CBRE Ranks Irvine's Tech Talent Pool as Top in Growth Potential

Monday, February 08, 2021

Main News Photo

(Site Selection Magazine)

CBRE has identified Irvine as a growing market for tech workers. Home to the University of California, Irvine, the city is one of the CBRE’s 2020 Scoring Tech Talent report's top gainers, having climbed five ranking spots to No. 21.

Download the report.

Baltimore (No. 11) and Columbus, Ohio, (No. 24), both of which rose three ranking spots, enjoy the presence of major universities and research labs, as do Madison, Wisconsin (No. 27) and Pittsburgh (No. 30).

Does tech investment follow tech talent or the other way around? It’s actually some of both.

The question going forward, said Colin Yasukochi, executive director of the Tech Insights Center at CBRE, is the extent to which the COVID-19 pandemic could upset longstanding equations and trends as 2021 unfolds into the post-COVID era.

“The pandemic,” says Yasukochi, “could slow the growth of tech talent in some of the major markets if remote work takes hold, if people really do leave town and hiring starts to take place outside of those markets. It’s going to be very, very interesting.”

CBRE’s Tech Talent report, based largely on pre-pandemic data, might thus be viewed as a marker, a dividing line, in years ahead. While it affirms the pre-eminence of traditional tech talent hotspots such as the San Francisco Bay Area, it also identifies fresh locations whose talent pools are growing and poised to grow further. The annual ranking of markets in the U.S. and Canada is based on 13 criteria grouped under headings that include Tech Talent Supply, Innovation Infrastructure, Tech Industry Outlook, and Real Estate Market Outlook.

Markets to Watch

The pandemic’s combined effects, including the emergence of remote work, could serve to strengthen the hands of tech workers relative to employers in expensive, established markets.

“I think the true test is probably going to come in the late summer and into fall, when many tech companies expect their workforces to return to the office,” says Yasukochi. “There are a lot of variables that are still to be determined. But tech workers are increasingly wondering about the costs of living and working, say, in the Bay Area.”

Yasukochi believes that markets poised to flourish include lower-cost metros in the shadows of universities that are churning out tech graduates, such as Orange County.

UCI is a platinum-level Leaders Circle partner of the Greater Irvine Chamber.

Category: Workforce Development, Technology, UCI, Leaders Circle, education