Move over, Silicon Valley, there’s a new tech sheriff in town. Actually, there are two up and comers – Phoenix, Arizona and Austin, Texas. But today we’re focused on the tech industry, specifically, the Data and Analytics state-of-the-market, in the greater Phoenix area.The tech industry in Arizona has exploded in the last 3 – 5 years, and more specifically in the last 12-24 months. Thanks in no small part to cost of living, COVID, quality candidates and schools like Arizona State University who have been on the cutting-edge with its Data Science program. Though there are a variety of factors for this explosion of tech-centric companies choosing to locate or relocate to the southwest, let’s take a look at a broad strokes overview of the state of the market in what some may call, the Arizona Tech Corridor. Why PHOENIX Could Be the Next Tier 1 CityArizona is a big state. It’s got plenty of real estate and land for such projects as autonomous vehicles, Robotics, Computer Vision, AI, Machine Learning and more. It is also cheaper to live and run businesses here. Overhead costs are cut exponentially and this is even driving such large companies as Amazon to open a Data Center which will ultimately employ around 50,000 people.For businesses, COVID made them realize they could hire employees from anywhere in the world. That remote working works and that their pool of quality candidates becomes expanded exponentially. So, a lot of companies have chosen to move to Phoenix, relocated their headquarters here, or are founding businesses locally with the benefit of finding the best specialists and tech employees from around the country available at their fingertips.For employees, the cost of living is far less expensive than other Tier 1 cities like San Francisco, LA, and New York just to name a few. Over the last 12-24 months, the data and analytics industry has grown exponentially and it’s going to continue to grow as more and more companies choose to move here or begin here. The growth we’ve seen will pick up at 2 and 3 times the speed it’s at now, and Phoenix will slowly morph into the next Tier 1 city. What’s Changed in the Last 12-24 Months?During COVID, a lot of companies realized they didn’t have to look for people in their local market to find the best candidate. The world had changed, not just the world of Data and Analytics, but businesses in all industries were noting the changes. They can open it up fully using remote workers, and specific to the Phoenix, Arizona market, they’re looking at less overhead so they can focus on finding the best candidate. This is leading to exponential growth, and candidate-wise, we’ve seen an uptick of jobs and quality of jobs here. But the most important realization is that Data and Analytics drives all business decisions. So, jobs have increased quite a bit whether it’s the housing market, healthcare, tech companies and it’s helped facilitate growth for these companies within that space. Here in Arizona, in the last 6 months, I’ve seen 10 or more companies get funding, a couple more have gone public, and there’s been a big uptick in production and reach that hasn’t existed before now, in let’s say, the last two years. There’s also been a shift as Phoenix and Austin take on the moniker of perhaps a growing market or maybe a mini-Silicon Valley. These two cities are having something of a renaissance not unlike that of Silicon Valley in the early 90s.PHX: In Flight from a Tier 2 to a Tier 1 CityPhoenix and Austin are toe-to-toe and are on the cusp of becoming the next tech hub outside the Tier 1 cities of New York or San Francisco. Startup and established companies are being founded, growing, or are coming to Austin, so I think the southwest in general will be the next tech hub.While the industry itself has been growing in Phoenix and throughout the Southwest, ASU has been putting new technology, new platforms, and new tools out in the industry and are always adapting their program for cutting-edge Analytics or Data Science. For example, autonomous vehicles are huge in this area. Every day we see autonomous vehicles on the road with ‘drivers’ logging miles and other Data to determine if this is doable, and improving the technology day by day. Though Phoenix is the 6th largest city in the country, it’s also the youngest, which means when it was being built, the roads were bigger and built on a grid system. A win for the future of driverless cars testing. ASU’s Data Science program, in relation to the industry, feeds good workers into the market.Arizona is coming into its own. In fact, with all the benefits Arizona and the Southwest has to offer, there’s an even better chance of innovation, creation, and explosion of opportunity since there’s a greater runway, and it’s no less than any other Tier 1 city. Arizona may not be the first state that comes to mind when you think technology, innovation, or cutting-edge, but it’s the wild, wild west out here for the tech industry, and it’s a good time to be a part of it. If you’re interested in AI, Computer Vision, Machine Learning, or Robotics or other specialisms in the Data and Analytics industry, Harnham may have a role for you. Check out our current vacancies or contact one of our expert consultants to learn more. For our Arizona Team, contact us at (602) 562 7011 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. For our West Coast Team, contact us at (415) 614 – 4999 or send an email to email@example.com. For our Mid-West and East Coast teams contact us at (212) 796-6070 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.