Often when one thinks of places where technology is big business and a source of many jobs, Boston, New York and Silicon Valley come to mind. But for entrepreneurs who want to launch a startup and for young job-seekers with an interest in tech there are plenty of other places across the country where they would fit in.
America’s hottest up-and-coming tech scenes include big cities and mid-sized ones; these places offer resources such as universities, strong talent and satellite offices of tech giants. These cities may not yet have the clout of NYC or Boston, but they make up for it with lower costs of living.
“In places like Silicon Valley, there’s a lot of tough competition. In these growing tech centers, job-seekers and entrepreneurs have a greater chance to build their own opportunities,” said Abby Prince, Managing Director of CSS Professional Search.
The five cities we chose to highlight here are almost surprising places where you’ll find many opportunities in tech.
The Denver Tech Center, in business since the 1970s, has acted as a magnet attracting tech companies to the city. Denver boasts outdoor adventure opportunities and is slightly cheaper to live in than nearby Boulder, which a study named the No. 1 metro area for high-tech startup diversity. MapQuest calls Denver home, as do these other companies: CommercialTribe, provider of video-based sales training, Digabit, maker of software original equipment manufacturers use to bring their catalogs into the 21st century, and Sphero, creators of an app-enabled robotic ball.
Microsoft, Dell, and HP have offices in the city known for its country music. It’s also home to startups such as Emma, an email-marketing client, and Spendsetter, an advocacy-marketing firm, and a blossoming healthcare industry with high-tech needs. Vanderbilt University deserves a lot of credit for driving this growth. Vanderbilt’s large medical center and all of the STEM research happening at the university play a role. One estimate puts the number of tech jobs open in Nashville at 20,430, according to ZipRecruiter. The top tech jobs available in the home of country music are senior programmer analyst, information security engineer, systems administrator, IT manager, and iOS developer.
The birthplace of the nation, Philadelphia has a rich, layered history, but its future is bright thanks to tons of tech startups, proven investors, and Technical.ly Philly, a tech news site that united the community. It’s also attracted services such as Uber, Amazon Same-Day Delivery, and Seamless. The city has connections to the big three tech centers, too. For example, Philly’s HJ Laboratories, a company that develops, applies for and sells patents, recently sold a patent to Apple, as Technical.ly Philly reports.
Raleigh is the emergent primary tech hub of the Southeast. It’s home to North Carolina State, University of North Carolina and Duke, all renowned educational institutions. Expion, developer of enterprise social media management software, is one of the companies in Raleigh hiring tech talent. Those employed in its lively tech industry enjoy the sites of a historic downtown and a large natural landscape. It is estimated to have 28,510 tech jobs open, according to ZipRecruiter, and the top five positions offered in Raleigh are infrastructure architect, design engineer, tooling engineer, java developer, and SQL developer.
St. Louis, the hometown of Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, has held onto some of its most promising tech talent. St. Louis’s top tech companies, according to IT Entrepreneur Network (ITEN), include: Norse, a threat intelligence network, Splice Machine, a Hadoop relational database management system, MulticoreWare, provider of high performance software libraries, tools and development services. The growth in tech jobs from last year hit 23.1 percent, far more than for any other city. Salaries remain high (with an average of $93,829) and housing is very affordable. The city’s tech talent is even charitable enough to share their tech knowledge with underprivileged kids through the city’s new LaunchCode Mentor Center.