4 Best US Cities for Technology Pros

by A Guest Author

Technology professionals looking for a job, or looking for a better one, may be wondering which cities are the best for employment. The answer is not as clear-cut as it may seem. For example, Silicon Valley is well-known as a center of venture capital and technological advancements, but the area does not produce new technology jobs on a consistent basis.

Contrast that with Seattle: a mid-sized city in terms of population, Seattle has shown consistent growth in technology jobs over many years. As the home of Microsoft, Amazon and Boeing, along with many smaller firms, Seattle has a lot of opportunity.

Rated Number One

As a result, Seattle recently came in number 1 in a Forbes survey to determine the best regions for high-tech job growth. Seattle was followed by Baltimore, Columbus, Raleigh, and Salt Lake City.

Using data from economic data company EMSI, Mark Schill from Praxis Strategy Group determined which cities boasted the biggest increases in manufacturing, services jobs and software during the previous ten years. They also looked at the depth of technology employment to make sure well-known technology regions did not get better representation in the results.

Industry Collapse

Turning back to Silicon Valley, while the area has a significantly higher concentration of technology jobs than the rest of the country, it only came in at number 17 for the Forbes survey. This reflects the fact that since the collapse of the computer industry in the early 2000s, the Silicon Valley area has actually seen a loss of high-tech jobs. Similarly, New York also declined in the same time period.

While those high-profile areas were declining, the top ranked cities on the list were doing the opposite. Each gained technology jobs steadily year after year. Other areas that showed similar growth were Jacksonville, Washington DC, San Diego, Indianapolis and Orlando.

Research and Education

What are some of the characteristics of the areas high on the list? Education is one major component. Salt Lake City, Columbus, Raleigh and Seattle are all home to major state universities, private colleges, research institutions or other organizations related to higher education. For example, Columbus is home to Ohio State University, well-known as an agricultural and technological school. Another important institution in the area is Battelle Memorial Institute, the world's biggest nonprofit research organization.

Ironically, the Bay Area around Silicon Valley is also home to high-profile universities like Stanford and yet the region was not able to sustain high-tech job growth. According to Forbes, the same is true in Boston which has the highest concentration of universities in the country. Unfortunately, this was not enough to offset job losses in telecommunications and key manufacturing industries.

Lower Cost-Of-Living

Another consideration may be the high cost of living in major cities like New York, San Francisco and Boston. Certainly areas like Columbus Ohio and Salt Lake City offer a much more reasonable cost of living with significantly lower rents.

The lesson is that a technology professional may find their next job in a mid-sized city far from the coasts. If clean air, low cost of living, moderate traffic and affordable housing are appealing features, cities like Salt Lake City and Seattle may be worth a second look.

About the Author

Tony Nelson is an IT professional and guest author at BecomeCareer.com, where he contributed to the resource listing 50 Best High-Paying Careers and the Degrees You Need for Them.

This post was written by A Guest Author

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