Examining CompTIA’s Cyberstates Report as it Relates to DC

April 4, 2017

Jon Glass

Tech Leader

Corporate Managing Director, Savills Studley

DC/MD/VA Licensed Real Estate Salesperson

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Report Compares Washington, DC’s Tech Sector to Other States


CompTIA just released its annual Cyberstates report on national, state and metropolitan tech sector and tech workforce analytics. The report attempts to quantify the size and scope of the tech sector and workforce across multiple vectors, a fundamentally difficult task considering the broad definition and categorization of “tech.”

Conceptually, Cyberstates’ intent is to focus on sectors involved in making, creating, enabling, integrating, or supporting technology, whether as a product, platform or service. To do so, CompTIA relies on data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the US Bureau of Economic Analysis, private analytics companies such as EMSI and Burning Glass Technologies, and CompTIA’s 2,000 member companies and 3,000 academic and training partners. With the information, Cyberstates provides a snapshot for each state with key figures on tech industry employment, leading tech occupations and where that state ranks categorically compared to its peers.

What should be noted is Cyberstates’ wide inclusion of establishments in its definition of the “tech industry.” The report amasses business establishments from 50 NAICS classifications and occupations spanning 51 SOC codes, which Cyberstates acknowledges “does not perfectly reflect industry dynamics” in some cases.

The state rankings can be a nice tool for bragging rights in some instances, but the data does not always tell the entire story if taken out of context. Here are some examples:

  • DC ranks #6 in average tech industry wages when compared to other states, but dead last at #51 when comparing the average tech industry wage to the average wage for all other employment sectors within the District.
  • DC ranks #34 in overall tech industry employment due to its relatively small population, but is tied for #8 when calculating tech workers as a percentage of the overall private sector workforce.
  • DC ranks #30 in total number of new tech start-ups and tech business establishments from 2014 to 2015 (again because of its small population), but was #2 in percentage increase in new start-ups over that same time period.
  • The Washington, DC metropolitan area ranks #2 out of the 31 metropolitan areas examined for total tech workers at 297,900, but the geographic parameters of the metropolitan areas are not specified.

One statistic that I am particularly proud of is, for the second year in a row, DC leads the nation in terms of the percentage of women employed in the tech sector at 39.1%. It’s nice to see DC lead in this category, especially considering the disparity in access to funding for startups between women and men. According to Women Who Tech, “a whopping 90% of investor money worldwide goes to startups founded by men,” which has barely budged in a decade.

Here are some key stats as it relates to the DMV for 2016:

Washington, DC

Tech-Industry Jobs: 37,786 (up from 36,293 in 2015)
Tech-Industry Establishments: 3,502 (up from 3,142 in 2015)
Average Wage in Tech Industry: $113,592 (up from $108,439 in 2015)
% of Private Sector Workers in Tech: 7.5% (up from 7.2% in 2015)
2015 VC Funding: $172 Million (down from $242 Million in 2014)


Tech-Industry Jobs: 291,312 (up from 284,681)
Tech-Industry Establishments: 21,238 (up from 19,568)
Average Wage in Tech Industry: $112,014 (up from $109,038)
% of Private Sector Workers in Tech: 7.7% (down from 9.5%)
2015 VC Funding: $442 Million (down from $476 Million)


Tech-Industry Jobs: 182,539 (up from 181,320)
Tech-Industry Establishments: 14,571 (up from 13,879)
Average Wage in Tech Industry: $107,193 (up from $104,659)
% of Private Sector Workers in Tech: 7.0% (down from 8.6%)
2015 VC Funding: $820 Million (up from $363 Million)

Overall, Cyberstates is an admirable, yet imperfect, effort to comprehensively examine the technology sector across all 50 states and the District. There is a deep pool of data, with attractive and easy-to-follow charts and graphs, that when combed through properly, can be a great resource for examining the trends in the industry.

If you have any questions, comments, feedback or corrections, I’d love to hear from you.

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