Hot-Jobs and Cool-Moves

Posted on July 18, 2016 by Leslie Peterson

Are you wondering what area of study your recent college-bound freshmen will choose? Maybe you can help by giving them something to aim for! And let them know where they can find a job once they’ve earned that degree, as some people may like warmer weather while others prefer cooler climates. In fact, providing information about the wages they could earn with that potential degree might be the best advise you can give them as they prepare for their upcoming campus experience!

Let’s consider the Austin-Round Rock, Texas metropolitan statistical area (MSA), as an example of a potential scenario for the freshman that loves technology.

Austin-Round Rock MSA, Texas
Employment in Computer Systems Design and Related Services Industry
NAICS Industry Empl Avg. Ann
Avg. Ann
Growth %
541511 Custom Computer Programming Services 18,951 $102,648 3.5%
541512 Computer Systems Design Services 12,333 $104,833 3.5%
541513 Computer Facilities Management Services 252 $82,476 3.6%
541519 Other Computer Related Services 1,219 $99,321 3.5%
5415 Computer Systems Design and Related Services 32,755 $103,246 3.5%
Source: JobsEQ - Note Employment is a 4-quarter average for the four quarters ending with 2016 Q1

If this college-bound student is interested in living in Austin—a trendy location—the computer systems design services industry is booming! And with industry employment expected to grow at an average annual rate of 3.5% over the next decade, job prospects in this industry look promising in four years at graduation.

Some well-paying jobs in the computer systems design services industry include the following for the Austin region:

SOC Title Current
15-1143 Computer Network Architects 250 $120,200
17-2061 Computer Hardware Engineers 115 $110,100
17-2199 Engineers, All Other 17 $102,900
15-1122 Information Security Analysts 146 $102,200
15-1133 Software Developers, Systems Software 864 $100,700
Source: JobsEQ - note Employment is a 4-quarter average for the four quarters ending with 2016 Q1. Regional average wage is as of 2015.

In terms of the number of people employed as computer hardware engineers, Austin is ranked as having the 9th most jobs of all metro areas in the nation for this occupation. There are 1,985 computer hardware engineers working in the Austin-Round Rock, MSA. With a cost of living index of 107.8 (where the U.S. is 100), Austin is about 8% more expensive than the national average. In the San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA MSA, the top MSA for employment of computer hardware engineers, the cost of living is a whopping 206.4—or about twice the national average. The wages for computer hardware engineers in San Jose region are much higher at $141,000 but housing in the San Jose MSA is expensive with a median house value of $654,800; the median house value in the Austin MSA is significantly lower at  $196,500.

And speaking of hot jobs, Austin’s average July temperature is 96 degrees (F) while the San Jose region is a bit cooler with an average July around 82 degrees (F). 

This blog reflects Chmura staff assessments and opinions with the information available at the time the blog was written.