Study: Tech talent in flyover country is an opportunity market

A map of the US showing emerging tech markets

CBRE’s Next 25 from its Scoring Tech Talent Report for 2022, Image: CBRE

CBRE released its annual Scoring Tech Talent Report for 2022, and identified several cities as opportunity markets, ready to jump into the action.

The study’s Next 25 Markets ranks Huntsville, Ala., as No. 1, with Dayton No. 2; Colorado Springs, Colo. No. 3; Omaha, Neb. No. 4; Des Moines, Iowa No. 14; Louisville, Ky.  No. 18; and Oklahoma City, Okla.  No. 21.

“Fostering talent development in lesser-known and underdeveloped U.S. and Canadian markets could offer additional talent pools to employers seeking to expand their geographical reach and uncover opportunities,” the report said. “These 25 smaller markets represent potential, and in the U.S. are concentrated in the Midwest and South.”

Overall, there are 5.5 million total 2022 U.S. tech talent jobs, an increase of 36,000 from 2021, the report said. The technology (110,300), life sciences (37,800) and financial services, insurance and real estate (18,900) industries added the most tech jobs, while the manufacturing (-58,800), transportation, warehousing and wholesale (-34,900) and telecommunications (-15,800) industries lost the most. By occupation, 159,500 software developers and programmers — more than half of them in the tech industry — and 27,900 tech managers were added in 2021. Computer support, database and systems jobs fell by 41,000 and technology and engineering-related by 10,300, according to the report.

While the top cities for tech talent remain San Francisco, Seattle, Toronto, Washington, D.C., and New York, in the top 30 were: Denver (10), Raleigh-Durham (19) and Chicago (20). Many flyover cities show up in the 30-50 ranks.

Of the most concentrated markets for software engineers, Raleigh-Durham ranked third, and Madison, Wisc., ranked 10th.

A high tech talent market was defined as an area with high educational attainment with a high concentration of young people.

In the 20- to 24-year-old population change by market from 2015 to 2020 category, Canada soared, but Raleigh-Durham saw 7.1 percent growth, and Madison, Wisc., had 6.7 percent growth. Also making the list was Indianapolis with 4.7 percent growth, Nashville with 1.8 percent and Cincinnati with 1.1 percent.

Just one more in a slew of reports confirming what we already know: The Midwest is ready to take over the technology industry.