DC region ranks high among tech talent markets

The D.C. region ranks No. 4 on CBRE’s 2022 Scoring Tech Talent report, based on an educated talent pool, among other factors.

The D.C. region’s strong showing is largely because of its well-educated workforce, according to the real estate services and investment firm.

“We actually have the highest ratio in the nation of residents with a bachelor’s degree or higher, at 51.7%, compared to 32.9% nationally. Also we rank fourth nationally for technical degree completions,” said Meredith LaPier, a vice chair at CBRE’s Tysons, Virginia, office.

The San Francisco Bay Area was No. 1, followed by Seattle and Toronto, Canada, according to the CBRE report. The New York metro area ranked just below D.C. at No. 5.

The D.C. region also ranks No. 1 for diversity among major tech hubs, with 31.4% of IT professionals being women. Nationwide, IT has always been a heavily male-dominated industry, but that is changing.

“When we look nationally at tech degree programs, we are seeing improvements in the number diverse students and graduates. Also, remote work and companies placing a greater emphasis of DE&I programs have really created an opportunity,” LaPier said.

The large educated tech-professional pool is a top reason for technology companies choosing to locate or expand here, but there are other draws.

In comparison to other leading large tech markets, the D.C. region has more affordable real estate costs. The average annual asking rent for office space is the seventh most expensive. The average apartment rent is ninth most expensive. The ratio of tech salary to apartment rent of 20% is tied with Chicago, Phoenix and Seattle for 13th highest.

The region’s higher education institutions continue to produce a well-educated workforce, and the region attracts technology professionals from elsewhere to migrate to this region. The report says there’s plenty of room to continue to grow the D.C. region’s technology industry.

“We actually turn out more tech degrees than we have created jobs,” LaPier said. “And what that says to us is that we have more runway in our region to continue to grow the region as a whole in terms of jobs and employment.”

CBRE’s full Scoring Tech Talent 2022 report is available for download online.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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