Press Release

Tulsa, Oklahoma City Named Top Cities for Tech Talent Growth on CBRE’s Annual List of Up-and-Coming Tech Markets

July 13, 2021

Tulsa & Oklahoma City, OK – July 13, 2020 – Tulsa and Oklahoma City ranked 15 and 24, respectively, on CBRE’s list of up-and-coming North American tech-talent markets on CBRE’s annual Scoring Tech Talent report, which ranks 75 U.S. and Canadian markets according to their ability to attract and grow tech talent.


Tulsa’s total tech employment has grown to 12,460 in the past five years, a 19 percent increase since 2015. Meanwhile, Oklahoma City’s total tech employment has grown to 19,410, a 3 percent increase.  


“We’ve seen an increase in tech companies and jobs across Oklahoma, especially over the past year as the pandemic played out,” said Lee Wallis, Managing Director for CBRE Oklahoma. “There are direct talent pipelines from the University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University and the University of Tulsa, as well the universities from surrounding states including Texas and Arkansas. There’s a high quality of life here with a lower cost of living for people who don’t necessarily want to live in major hubs like San Francisco or New York. We expect to see the amount of tech workers and company in the region continue to grow.”   


The report found that most of these emerging tech markets were concentrated in the Midwest and South and had expanded their tech talent growth by double digit percentages in the past five years.


These up-and-coming markets are separate from the 50 larger tech markets that CBRE’s report ranks in its Tech Talent Scorecard. In contrast, the ‘Next 25’ up-and-coming markets are ranked by a narrower set of criteria than the top 50, including tech talent supply, wages, tech-talent concentration, recent tech talent growth rates and their outlook.


Numerous indicators underscore the resilience of tech talent during COVID-19. These occupations registered job growth of 0.8 percent in 2020 in the U.S. while non-tech occupations declined by 5.5 percent. Software developers and programmers were the most in demand tech-job category last year, adding 85,000 U.S. jobs for a 4.8 percent growth rate from a year earlier. Beyond the tech industry itself, those that added tech workers last year include financial activities, professional & business services, and government.

The leaderboard of the ‘Next 25’ markets is filled with markets that have posted double-digit growth in tech jobs since 2013.


Tech employment

5-Year Tech Job Growth


Tech Employment

5-Year Tech Job Growth

Dayton, OH



Albany, NY



Huntsville, AL



Halifax, NS



Colorado Springs, CO



Providence, RI



Omaha, NE



Tucson, AZ



Des Moines, IA



London, ON





Oklahoma also stood out in the report in other key areas:

  • Tech wages averaged $82,815 in Tulsa last year, an increase of 13 percent over the past five years while tech wages in Oklahoma City averaged $83,054, an increase of 17 percent over the past five years.
  • The narrower category of software-developer wages averaged $86,092 in Tulsa last year, up 9.7 percent over the past five years. In Oklahoma City, wages averaged $85,405, up 12.9 percent over the past five years.
  • In 2019, tech degree completions in Tulsa totaled 304 while Oklahoma City had 1,166 completions.


To download the report, click here.

About CBRE Group, Inc.
CBRE Group, Inc. (NYSE:CBRE), a Fortune 500 and S&P 500 company headquartered in Dallas, is the world’s largest commercial real estate services and investment firm (based on 2021 revenue). The company has more than 105,000 employees (excluding Turner & Townsend employees) serving clients in more than 100 countries. CBRE serves a diverse range of clients with an integrated suite of services, including facilities, transaction and project management; property management; investment management; appraisal and valuation; property leasing; strategic consulting; property sales; mortgage services and development services. Please visit our website at