If you’re searching for a job in the tech industry, chances are you’ve got your eye on the San Francisco Bay area, New York or Seattle. You may want to put Austin, Texas at the top of that search list.
You might not think of Austin as a “tech hub” like Silicon Valley but Austin is experiencing a boom in high tech jobs thanks to big name companies like Amazon, Apple and Google expanding their presence over the next few years.
Amazon announced plans to add 800 jobs in its Austin location, primarily focused on software and hardware engineering, research science and cloud computing. Currently, about 5,600 people in Austin work for the Seattle-based retail giant. Amazon reps told the American-Statesman the office will open next year and hiring is expected to take place over the “next several years.”
Amazon’s site lead in Austin, Terry Leeper, told the American-Statesman “having a place outside of Seattle that we can recruit to and develop people and hire from is critical because we have been very successful here about gathering local talent.”
Whole Foods Market, which is owned by Amazon, is headquartered in Austin and employs some 2,600 people, according to the report.
Apple announced last year that its investing $1 billion into a new campus in Austin. The 133-acre campus will accommodate 5,000 employees at the start, with the capacity to house 15,000 employees in total. The new campus is planned for an area about a mile away from Apple’s existing Austin facilities and will be hiring for a wide range of jobs in engineering.
Tech giant Google is also expanding outside of its home base of Mountain View, CA. Austin is now Google’s seventh-largest office outside of the San Francisco Bay area. Google’s Andrew Silvestri told the American-Statesman “It’s really a testament to the skills and spirit of Austin and the state as a whole that we’ve been able to grow so rapidly and expansively. We’re incredibly fortunate to be able to call Austin home.”
Austin’s Google location will employ people working on major projects across Android, G Suite, Google Play, and Cloud computing and Silvestri said “we will continue to recruit and hire new talent, both locally and globally, for the foreseeable future.”
So why Austin? Well, why not Austin? Facebook, Samsung, Dell, and other tech companies all have major offices in the Austin area and the annual South by SouthWest, or SXSW, conference takes place there each March, bringing together creative talent in the worlds of film, interactive and music.
And it’s not nearly as expensive to live there as it is in the Bay area. According to analysis from MIT, the cost of living in the Bay Area has pushed many organizations to use "less-costly satellite offices, remote co-working spaces, or other remote-work options for the majority of their employees."
Real estate in Silicon Valley is among the highest in the U.S. Buying a home or renting an affordable apartment within a commutable distance, is out of reach for many of those people employed in the Valley, especially for people looking to start a family.
Sure, there’s a huge pool of top tech talent in Silicon Valley but as companies look to both expand and cut costs, it makes sense to look at areas where good quality of life is a reasonable goal for a new hire, making employee recruitment and retention less of a challenge.
We wouldn’t be pursuing such massive development projects and investments if we didn’t intend to grow there over time,” Google’s Silvestri said. “We’ve grown pretty significantly over the last couple of years, so we see Austin as becoming a big hub of talent for us.”
Plus, rumor has it Austin’s got the best barbecue in Texas.
Are you interested in looking for a tech job in Austin? Check out Cyber Coders’ listings here.