Anchored by Univ. of Central Florida, Orlando emerges as nationwide top-ten tech hub

by | Jul 17, 2023

  • Orlando is among the top ten fastest-growing tech hubs in the US, with a projected tech industry job growth of 27 percent by 2030, twice the national average for computer and IT jobs.
  • The presence of the University of Central Florida (UCF) contributes significantly to Orlando’s tech growth, producing numerous tech professionals each year. UCF has been recognized as one of the leading universities for producing skilled tech employees.
  • Florida’s tech industry is experiencing significant growth, with a 4.8 percent increase in net industry employment, adding approximately 22,029 new tech workers to the state’s labor force.

Orlando has been named one of the nation’s top ten fastest-growing tech hubs based on job growth. The data, sourced from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages projects Orlando’s tech industry job growth to reach 27 percent by 2030, more than double the national average for computer and information technology jobs.

The city’s placement is largely attributed to the presence of the University of Central Florida (UCF), which produces a number of tech professionals on an annual basis. During the 2022-23 academic year, UCF awarded more than 4,600 degrees in STEM fields.

The city’s tech production has also been recognized by Coldwell Banker Richard Ellis, which ranked Orlando as the 25th best tech talent producer in the nation and the top in Florida. Additionally, UCF was declared by TonerGiant to be the eighth-best university nationally for producing skilled employees for tech companies.

“If you look at high-tech centers around the world, they emerge close to universities,” says Christo Pirinsky, co-director of UCF’s fintech graduate program.

During his State of the City Address in May, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer placed an emphasis on expanding the city’s tech sector, referencing its status as the fastest-growing US city for information technology professionals and the second fastest-growing city for tech worker salaries.

A ‘State of the Tech Workforce’ report published by CompTIA in April further underscores Dyer’s message of tech growth in Florida, indicating that net industry employment in Florida increased by 4.8 percent, nearly two percentage points higher than the national average of 3.2 percent.

The surge in employment figures resulted in an approximate addition of 22,029 new tech workers to Florida’s labor force, propelling the state to the third-highest rank in the nation. The report also predicts a 3.5 percent rise in tech employment statewide by 2023, which is anticipated to generate around 17,000 new job opportunities.

Florida’s tech industry currently employs 485,000 people, accounting for 4.9 percent of the total state workforce. The estimated median wage for a tech worker in Florida is $81,533, which is 113 percent higher than the median wage for all occupations in the state.

The industry’s economic impact in Florida is $79.9 billion, or 6.4 percent of the state’s economy. The report additionally predicts that several tech sectors are expected to grow in Florida this year, including software development, programming, and web development.

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