Information & Computer Tech

Close-up of Microchip
  • The 21st Century Started in Texas

    Birth of an industry: Before the valley had silicon, Dr. Jack Kilby invented the semiconductor in 1958, and his employer, Texas Instruments, introduced the handheld calculator in 1967.  WATCH VIDEO

    Would you like to play a game: Texas ranks second in the nation for computer and video game employment, with more than 13,600 people employed directly or indirectly by the industry.

    Systems development: Employment in computer systems design has risen 60 percent in Texas over the last 10 years.

    Producing programmers: The computer science program at The University of Texas at Austin is the largest top-10 ranked computer science program in the nation.

    PC company birthplace: Dell Computers originated in Austin when Michael Dell was still a student at UT.

    Your peers await you: Texas is home to over 17,600 technology firms, employing 203,700 workers with an average wage of $96,600.

    Additional industry information:

  • Design and Capacity

    Design at the core: Computer Systems Design & Services employs 69 percent of the state's industry employment and is continually growing. Online services, such as cloud computing, make computer systems design critical to government, education and business across industries. Within the sector, computer systems design services, which includes all types of outsourcing and consulting firms and a growing number of cyber security companies, dominates in terms of both firms and workers.

    Making the world safe for computing: San Antonio has emerged as a cyber security national center of excellence, beginning over 20 years ago with security operations at Kelly Air Force Base. In 2009, the U.S. Air Force activated the 24th Air Force, also known as the Air Force Cyber Command, at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, with the objective of protecting Air Force operations and preparing for future cyber wars. The city is also home to the National Security Agency's (NSA) Texas Cryptology Center and NSA data center, as well as approximately 80 defense contractors – with many focused on information security.

    #1 data processing and hosting employer: Texas data centers serve U.S. and global hosting providers and customers numbering in the millions. The state is one of the nation's top locations for data centers because of its centralized location, reasonable power costs, independent energy grid, favorable weather and skilled workforce. Data Processing and Hosting (DPH) accounts for 17 percent of the state's IT services employment. It includes companies offering data processing and hosting services, as well as Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and Web search portals. In 2010, one out of approximately every 10 U.S. DPH workers was employed in Texas and one out of approximately every 13 U.S. DPH firms was located in Texas, according to Bureau of Labor and Statistics data. Texas House Bill 1841 improves the Texas business climate for hosting and data center companies. The bill states that an individual or business whose only activity in the state is Internet hosting is not "engaged in business" in the state and therefore does not have to collect Texas sales and use taxes from customers. In 2013, the 83rd Texas Legislature approved a data center incentive for state sales and use tax necessary and essential to the operation of a qualified data center.

    The games start here: Texas has a robust software publishing presence, with a special focus in computer games. The latest data from the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), a national industry group, indicates that Texas ranks #2 nationally for computer and video game employment, with over 13,600 individuals directly and indirectly employed by the industry. Texas is home to 159 video gaming companies employing over 4,500 industry professionals, according to the Texas Film Commission. Austin has the highest levels of the state's sector employment, with 3,237 game industry jobs. Dallas ranks #2 with 1,051 jobs, followed by Houston with 200.

    Broadcasting content around the world: The Texas Enterprise Fund (TEF) attracts major players in web-based services such as Internet publishing and broadcasting companies, web search portal operators and specialized telecommunications service companies such as Internet Service Providers. Major players are doing business in Texas, including some of the world's largest news and publishing companies, as well as a number of major telecommunications and Internet firms, such as AT&T, Verizon,, News Corporation and Google.

    TEF cordially invites: The Texas Enterprise Fund offers valuable assistance when web businesses seek expansion opportunities. In 2010, Former Gov. Rick Perry announced a $1.4 million TEF investment for California-based Facebook to create a sales and operations office in Austin, the social media giant's first major U.S. expansion. Facebook doubled its Austin office space in 2011. In April 2011, a $2.8 million TEF investment was awarded to eBay Inc. for the expansion of various eBay Inc. business units, including PayPal units currently located in Austin.

  • Advanced Studies in Computer Science

    Valuable education: A robust computer science graduate education presence keeps Texas IT companies at the forefront of development. Five Texas graduate schools ranked in U.S. News & World Report's 2014 Top U.S. Computer Science Graduate School rankings:

    • University of Texas - Austin: #9
    • Rice University: #20
    • Texas A&M - College Station: #40
    • University of Texas - Dallas: #70
    • University of Texas - Arlington: #90

    Advancing the science: Graduate education includes considerable research and development. Texas universities invest more than $100 million in computer science research annually.

    Top 10 Texas Universities for IT Services-Related R&D (FY 2010)

    Institution Total R&D (Millions of $)
    University of Texas (UT) at Austin 79.1
    Texas A&M University 20.6
    Rice University 15.2
    University of Houston 10.3
    UT - Dallas 9.3
    Texas Tech University 8.6
    UT - El Paso 8.2
    UT - Arlington 3.8
    UT - San Antonio  1.9
    University of North Texas 1.6
    Total (top 10 universities) 159.1

    Largest top 10 program: UT Austin's computer science department is the largest program in the nation, and the graduate school is ranked #9 in U.S. News & World Report 2014 rankings. Student research covers a broad spectrum of topics such as data mining, bioinformatics and computational biology, computer architecture, graphics and visualization, formal methods and operating systems. Faculty-led research includes developing systems in which artificially intelligent (AI) vehicles communicate with one another, and measuring the power usage of different classes of software to increase energy efficiency in an environment of shrinking processor technology.

    Interdisciplinary study of computing technologies: The Ken Kennedy Institute for Information Technology (KIIT) at Rice University is a research institute supported by faculty, research scientists, staff and graduate students dedicated to the advancement of applied interdisciplinary research in computer and information technology. The KIIT approach fosters research and education across a wide area of computing technologies, computational science and engineering and information processing and theory. The interdisciplinary nature of KIIT promotes a unique range of research activities, from advanced computational research to bioinformatics, computational neuroscience, robotics, and computational fluid dynamics. Approximately 130 faculty members are affiliated with the institute, representing about 25 percent of Rice's total faculty. The VISEN Research Center at Rice aims to increase the effectiveness of the value of information as related to the design of computing devices. Its goal is to sustain the "explosive growth of embedded computing in the nanoscale regime and increase the energy footprint of computing systems to make them more friendly on a global scale." The center focuses on innovation across computer science, electrical engineering, probability and neurobiology.

    Assuring computer security: San Antonio is a nexus of computer security development, and UTSA plays a significant role. The university established The Center for Infrastructure Assurance and Security (CIAS) in 2001, and in 2002, the National Security Agency (NSA) designated UTSA as a Center of Excellence in Information Assurance Education. UTSA was the first Texas university to receive the honor. CIAS is recognized across the country for its leadership in the advancement of cyber security capabilities and collaboration. In 2007, UTSA applied a Texas Emerging Technology Fund grant to establish the Institute for Cyber Security (ICS), recruiting founding Executive Director Prof. Ravi Sandhu, a nationally recognized leader in cyber security. Both the ICS and CIAS conduct basic and applied research in partnership with government, corporate and other academic entities.

    The Guildhall of computer games: The Guildhall at SMU is a game development graduate-level program established in July 2003 and considered by many in the gaming industry as the premier digital game development education program in the country. The program offers both a Master's degree in interactive game technology and a graduate professional certificate. Additionally, SMU's five-year dual Bachelor's degree in computer science or Bachelor's degree in fine arts and Master's degree in digital game technology is an educational first. All students in the program select one of three areas of specialization – Art Creation, Level Design or Software Development. The Guildhall places high priority on collaboration with the video game industry so that the center can be "a living laboratory for what the future of professional game development can and should be."

  • Hosting the World Wide Web

    Texas is the #1 employer of the workers that provide Internet services (ISP) and #2 nationally for the Computer Systems Design sector of the IT industry. Texas is the second largest IT services workforce with 13,991 firms employing 156,500 workers at an average annual salary of $69,900. You can relocate your company in a community of cyber-savvy technicians, programmers and analysts and pay far less taxes than the #1 state. In addition to all of the other advantages in a Texas location, you have a workforce ready to work.

    Sampling of Information and Computer Tech Private Workforce in Texas

    Industry Industry Code Firms Employment Average Annual
    Wage ($)
    Computers and Peripheral Equipment 3341 181 9,990 59,989
    Computer Systems Design 
    and Related Services
    5415 1,859 8,281 53,726
    Software Publishers 5112 786 17,637 121,793
    Data Processing 
    and Related Services
    5182 948 29,578 87,549
    Internet Publishing, Broadcast 
    and Web Portals
    51913 556 4,278 78,239
    Specialized Telecommunications 
    and Internet Service Providers
    517919 105 1,486 85,012

    Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2013)

    Hot Spots for High Tech

    An existing cluster of firms in a particular industry leads to the creation and maintenance of a trained labor force from which other businesses can draw. As a result, regions in Texas with specific labor pools continue to attract new business expansions and relocations in those same sectors. Information Technology in Texas is concentrated in a variety of locations with Austin and San Antonio (home of Rackspace) leading the Data Management and Hosting sector, and Houston and East Texas providing the highest concentration of Computer Systems Design. 

    The analysis on which the workforce cluster maps are based compares the portion of a Texas region's workforce employed in a certain sector to the portion of the entire U.S. workforce employed in that sector. The workforce cluster maps demonstrate relative densities of high tech employees by region. The regions highlighted in this report do not represent the only areas in Texas where a relevant labor force can be found, but represent the areas of the state with the greatest concentrations of employment in these given industries.


    BMC Software Logo
    Houston (HQ), Austin
    H P Logo
    Plano (HQ)
    V C E Logo
    Richardson (HQ)
    I B M Logo
    National Instruments Logo
    Austin (HQ)
    V M Ware Logo
    Austin and Dallas


    Rackspace Logo
    San Antonio (HQ)
    Google Logo
    Cisco Logo
    Microsoft Logo
    San Antonio
    Data Foundry Logo
    Austin (HQ) and Houston


    Dell Logo
    Austin (MFG), Round Rock (HQ)
    H P Logo
    Houston and Austin
    Foxconn Logo