Boston Ranks Sixth on CBRE’s 2021 Scoring Tech Talent Report

Kevin Kennedy

Boston– Boston ranks sixth overall on CBRE’s 2021 Scoring Tech Talent report as North American tech-talent employment weathered the pandemic better than most other professions.

Numerous indicators underscore the resilience of tech talent during Covid-19. These occupations registered job growth of 0.8% in 2020 in the U.S. while non-tech occupations declined by 5.5%. Software developers and programmers were the most in demand tech-job category last year, adding 85,000 U.S. jobs for a 4.8% growth rate from a year earlier. Beyond the tech industry itself, those that added tech workers last year include financial activities, professional and business services, and government.

Boston benefits from its large number of universities and top-tier research institutions, producing one of the most well-educated workforces in the nation. The region produced the fourth most tech graduates in North America with 12,183 tech degree graduates in 2019, an 80 percent increase over the previous five years.

According to CBRE’s report, total tech talent of 168,090 employed in Boston grew by 7.2 percent over past five years (2015-20).

“Boston continues to be one of the biggest producers of tech talent, which in turn has attracted numerous employers looking for the best talent pool to expand their operations,” said Kevin Kennedy with CBRE‘s Tech & Media Practice in Boston. “In fact, Boston has experienced tremendous tech industry growth over the past five years.”

Overall, the top five markets for tech talent were the San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle, Washington, D.C., Toronto and New York City, all large markets with a tech labor pool of more than 150,000. Boston moved up two spots this year, ranking sixth overall.

CBRE’s annual report, now in its ninth year, ranks the top 50 North American markets by analyzing 13 measures of their ability to attract and develop tech talent, including tech graduation rates, tech-job concentration, tech labor pool size, and labor and real estate costs, among others. Tech talent is defined as 20 key tech professions such as software developers and systems and data managers across all industries.

Boston stood out in the report in a number of other key areas including:

• Boston had 48,763 tech graduates and 11,360 new tech jobs from 2016 to 2020, providing ample talent supply each year for workforce growth.
• Average software developer wage in 2020 was $116,838, the fourth highest.
• The average monthly apartment rent was $2,120 in 2020, representing 22.3 percent of tech workers’ salary.
• Boston has the fourth highest concentration of females in its tech talent workforce in comparison to its overall office-using workforce behind only Washington, D.C., Sacramento and Kansas City.
• Boston also has the fourth highest concentration of females (30.1 percent) among its 2019 tech-degree graduates, behind Pittsburgh, Seattle and New York City.