and a thriving business climate, continues to attract attention. This multifaceted development, bolstered by business-friendly legislation and initiatives, is transforming North Texas into a key player in the national tech landscape, positioning cities like Dallas, Plano, and Frisco at the forefront of this technological revolution in the United States. (Dallas Innovates, Dallas Express).
Bridging the Tech Talent Gap: A Deep Dive into the North Texas Tech Scene >> Dallas Innovates”, dallasinnovates.com, Unknown, https://dallasinnovates.com/bridging-the-tech-talent-gap-a-deep-dive-into-the-north-texas-tech-scene-4321/
Dallas-Fort Worth outranks Silicon Valley in new report of best U.S. tech hubs – CultureMap Fort Worth”, fortworth.culturemap.com, https://fortworth.culturemap.com/news/city-life/12-17-20-dallas-fort-worth-beats-silicon-valley-top-tech-cities-comptia/
New Tech Companies in Dallas Lead to Growth of Suburbs”, wildcatranchtexas.com, https://wildcatranchtexas.com/migration-of-tech-companies-in-dallas-leads-to-growing-suburban-residential-communities/
Largest Tech Companies in Texas”, history-computer.com, https://history-computer.com/largest-tech-companies-in-texas/
Is Dallas A Tech Hub? Yes, And It’s Growing Rapidly | Built In”, builtin.com, https://builtin.com/dallas/dallas-tech-hub
Top 15 Most Famous Tech Companies in Dallas – Discover Walks Blog”, discoverwalks.com, https://www.discoverwalks.com/blog/united-states/top-15-most-famous-tech-companies-in-dallas/