If you have, or will have, a STEM degree, you have an unprecedented number of opportunities to find the job of your dreams in the next few years. The rapidly expanding tech industry is increasing not only the number of jobs but also the number of specialties within the industry. Never before seen job titles are already emerging in job databases. Although this might mean you’ll want to relocate to one of the technology-saturated areas such as Seattle, Washington, or the Silicone Valley, there are other alternatives such as Houston, Texas with many unexpected perks that you should consider.
Why Tech Jobs Are Opening Up There
Tech jobs have always had growth potential in Texas. With NASA and the Air Force establishing their bases in Texas in the 1900s, the potential for growth had always existed. Cybersecurity and defense technology contractors had already been a part of the Texas scene for many years. In fact, technology and cybersecurity programs are taught as part of the Texas school curriculum as early as middle school. Texas higher education cybersecurity programs are among the top technology programs in the country. What this means for entrepreneurs and startup business owners is that the labor pool of innovative, technology-capable young people is vast and not yet tapped to its full potential.
Tech Companies Moving Into Houston
This huge potential of growth is what draws tech companies and startups into Houston and other surrounding cities. Whether you are interested in a software engineering career or the new DataViz, UX guru, or VR developer careers, you can find a developing tech company searching for talented new hires. About 30 percent of new office leases in Texas in 2016 belonged to tech startups. Here are several large companies that established their headquarters in Houston: flight tracking company FlightAware, project management company Omega Project Solutions, Inc, and web hosting companies cPanel, Inc and HostGator.
How Safe Is It?
Relocating can be one of the most stressful and emotional aspects of transitioning to a new job. A strange, unfamiliar city can be an exciting but intimidating new experience. Not only would you have to rebuild and supplement your social network in the tech industry, but you’ll also have to consider the culture and atmosphere of your new city. While Houston is a fairly safe area, there are still some things you may need to know. Houston may not be the most population-dense Texas city, but it is a high-speed, working city and the largest in terms of size and distance. A car is absolutely essential for your commute as walking or biking from one place to another would not be safe or effective in the midst of high-speed traffic. In addition, the hot climate during the summer will result in altering your lifestyle to stay cool during the hot months.
Home Prices Are Relatively Low
If you decide to relocate to Houston to pursue a career opportunity, Houston is one of the most diverse and affordable high tech cities in the United States. Unlike other tech cities such as San Francisco, San Jose, or New York City, you can find a decently sized house, loft, or apartment for less than half the price in Houston. For example, the median value of a house in San Francisco in 2018 is $938,186. This is almost five times higher than a similar house in Houston. Of course, housing prices can drastically change depending on the suburban neighborhood. A spacious five-bedroom home in Copperfield, a suburban neighborhood in Houston, cost $399,900 in 2018. There are zero similar matches in San Francisco.
Along with affordable houses is an even more affordable cost-of-living. Like Idaho, Texas is a pretty affordable place to live. As one of the few states with no state income tax, your take-home income is much higher compared to many other states. The extra take-home income will allow you to enjoy Houston’s diverse cultural environment and lifestyle. There are many things to do and see in Houston. Not only is Houston comfortable outdoors for the majority of the year, but there are also many parks, museums, bars, restaurants, and outdoor events to explore. The sheer size of the city ensures that you’ll never run out of things to do. Your affordable cost-of-living and larger take-home paycheck ensure that you’ll be able to have a great social life without breaking your bank.
As one of the most rapidly growing tech cities in the United States, Houston, Texas offers a lot to prospective residents. If you are in the tech field, you may want to add Houston to your list of cities during your job search. Its untapped potential for growth means that there are numerous opportunities waiting for you.