How Utah’s startups are attracting tech talent from other states

Monday, May 21, 2018

When Brad Ferguson left his home state of Utah to pursue a PhD in statistics at North Carolina State University in 2011, he figured he wouldn’t return. Not because he didn’t want to live in the state — but as a statistician, he didn’t think there were as many career opportunities in Utah as there were in places like Boston, Silicon Valley, and the North Carolina Research Triangle.

At 31, Ferguson is back in Utah, working as a data scientist for Domo, a seven-year-old analytics company valued at $2.3 billion as of its last funding round. The reason he finally decided to move back home?

“If Domo didn’t work out for whatever reason, [I felt] I could find another job really quickly and easily, with all these new businesses coming up,” Ferguson told VentureBeat.

Utah serves as an example to other aspiring tech hubs of what a healthy “talent pipeline” truly looks like. This is an increasingly important piece of the ecosystem puzzle as tech giants like Google and Amazon look outside the Bay Area to meet large hiring goals.

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