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The DC region is #4 in the US for tech talent, according to CBRE

Better dust off that resume if you want to make a career move — apparently you're in the right place.

A rowhouse-lined DC neighborhood. Photo by Andrea García on Unsplash
Time to freshen up the HR software and give your resumes a once-over: DC just got ranked as a North American leader for tech talent.

A new Scoring Tech Talent report from CBRE, a commercial real estate and investment firm, found that the DC region is the fourth best market for talent. San Francisco, Seattle and Toronto took the #1-#3 spots, respectively. The New York metro area came in at #5, behind the district.

The 10th iteration of the report ranks 50 talent markets in North America by 13 factors, including how well they attract and develop talent, numbers of tech graduates, job concentration, talent pool size and real estate and labor cost. Tech talent includes 20 roles in the industry such as software engineers, systems and data managers. The top 25 are also ranked on a narrower set of criteria.

According to CBRE, DC clinched a top spot in the report thanks to its strong tech talent growth since 2016, the size of its talent pool and a large number of tech graduates from local colleges and universities. It certainly didn’t hurt that a number of the top tech employers in the country — Boeing, Amazon and Raytheon included — have recently brought headquarters to the area.

“The region’s strong tech talent pipeline continues to offer local companies a large source of highly-educated tech graduates to recruit from,” CBRE Vice Chair Meredith LaPier told “Our region’s strong tech talent has also been a draw for companies seeking alternative headquarters destinations. As more companies relocate here and our region’s employment base grows, this is creating ancillary benefits for local companies.”

See the report

Here are some of the main brag-worthy findings:

  • The tech talent workforce in DC grew by 6% to 259,310 personnel from 2016 to 2021, sliding it into the #4 spot. Zooming out for comparison: the US added 136,000 tech jobs last year.
  • The region had the highest ratio of residents with at least a bachelor’s degree at 51.7%
  • It’s also a top contender (again at #4), for markets for tech degree completions. The region had 13,142 degree completions, which is a 38.5% growth over the past five years.
  • It’s also not limited to techy-tech. According to the report, 41% of its talent works in core high-tech, while 20% work in government and 15% in professional services.
  • Women make up 31.4% of the tech workforce here, which makes it the tech hub with the largest percentage of women in the tech workforce. That’s technically a brag, but still suggests room to grow.
  • And, finally, while DC is notorious for its high rent prices, it’s still more affordable than San Francisco, New York, Seattle and others for office space, coming in at the #7 most-expensive market.
    • DC’s average monthly apartment rent was ranked as the #9 most expensive.

CBRE also recently ranked the DC and Baltimore area as a top life science market, and the district held its spot at #11 in  Startup Genome’s latest ranking of startup ecosystems.

Companies: CBRE

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