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Could Chicago Be A Rising Tech Hub?

Posted by Dan Becker on Sep 16, 2019 9:00:00 AM

In ICS insights, IT, Candidate, client

Historically, Chicago hasn't been known as a major American tech hub. But, as its base of tech talent continues to grow, this might change the way Chicago is viewed in the industry.

According to a report by real estate company CBRE, Chicago's tech labor pool is growing at a noticeable clip. Of the 50 growing tech markets in the U.S. and Canada, Chicago grabbed the third spot.

Growing Tech Labor Pool

Overall, between 2017 and 2018, Chicago saw an 8% growth compared to the 2015-2016 period. The Windy City also saw a 10.5% growth in tech talent since 2013—a growth of over 160,000 workers, making it rank as the sixth-largest tech market in the U.S.

Tech Grads Moving to Chicago

The growth in Chicago can be attributed to several nearby universities that offer tech-friendly degrees like engineering and computer science. The number of Chicagoans receiving tech degrees jumped nearly 37% between 2012 and 2017. In 2017 alone, over 7,000 students earned degrees in a program related to technology.

The number of tech grads coming to Chicago is expected to grow as Big 10 universities surround the city. Purdue University, University of Illinois, Northwestern University, and the University of Michigan are all within a few hours of the Windy City, and they all offer engineering and other tech degrees.

Tech Businesses Choosing Chicago

Along with recent college grads moving to Chicago, tech companies from California and other coastal communities are finding that Chicago is a great place to set up shop. Tech giants like Facebook, Google, and Salesforce are planning to buy real estate and build a home in Chicago. With their moves to the Midwest, they plan to hire over 1,500 employees in the next few years.

Saving Millions from Commercial Real Estate

Tech businesses are choosing Chicago for several reasons, such as the plethora of graduates bringing companies to town, but the number one reason is the Midwest's real estate cost. According to CBRE, real estate in Chicago is less expensive than in coastal towns like New York, Washington D.C., and San Francisco.

Commercial real estate costs at least 12% more on the East or West Coast than it does in Chicago. Large tech companies can save millions of dollars on real estate alone by relocating their hubs to the Windy City.

Tech Workers Want Affordable Living

The cost of living in coastal cities is forcing tech workers to look elsewhere for employment. For example, tech workers from San Francisco are instead looking for jobs in Chicago. With homes averaging around $1 million in Silicon Valley, it's easy to see why employees in every industry would rather move to Chicago, where the homes average around $350,000.

Filling Your Tech Positions in Chicago

With the number of tech businesses in the Chicago area and the number of tech workers looking for jobs, Infinity Consulting Solutions can help match employers and potential employees. We specialize in helping candidates reach their career goals and helping employers manage their workforce, so everyone can work on getting business done. Start your search for the best talents by clicking the link below!

Find Talent in Information Technology