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Tampa-St. Pete debuts on CompTIA ‘Tech Town’ list

Margie Manning

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The Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater metro area ranks No. 19 on a just-released list of metro areas where IT professionals can find work, earn a lucrative salary and seek out a rewarding lifestyle.

Tampa-St. Pete is one of four new communities on the Tech Town Index 2019 from CompTIA, the world’s leading tech association. The index looks at demand for IT workers based on job openings, as well as the cost of living, IT salaries and projected job growth.

Mirroring the Rise of the Rest initiative that highlights startups outside of traditional tech hubs, the Tech Town Index said companies no longer have to be in Silicon Valley to be successful. New tech hubs are popping up across the country, as a new generation of workers  puts more of an emphasis on quality of life, the index said.

Seventy-eight percent of IT pros have moved, considered or would consider leaving their current city for a new job, particularly if it’s to an area with a lower cost of living, desirable climate and shorter commute times, according to research from CompTIA said.

In the Tampa-St. Pete area, government and business leaders have worked to transition the economy from one based on construction, agriculture and tourism to one built on technology. That’s paying off, CompTIA said. There are 150 tech startups in the area.

In Tampa-St. Pete, there were 43,151 IT job postings between August 2018 and July 2019. The expected growth in jobs is 6 percent over the next five years. The cost of living is 2.3 percent higher than the national average, and IT pros get paid $8,724 less annually. The median salary for an IT pro in Tampa-St. Pete is $79,553, according to the index.

Austin, Texas ranked No. 1 on the Tech Town index. The only other Florida city on the 2019 index was Jacksonville, which ranked No. 18, just ahead of Tampa-St. Pete.

The index also included a list of businesses — primarily big companies — hiring IT professionals. In Tampa-St. Pete, the index said companies hiring were Citi, Raymond James Financial, Verizon Communications, JP Morgan Chase, PricewaterhouseCoopers, WellCare Health Plans, General Dynamics, Amgen and Accenture.

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