Over the past decade, Austin has topped myriad lists, from the best cities for job seekers to one of the most popular moving spots in the United States. However, according to a new report, Austin has lagged behind one of the largest cities in Texas.
San Antonio – often overshadowed by Austin in the midst of the hype around tech hubs – seems to be turning the tables. A ranking released by real estate website Zillow on January 9th places Alamo City in 6th place in the top 10 emerging technology markets in the country. On this list follows the eighth place in Austin San Antonio.
Zillow based his analysis on data on five factors:
Affordability of housing
The city’s appeal to newcomers
Pool of technicians
Quality of life (such as commuting times and internet quality)
According to Zillow, San Antonio stands out in all five categories. For example, San Antonio has more skilled workers for every technical job currently available than Austin. Zillow economist Jeff Tucker says that with these and other measures, tech startups would “have a lot more room to grow” in San Antonio than in Austin.
Additionally, Tucker notes that the price of a typical Austin home is more than 60 percent higher than the price of a typical San Antonio home.
“The difference between San Antonio and Austin is a symbol of what we were looking for in this analysis,” Tucker told CultureMap. “Rather than trying to describe the cities that are currently hiring a lot of tech, we’re looking for the easiest places for a tech startup to grow.”
Boosters from the San Antonio tech scene welcome the Zillow ranking.
“If San Antonio is one of the fastest growing cities in the US and home to the country’s second largest cyber hub, it’s no surprise our community is listed as an emerging technology market,” said Amanda Lee Keammerer, vice president of cybersecurity for the Chamber of Commerce from San Antonio, told CultureMap.
“From the booming downtown tech district to top talent studying at local colleges and universities, San Antonio has the ability to appeal, attract and retain companies of all sizes and in all industries,” added Keammerer. “Cybersecurity, information technology, advanced manufacturing, and health and life sciences are our top industries for a reason. We’re innovative, collaborative and community-minded like no other city in the country.”
Coworking Space Geekdom is a driving force behind the development of the technology district in downtown San Antonio. Its CEO, Charles Woodin, told CultureMap that this type of ranking has been in the works for years. He admits there is more work to be done on the technical side, but companies like Geekdom, EPIcenter, Port San Antonio, Codeup, TechBloc and USAA have created a foundation that “puts our city in a place where it can’t be us Can only catapult into a rising market for technology, but a leading market. “
The downtown tech district is a focal point in San Antonio’s quest for status as a leading tech market.
“If you were walking through downtown San Antonio five years ago, it was dramatically different,” says Woodin. “Now downtown San Antonio is populated by amazing companies that started out as startups at Geekdom and other great places in San Antonio.”
In downtown San Antonio, “the leading companies in the restaurant, hospitality and entertainment industries have done their job creating great places to eat, play and hang out,” he adds. “What’s even better is that there are plans to keep expanding our city and its economy at the right pace.”
In technical circles, San Antonio is perhaps best known for its cybersecurity skills. Aside from Washington, DC, there are more cybersecurity professionals in San Antonio than anywhere else in the United States. Cybersecurity is one of the most sought-after jobs in the USA
Business developers in San Antonio aim to position the city as the global epicenter for cybersecurity initiatives. The local presence of cybersecurity operations from the U.S. Air Force, the FBI, the National Security Agency, and the Department of Homeland Security, as well as dozens of cybersecurity companies and the University of Texas in San Antonio’s nationally recognized cybersecurity program are helping Alamo City rise as a cybersecurity complex.
“With its significant military presence, continuously thriving private cybersecurity companies, and nationally recognized technology and research institutions, San Antonio is increasingly known as ‘Cyber City, USA,'” says the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation.
Leading Zillow’s list of the top 10 US markets for technical growth prospects is Oklahoma City at # 1, followed by Kansas City, Missouri (# 2); Jacksonville, Florida (No. 3); Indianapolis (No. 4); and Cincinnati (No. 5).