Incentives Lure More Tech Jobs to Austin

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The big tech job news in the Austin, Texas, area continues to surround Dell, which last year offered a voluntary separation package intended to weed out those who didn’t share its “passion and enthusiasm” for life as a private company. When response to the offer was tepid, Dell laid off a few thousand workers, equaling about 2 percent of its workforce.

That doesn’t mean the computer maker’s stopped hiring, though. “We’re hiring in strategic areas of our business, including hardware and software development, engineering and customer coverage worldwide,” according to spokesman David Frink.

Click here to find tech jobs in Austin.

Meanwhile, there are several new arrivals in town:

  • Online darling Dropbox is expanding its Austin workforce by 170 employees following the City Council’s approval of a $244,500 incentive package. The move will put a large portion of the San Francisco-based company’s sales and operations in downtown. Dropbox currently employs 350 nationwide, including about 30 already in Austin. The new jobs will pay an average annual wage of about $59,000.
  • Another incentive package was given to Websense to bring hundreds of jobs to the city. The San Diego-based firm makes software to protect companies from cyberattacks and data theft, and was bought by Austin-based Vista Equity Partners in 2013.
  • A third incentive package has encouraged medical technology services provider athenahealth to expand in the city, adding 600 software development and R&D jobs over the next 10 years.
  • AT&T announced plans to open a new center for technology innovation and collaboration. The Dallas-based company hasn’t said how many people it will employ, but it already has about 2,600 people working in the Austin area.
  • Emerson Process Management, a developer of automation systems and project services, has opened up a $70 million, 282,000-square foot innovation center in Round Rock to develop process control systems and related products and services.
  • Atlassian, which makes collaboration software for programmers, plans to eventually hire as many as 300 workers in Central Texas. The fast-growing Australian business is opening operations in Austin to support its North American expansion.

“Austin continues to be one of the top markets in the country for the relocation of companies and individuals alike,” says Rob Robinson, district president for recruiting firm Robert Half Technology. “The low cost of living, access to education, and family-friendly lifestyle tends to be the main drivers for people to consider Austin, and tech is one of the main industries supported in the area.”

And finally, keep an eye out for Austin’s first Bitcoin ATM. It’s rumored to arrive soon.

Skills in Demand

“The financial services IT industry is on fire in Austin,” says Todd Reeves, Austin recruiting director for the recruiter Randstad Technologies. “There are bright spots and success stories from the mid-sized enterprises all the way to large companies.” Java, .NET, project management, business analytics, Linux and Ruby skills are all in demand, he says. “We’re also beginning to see more business intelligence and Big Data positions, and there’s a growing trend for marketing departments to hire their own IT staff for things like user interface and user experience development.”

Salary Trends

According to the 2013-2014 Dice Salary Survey, the average salary for an Austin-based IT professional is $91,994, up 2.6 percent from the previous year and about 4.8 percent above the national average tech salary of $87,811.

Leading Industries

  • Technology Manufacturing
  • Government
  • Financial Services
  • Software Development

Local Employment and Research Resources

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Image: Randall Stevens/Shutterstock.com

Comments

  1. BY John Hasley says:

    Thanks for sharing. As always, the problem is finding the right people who have (or can learn) the skills needed by a given corporation. When I worked at the university, I remember telling the students, ” the two things you need to show an employer are a willingness to work and an ability to learn. Everything else I (or whomever) can teach you (if needed).” But the fun part is always finding that match, which is one of those problems that no one has managed to solve. Thanks to Dice and others for working on the problem. As G. K. Chesterton put it, “a thing worth doing is worth doing badly” and any attempt even if it doesn’t solve the problem is hopefully a move toward a needed solution. So, even if no one who reads this is working on that issue, thank-you for trying to solve the problem of how to match up people’s talents with others needs.

  2. BY Nathan Smith says:

    It seems that the incentives that once lured companies to Austin are being given back. The Austin City Council continues to make it difficult for companies to adhere to the stringent requirements. From difficult reporting requirements to salary range obligations it’s becoming harder and harder for companies to comply. Over the last year or two 9 out of 21 companies have canceled their agreements including NI, Dropbox, and US Farathane. These companies still plan on creating many great jobs and adding value to our community however do not have the resources to manage the requirements that the City of Austin puts on them.

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