Tech. Skills. Now. is a series of brief pieces by CBRE Labor Analytics meant to spark a conversation about hiring and location trends for today’s most sought after technology skills. In Volume 4 of the series we explore Cloud Computing.
As with all volumes of the Tech.Skills.Now series, this piece aims to communicate where to find employees with these highly sought-after skills while also highlighting locations in the United States where employers stand the best chance of gaining a competitive hiring advantage and establishing themselves as an “employer of choice”.
About Cloud Computing:
Cloud Computing refers to the on-demand delivery of computing services, such as applications and storage, that are provided over the internet and on a pay-as-you-go basis – typically without the need for direct active management by the user. As companies transition to increasingly digital workplaces with an increase in remote working, they’re increasingly migrating their services and data to the cloud.
Figure 1: National Indicators
The demand for people with Cloud Computing skills continues to grow rapidly with a 12% year over year increase over the past 12 months. The typical turnover rate for employees with these skills, at 42%, is well above the US average for all tech skill sets which is another indicator suggesting robust hiring demand.
Traditional tech industry segments such as Information Technology & Services, Software, and Internet are the three leading industry subsectors employing professionals with Cloud Skills. Rounding out the top five are telecommunications and Financial Services. As these skills continue to experience increased demand across the economy, other non-tech industries such as Biotechnology, Non-Profits, and Military/Defense have some of the fastest growing Cloud Computing workforces. Financial Services is notable in that it appears in the top five for existing Cloud workforce and within the top ten fastest growing industry segments.
Which industries currently employ these skills?
Figure 2: Total Professionals with Cloud Skills
Which industries have the fastest-growing demand?
Figure 3: Percent Change in Professionals with Cloud Skills, Top 100 Industries (Last 12 Months)
Where are the top talent markets today?
Cloud Computing skills are generally more widely available in the workforce than other tech skills we’ve covered in this series. Like those other skills, professionals with Cloud expertise also tend to cluster in the larger more established tech markets. The San Francisco Bay Area (including Silicon Valley) has the largest concentration in the US by a wide margin followed by other leading tech hubs including New York, DC, and Seattle. A large portion of DC’s talent pool is driven not just by tech/software companies but by the federal government and its contractors which are heavily represented in the National Capital Region (DC/VA/MD).
Figure 4: Total Professionals With Cloud Computing Skills
Where's the fastest growth?
None of the ten largest markets for Cloud skills (discussed in the above paragraph) are also on the list of the ten fastest growing. The most rapidly growing markets for Cloud skills tend to be smaller metro areas with above average educational attainment and lower cost profiles. Most of these happen to be located in the Midwestern or Mid-Atlantic regions of the US. A large number of the fastest growing markets are home to a major research university which is likely creating a large portion of the new Cloud-trained tech talent (e.g., Fayetteville, Madison, Pittsburgh, etc.).
Figure 5: Annual Change in Professionals with Cloud Skills, Top 100 Markets
Where is the talent coming from?
Most of the top universities producing recent graduates with Cloud skills are among the top 50 universities in the US. These schools are co-located with many of the largest existing skills clusters – SF, Seattle, DC, Boston, Chicago, etc.
Pittsburgh is an example of a market that has historically lost a sizable portion of its graduates to larger tech markets - but evidence suggests that Carnegie Mellon grads are increasingly staying in Pittsburgh and propelling the growth of the local tech workforce.
Figure 6: Top 10 Schools by Total Recent Graduates (2016-19)
Where is the talent going?
Net migration trends for professionals with Cloud skills suggest that some markets may be having success recapturing alumni from their local universities as more job opportunities become available outside of traditional hubs such as SF and Seattle. Some of the largest markets for Cloud talent also continue to attract talent from other locations – most of these are on the East Coast (e.g., NY, DC, Boston). Interestingly, markets that have been popular “Tier 2” locations for tech companies, such as Austin, Denver, and Portland, are now seeing higher numbers of out-migration – possibly demonstrating the further dispersal of these job opportunities throughout the United States and a reaction to rising costs in these markets.
Figure 7: Net Migration Trends (Last 12 Months)
Where are the strongest hiring opportunities?
Hiring opportunity reveals many potentially off-the-radar markets with a high proportion of qualified Cloud talent compared to current job openings (supply vs. demand).
Florida led the way on this metric with four markets in the top ten including large metro areas such as Miami and Orlando and smaller less traditional tech markets such as Sarasota-Bradenton and Cape Coral. Other markets possessing a highly educated technical workforce but without the presence of larger tech employers also scored well on this metric - Rochester, Sacramento, and Boise are notable in that they score highly on this metric for a variety of tech skills in addition to Cloud. For comparison, the ratio of qualified professional per job posting in more saturated markets is as follows:
- DC – 6:1
- Seattle – 11:1
- New York – 13:1
Figure 8: Top 10 Markets Based on Qualified Candidates per Active Job Posting
Where is the greatest gender parity?
CBRE Labor Analytics is regularly asked by our clients employing tech talent to compare markets based on a wide variety of diversity and inclusion metrics. One area we regularly investigate is the degree of gender parity within the tech workforce. In the case of professionals with Cloud Computing skills, the markets with the highest levels of female representation tend to be major metropolitan markets and smaller cities with a major university presence (e.g., Tucson). San Francisco and Seattle regularly score among the top markets for gender parity across a wide range of tech skills, including Cloud.
Figure 9: Smallest and Largest Gender Gap for Professionals with Cloud Skills