Survey: Austin is nation's most desirable city for IT professionals

Tech professionals would move for the right job, especially if that job were in Austin, tech trade association CompTIA found.

Based on a survey of IT professionals and students in April, CompTIA's report found that 78% of tech workers would consider leaving their current city for a new job. Affordability and a city's were listed as major factors driving a decision to move.

Austin is at the top of the list, according to the trade association. Last year, the group ranked 20 cities based on cost of living, IT job opportunity and projected job growth. IT professionals ranked Austin as the top tech city for putting down roots.

"Austin has a lot to offer IT pros, both from a cultural and lifestyle perspective as well as in terms of income potential and cost of living, which is slightly lower than the U.S. average," Amy Carrado, CompTIA senior director of research and market intelligence, said in an email. "Not only are in tech plentiful right now, job growth over the next five years is expected to rival the (San Francisco) Bay Area. It's no wonder Austin has become a big draw for tech workers and ."

The city's cost of living is roughly 3% lower than the national average and workers are paid 98 cents more per hour, the group found.

Austin saw more than 37,000 IT job postings between August 2017 and July 2018. The median annual salary for IT professionals is about $82,200, according to CompTIA's 2018 "Tech Town Index."

But there is a generation gap when it comes to the decisions tech workers make about choosing a place to live.

Income is more important to Millennials than to those in Gen Z, with 74% of Millennials and 60% of Gen Z tech workers saying their pay is important. Nearly half of Gen Z workers said having a meaningful career and helping others is important compared to 38% of Millennials.

Both age groups identified overall cost of living as the top factor when choosing where to work and live, the study found.

"(The study) shows that while it's great for businesses to offer staff benefits likes snacks and happy hours, Millennials and Gen Z tech pros are looking for positions where they have job security, are making a good income and have the ability to hone their tech skills with access to training and education," Carrado said. "That resonates with all generations."

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