RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – A new report adds fuel to the fire in the Raleigh vs. Austin rivalry, reversing the findings of a 2018 analysis.

North Carolina’s capital city is the No. 2 “Tech Town” in the U.S. for high-tech workers, according to a new study. And Durham-Chapel Hill comes in at No. 13.

So says the big tech trade business group CompTIA.

Charlotte, the No. 1 on the 2018 Tech Town list, falls to No. 6 in the new report released Tuesday.

But Austin – Raleigh’s rival for everything from tech talent to tech business recruitment – tops the 2019 list. The Texas capital ranked just behind Raleigh in 2018.

Forecast growth in tech jobs is stronger in Austin that Raleigh, enough so to lift the Texas metro past the City of Oaks.

Rick Smith, WRAL TechWire’s editor and a cofounder and author of The Skinny blog.

“Austin moves up from number three in the 2018 index to number one in 2019 based in large part on the market’s projected growth rate for new IT jobs – 16 % over the next five years,” the trade group says.

“Other index factors that contributed to Austin’s top ranking include a cost of living lower than the national average and current strong demand for IT workers relative to the number of people employed in the market.”

The list based on several criteria, including what CompTIA calls the “Location Quotient Rank” which analyzes the state of each city’s tech job market base on the number of IT job ads and the number of IT workers.

Other data includes:

  • Cost of living
  • Wages
  • One-year forecast for job growth
  • Five-year forecast for job growth

Raleigh ranked second in cost of living and second in compensation based on cost of living, topping Austin in each category. But Austin ranked No. 1 in both short-term and long-term IT job expectations while Raleigh came in No. 6 and No. 7.

Raleigh tech job market at-a-glance in CompTIA report.

Durham scored in the top 10 for cost of living and compensation vs. those costs.

However, the Bull City ranked only 20th in short-term and long-term job growth projections.

The list

Here are the top cities with their 2018 rank in parenthesis:

1. Austin, Texas (3)
2. Raleigh, N.C. (2)
3. San Jose, Calif. (4)
4. Seattle, Wash. (7)
5. San Francisco, Calif. (5)
6. Charlotte, N.C. (1)
7. Dallas, Texas (6)
8. Atlanta, Ga. (9)
9. Denver, Colo. (8)
10. Huntsville, Ala. (10)
11. Washington, D.C. (11)
12. Columbus, Ohio (NR)
13. Durham-Chapel Hill, N.C. (15)
14. Boulder, Colo. (19)
15. Boston, Mass. (17)
16. Colorado Springs, Colo. (20)
17. San Diego, Calif. (NR)
18. Jacksonville, Fla. (NR)
19. Tampa, Fla. (NR)
20. Baltimore, Md. (16)

CompTIA notes that four cities that made the 2018 list dropped off the index in 2019 – Des Moines, Iowa
(12), Lansing, Mich. (13), Madison, Wis. (14) and Trenton, N.J. (18).

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