Missoula's fast-growing high-tech

Missoula is playing an ever-increasing role in Montana's growing tech industry, as the dozens of high-tech companies here hire and expand nearly every month.

The Montana high-tech industry generated a record $2 billion in revenue in 2018, which is double what it was in 2016.

Missoula is home to some of the largest tech companies in the state, including onXmaps, Cognizant ATG, Edulog, ClassPass and Submittable. Each one has a niche that so far has proved successful.

For example, Cognizant ATG has over 140 employees in Missoula and plans to hire dozens more in 2019. The company specializes in tech consulting, such as providing international businesses with cloud-based solutions.

Edulog designs systems that more efficiently route school bus schedules around the world.

“In addition to the amazing quality of life, Edulog offers its Missoula-based staff an opportunity to contribute to something truly important, something that we all believe in, the safety and security of school children across the country," said Derek Graham, an industry consultant at Edulog. "We are able to craft some of the newest technologies to support safe and efficient transportation for students traveling to and from school.”

OnXmaps provides recreationists and hunters with digital topographic maps that work on mobile phones even when out of range of cell service, and the company secured $20 million in venture capital in 2018.

According to a report from the University of Montana Bureau of Business and Economic Research, the high-tech industry in Montana is growing nine times faster than the statewide economy and pays an average of nearly $70,000 per job.

Montana high-tech companies expect to increase wages by 5 percent in 2019, add 1,700 new jobs and make at least $125 million in capital investments.

"Considering disappearing traditional industries within Montana, and the upside to Montana's economy and workforce, advancing technology should be an absolute priority for the future by Montana residents, businesses and decision makers,” said Jeffrey Heng, vice president of technology at AXIOM IT Solutions in Missoula, a custom software developer.