Digital dominance

Dallas-Fort Worth named national hot spot for this tech career, says report

DFW named national hot spot for this tech career, says report

Woman working at a computer
Texas is a good place for artificial intelligence jobs, which usually command salaries of $109,314 to $142,859. Photo by Laurence Dutton/Getty Images

The Dallas-Fort Worth area ranks as one of the hot spots in the country for an in-demand area of tech expertise — user experience, or UX.

A new report from career website LinkedIn looks at an array of career categories exhibiting the highest year-over-year growth rates in hiring (based on the period from last April to October).

The report pinpoints Dallas-Fort Worth as one of the hottest U.S. markets for UX specialists, including UX consultants, designers, and researchers. DFW is listed as a "top region" along with the San Francisco Bay area and Greater Chicago area.

What, exactly, is UX? While the field and job can have many facets, one industry site puts it this succinctly: "UX design is the process of designing (digital or physical) products that are useful, easy to use, and delightful to interact with. It’s about enhancing the experience that people have while interacting with your product, and making sure they find value in what you’re providing."

Interestingly, UX designer hires in the U.S. in 2020 were 57 percent female, the LinkedIn report says. The total number of UX designer hires in 2020 was more than five times the hires made in 2019 (increasing from 2,535 to 15,664), it says.

DFW isn’t the only Texas metro area highlighted in the LinkedIn jobs report.

The Houston area gets a nod as one of the top U.S. markets seeing demand for creators of digital content, such as podcasters, bloggers, writers, and strategists.

The Austin area ranks as one of the hottest spots in the U.S. for artificial intelligence (AI). The report says jobs like artificial intelligence specialist, machine learning researcher, and machine learning engineer are in particularly high demand in the Austin area, as well as Denver and San Francisco Bay.

In 2019, the tech sector in Texas wielded an economic impact of $141.7 billion and employed more than 1 million people (including AI engineers, UX designers, and digital content creators), according to CompTIA, a trade association for the IT industry.

“Technology powered job growth and economic gains in the past decade in Texas and across the country while delivering countless benefits in how we work, communicate, create, and share,” Todd Thibodeaux, president and CEO of CompTIA, said in a 2020 release.

U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Texas at Austin among the country’s top five schools for undergraduate students studying AI, an arm of computer science that simulates human intelligence. 

Globally, AI is a fast-growing specialty among employers. A 2020 report from the World Economic Forum identified AI and machine learning positions as the No. 1 emerging category of jobs. Ninety-three percent of U.S. companies surveyed by the organization indicated they had adopted AI technology.

In 2019, job website Indeed reported that average salaries for the highest-paid AI jobs in the U.S. ranged from $109,314 to $142,859.