This is a complete guide to the best cities for tech jobs in 2022.
To help you choose the city that best suits your tech career plans and lifestyle needs, we have put together this detailed and comprehensive study of the nation’s top tech hubs.
Each section contains exhaustive information about the local tech scene, including the latest available data about:
- Market composition
- Top employers
- Job openings
- Salary levels
- Quality of life
- Lots more
So if you’re ready to find the right company in the right city, doing the kind of work that you care about then you’ll find everything you need here.
U.S. Technology Hubs
Also known as “The Silicon Valley of the South”, Atlanta has gone in the past few years from being an up-and-coming tech city to becoming the Southeast’s tech capital and a top US tech hub in its own right.
Long gone are the dark days of the dot-com crash, which in the late 1990s led to the implosion of early Internet companies and left Atlanta’s tech scene moribund.
The 2000s saw the city engaged in a decade-long phase of reconstruction as the telecom and networking companies of the previous era left room for a new ecosystem of tech companies dedicated to payments and financial services, cloud-based business solutions and internet security.
Some of the top tech companies from Atlanta’s Renaissance include well-known success stories like MailChimp, Internet Security Systems, Pardot, AirWatch, ClearLeap, Damballa, Cardlytics, Kabbage, Calendly and Pindrop.
Thanks to a series of founding events like Venture Atlanta and BIP Capital, investments returned to local entrepreneurship, putting in motion a process that would turn Atlanta into the center of a hub-and-spoke network of startup cities reaching out the whole way to Birmingham, Nashville and New Orleans.
Two decades later, the results are there for everyone to see, as Atlanta is now making it consistently on the top spots of the most prestigious tech rankings.
Last year, the Atlanta metro area was ranked No. 1 growing tech hub in the U.S. by CompTia for the second year in a row.
The Atlanta Tech Hub also made it at No.4 for cybersecurity and fintech, No.7 for data centers and No.8 in the rankings of global start-up ecosystems (just behind London, one of Europe’s top tech hubs, and ahead of Austin, TX).
Atlanta also secured the top spot of CompTIA’s Diversity Tech Index, boasting the second-largest tech community of people of color in the nation.
There are three main reasons why the Atlanta Tech Hub’s reputation has kept rising in recent years: growth potential, diversity, and affordability.
Tech Jobs in Atlanta
As of 2022, 10,696 tech companies are based in Atlanta, which were responsible for 109,263 job openings last year.
Although this was slightly down from 2020 – when 113,935 job openings were advertised – the number of new tech jobs available in Atlanta is forecasted to grow by 8% in the next five years.
Recovery is already on the horizon as the overall Atlanta economy added an impressive 10,500 new jobs in July 2022 alone.
With 272,869 tech workers calling Atlanta home, nearly 1 in 10 local residents is employed in the tech industry, which accounts for 13.6% of the overall economy (CompTIA).
Roughly 36% of Atlanta’s tech workforce is either Black or Hispanic – second only to San Jose.
This is a reminder that Atlanta is at least a decade ahead of America’s transformation into a majority-minority society, and the country’s top tech companies have taken notice.
Technology Companies in Atlanta
Recent years have witnessed big tech companies like AirBnB, Alphabet, Apple and Microsoft expanding their presence in the Atlanta area to meet their commitments to diversity and inclusion.
On top of that, Apple has recently committed to investing $100m into a series of projects aimed at encouraging diversity and entrepreneurship among Atlanta’s youth.
This includes the construction of the Propel Center, a $25m educational center where students will receive training in a variety of tech areas, including artificial intelligence, agritech app development, augmented reality, design and social justice.
The hype surrounding the Atlanta Tech Hub is understandable: over the past decade, more than a dozen companies founded or based in Atlanta have grown to become unicorns, namely businesses valued at $1bn or more.
As if that wasn’t enough, last year the Atlanta metro area maintained its position as one of the top 10 cities in the country with Fortune 500 headquarters. Overall, 16 Atlanta-based companies made the list, including giants like Home Depot, UPS, Coca Cola, Southern, WestRock, and Delta Air Lines.
Besides hosting some of the nation’s biggest tech companies, Atlanta remains a top go-to city among job seekers because of its start-up ecosystem.
Growth here is driven by an intricate network of incubators and accelerators such as the Atlantic Tech Village, a 300-strong network of startups that have created over 7,300 tech jobs and raised $1.2bn in capital funding.
Atlanta’s startup ecosystem is healthy and varied, with the software and fintech sectors booming.
Some of the top software companies in Atlanta are Convoy, AptAmigo, Secureworks, BetterCloud, OutSystems, Ebix, Onetrust, Mailchimp, Salesloft, Movius, and Pindrop.
Notable fintech and blockchain companies based in Atlanta include Kabbage, Greenlight, RoadSync, Patientco, Bakkt, GreenSky, BitPay, Paymentus, and Reibus International.
Lifestyle and Cost of Living
There’s more to Atlanta than its large supply of job openings and tech establishments.
Lifestyle is yet another reason why tech workers are choosing to move here.
The cost of living in Atlanta is about 1% lower than the national average, with tech workers here earning a median annual wage of $88,914 (CompTIA).
In an area where the median home value rounds up at $300,000, Atlanta is a much more affordable option than leading tech hubs like San Francisco, CA and New York City, NY.
Home to the headquarters for many technology corporations, Austin has earned the nickname of “Silicon Hills”, and rightly so.
The Austin Chamber of Commerce estimates that in 2021 the local tech industry totalled 176,406 jobs, or 17.1% of all Austin area jobs, compared to 9.2% nationally.
During the Covid pandemic, high-tech jobs grew by 3.5%, while the metro’s total jobs fell by 2.9%.
Austin Technology Careers
In the last five years, employment in the high tech sector has grown by 24.4%, compared to 11.6% for all other industries.
In the last ten years, the gain for high tech (62.0%) nearly doubled the gain for all other Austin industries (36.5%) and the growth of the local tech sector has consistently outpaced tech growth nationally for the past five years.
Taking these numbers into consideration, it is no surprise that Austin ranked first on CompTIA’s Tech Town Index in 2019 and 2020.
In 2018, 46 tech companies relocated to Austin, with that number increasing to 58 in 2019 and generating 4,648 new jobs in 2020 and an estimated 6,718 more in 2021.
Over 71,000 vacancies were posted last year, nearly 3,000 more compared to the period between 2019 and 2020.
Technology Companies in Austin
Currently, more than 6,500 tech business establishments are based in Austin. 5.7% of these companies are manufacturers and 94.3% are in non-manufacturing industries.
Austin is an attractive alternative to the Bay Area and New York City, NY for tech companies of all sizes.
Some of the tech giants that have chosen to call Austin home include Apple, Facebook, TikTok, Oracle and Tesla.
Big companies attract large volumes of tech talent, as well as other companies that are looking to take advantage of the local talent pool.
In 2021, companies relocated to Austin from places like San Francisco, Portland, North Carolina and Dallas.
Some of these companies include BluePallet, Tesla, Green Dot, NinjaOne, GovOS, Markaaz, Blockap, Crowdstreet, INVZBL and Harmonate.
In 2021, ten Austin-based companies made Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500 list, two more than in 2020.
Lifestyle and Cost of Living
Austin-based IT professionals earn a median salary of $89K, compared to $121K in San Francisco, CA.
However, the cost of living in Austin is 46.80% lower.
Once the salary is adjusted to the cost of living, Austin-based tech workers earn significantly more, given that a $121K salary in San Francisco is the equivalent of making $176K in Austin.
The median home sale price in Austin is $490K.
According to WalletHub, Austin is among the 45 best cities for renters based on price changes, cost of living, and job availability.
The average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment is $1,500 and the median rent for a 3-bedroom home is $2K per month.
The most affordable neighborhoods include Heritage Hills, Windsor Hills, and Franklin Park, where rents are less than $1,465 per month.
Rents in more expensive neighborhoods like Downtown Austin, Old West Austin, and Zilker come at an average of $2,302 per month.
The average commute time to work is 34 minutes, with a monthly transport ticket costing $41.25.
The average cost of Internet is $53, with an average Internet speed of 163.7Mbps and 1,664 Wi-Fi hotspots throughout the city.
Public schools in Austin are highly rated. The three major universities and colleges in the are are the University of Texas at Austin, Austin Community College, and Concordia University.
The University of Texas at Austin offers several tech-related programmes across its School of Information, Cockrell School of Engineering and McSchool of Business programs in Technology Commercialisation and IT & Management.
As affectionate as it may be, the nickname “Smalltimore” does not do justice to Maryland’s capital.
There is no doubt that Baltimore is still miles away from competing with San Francisco and New York, and is still lagging behind well-established secondary tech hubs like Austin or Atlanta.
However, the Baltimore area has a high rate of entrepreneurship and a solid environment for tech funders.
Baltimore Technology Careers
Last year Baltimore ranked No. 38 on Inc.’s list of Surge Cities, only two spots behind a top tech hub like Chicago, and right ahead of Pittsburgh, Kansas City and New Orleans.
There are several reasons why the Baltimore area made it among the best 50 places in America for starting a business.
Baltimore benefits from a local network of prestigious academic institutions, including Johns Hopkins University, Loyola University, and the University of Maryland.
These institutions provide employers with a solid pipeline of tech talent, and the commercial arms of these organizations, like Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures, help the city secure top rounds of venture capital funding.
Baltimore’s proximity to Washington, D.C. is also beneficial to its startup community.
Technology Companies in Baltimore
Taking all these factors into consideration, it is no surprise that Forbes ranked Baltimore 5th on the list of emerging start-ups cities.
Some of the top employers involved in cybersecurity include CyberCore Technologies, ZeroFox, Vision Technologies LLC, Resolute Technologies LLC and Dragos Inc.
Public companies like T. Rowe Price, Under Armour and McCormick & Co have also attracted tech workers to the area and expanded the talent pool for local start-ups.
Lifestyle and Cost of Living
As of 2021, 140,903 people were employed in Baltimore’s tech sector, or one out of ten Baltimoreans. According to CompTIA, tech workers in Baltimore earn a median wage of $99,544 per year.
Although this is 92% higher than the median metro wage, Baltimore’s cost of living is 17% above the national average.
For example, the average annual cost of transportation for a single adult is $5,113 and that expense goes up to at least $9,378 for families of two working adults and one child.
Having said that, Baltimore is still a relatively affordable city compared to northeastern cities like Washington D.C. and New York.
Although not quite on the same level as New York, San Francisco and San Jose, Boston is one of the nation’s leading tech hubs.
Last year, the Boston metro area ranked sixth in CompTIA’s Tech Town Index for the net number of tech workers (392, 781) and job gains (+2,882), with the tech sector accounting for an impressive 21% of the local economy.
Boston Technology Careers
A focus on innovation and an efficient talent pipeline are the main reasons why the local tech scene is growing at high rates, despite the contraction that came along with the Covid-19 pandemic.
The tech sector in Boston benefits from a world-renowned network of top-tier universities and research institutions, including MIT, Harvard University, Tufts University and Boston University.
It is no surprise that Boston ranked sixth on CBRE’s “2021 Scoring Tech Talent” report. Overall, last year Massachusetts generated North America’s fourth-largest supply of tech graduates, with the total tech talent
employed in Boston growing by more than 7% in the last 5 years (CBRE).
Technology Companies in Boston
With a pipeline like that, Boston continues to be one of the biggest producers of tech talent in the U.S., attracting numerous employers.
For example, Amazon is currently expanding its existing footprint in the area.
Set for completion in 2024, the tech giant’s new facility is expected to create 3,000 new jobs, including jobs in software development, artificial intelligence and machine learning.
Boston is well-known for its cutting-edge health-tech sector, with local startups during the pandemic generating gene regulation therapies and coronavirus vaccines.
However, the city has also seen growth in other tech markets, like e-commerce, cybersecurity and data analytics.
Tech jobs in Boston are expected to grow by 8% in the next five years (CompTIA).
This is surely a good prospect for those looking to tap into Boston’s outstanding healthcare system and rich history.
Lifestyle and Cost of Living
With the cost of living 34% higher than the national average and tech workers making a median annual salary of $100,972, secondary but more affordable tech hubs like Austin offer more competitive salaries.
The Chicago tech scene hasn’t quite experienced the same booming levels of growth as places like Austin.
However, Chicago is one of the largest employers in the U.S., hosting 12,566 tech organizations and the 8th largest population of tech workers in the nation (339,000).
Chicago Technology Careers
As Chicago is seeing steady growth in the tech sector, several indicators suggest that the area is emerging as one of the top start-up ecosystems.
In September 2021, Glassdoor found that Chicago had posted the third-highest number of tech openings in the nation (23,270).
This is over 5,000 more job postings than in San Francisco.
The main factor leading growth in the job market is the booming population of local unicorns, namely start-ups valued at $1bn or more.
Technology Companies in Chicago
In 2021, the number of Chicago-based unicorns jumped up to nine:
- ActiveCampaign (Customer experience automation platform). Typical job openings include Software Engineer, Fraud Team; Staff Engineer, Platform Engineering; Data Analytics Engineer.
- Amount (Fintech/retail banking). Typical job openings include Data analyst -Operational Engineering; Senior Front
End Software Engineer; Senior UI/UX React Developer.
- Amount (Fintech/retail banking). Typical job openings include Data analyst -Operational Engineering; Senior Front
- Bringg (Cloud orchestration platform). Typical job openings include Senior Front End Developer; Senior Back End Developer; Fullstack Team Lead.
- Cameo (Fan engagement platform). Typical job openings include Software Engineer – Frontend; Magento Software Developer.
- Enfusion (SaaS platform, fintech). Typical job openings include Research analyst – CryptoAssets; Hybrid DevOps/System Administrator; Design Portfolio Director.
- G2 (Peer-to-peer review software). Typical job openings include Lead Data Analyst; Senior Fullstack Software Engineer; Software Engineer II.
- Project44 (Visibility platform for shippers and third-party logistics firms). Typical job openings include Staff Software Engineer and Product Experience Designer.
- Relativity (SaaS Platform). Typical job openings include Senior Data Scientist; Lead Software Engineerr – SQL – Paa; Senior Designer, Motion Graphics.
- ShipBob (Cloud.-based logistics platform). Typical job openings include Data Science Engineer; Senior Software Engineer; Engineering Manager – Secure Cloud.
As Chicago’s population of start-ups keeps growing, there is an increased need for skilled tech workers.
Even more so, given that startups are not the only employers busy hiring tech professionals.
The city of Chicago is also home to well-established companies that are accelerating their digital transformation, including Allstate, Caterpillar and Walgreens Boots Alliance.
To meet the growing need for tech talent, TechCHicago recently launched the Come Back to Move Forward campaign.
This initiative targets 100,000 diverse and homegrown tech professionals to convince them to come back to Chicago in the next two years.
The campaign is aimed at mid-career level professionals with in-demand tech skills, like data science, computer science, software programming, Artificial Intelligence and machine learning.
According to CompTIA, tech workers in Chicago earn a median annual wage of $87,090, which is 76% higher than the median metro wage.
Lifestyle and Cost of Living
Overall, Chicago offers a much more affordable cost of living than leading tech hubs like San Francisco and New York.
In fact, Chicago-based technologists bring home more money than their counterparts in the East and West Coast.
Once adjusted to the cost of living, Chicago’s median tech salary of $87,090 translates to $201,047 in San Francisco and $247,779 in New York, where the median annual salary for tech workers however is only $121,079 and $102,561 respectively.
Home to the nation’s seventh-largest population of tech workers, Dallas has gained a reputation as an up-and-coming tech hub in recent years, and rightly so.
According to the Dallas Regional Chamber, Dallas hosts 3 Fortune 15 companies, 22 Fortune 500 companies, 43 Fortune 1000 companies and 185 Incs.
Growth has been especially striking in the area of high-tech software and services, prompted by a rapidly increasing network of 40 accelerators and incubators, 24 corporate innovation centers and 64 coworking spaces.
As the city keeps adding more tech companies and giants like Facebook and Amazon expand their local presence, Dallas has become a top go-to city for technologists wishing to relocate from overpriced hubs like San Francisco and Silicon Valley.
Some of the reasons why tech workers are relocating to Dallas include relatively low housing costs, a median tech salary above the national average and, most importantly, a high number of tech jobs.
Dallas Technology Careers
Nearly 13,000 tech companies call Dallas home, with 171, 633 job openings advertised last year.
The Dallas-Fort Worth metro area added 4,466 new tech jobs between 2019 and 2020, with that number estimated to have doubled last year (CompTIA). Only San Francisco (+7,5443 jobs) and Seattle (+4,695) did better.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor, job growth in the Dallas tech scene was up by 5.4% in 2021, compared to 4.4.% nationwide, with this trend expected to continue.
According to Moody’s Analytics, employment in the high tech sector will grow by 9% in the next five years.
Top employers include Lockheed Martin and JPMorgan Chase, which posted the most IT jobs in the last two years.
In 2021, six tech companies announced plans to move their headquarters to Dallas. These include Texas-based establishments like Bestow, Xcelerate Auto and the Texas Blockchain Council, as well as out-of-state companies like MD7 (California), EXOS Aerospace (North Carolina), and AECOM (Los Angeles).
Technology Companies in Dallas
The Dallas tech sector is specialized in web, mobile application and software development but emerging technology companies are also driving innovation.
Growth is occurring in artificial intelligence, machine learning and data analytics across the financial sector (Capital One, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan), public safety (Tyler Technologies), and healthcare (Pieces Technology).
The rise of the startup scene in Dallas was boosted by an intricate network of private and public initiatives.
Heavy influxes of funding have come from venture capital firms like LiveOak, while the Dallas Entrepreneur Center Network supports young startups with connections, workspaces, and other resources.
Dallas has even appointed an inaugural Entrepreneur-in-Residence, with a focus on nourishing the Dallas’ tech scene with a diverse workforce. This adds up to the work of local meetup groups like WiMLDS, which supports and promotes women and gender minorities across various tech fields.
These are just some of the initiatives that have enabled Dallas to emerge as an innovative hub for blockchain (Hedera Hashgraph; GreenLight Credentials), the Internet of Things (Honeywell; Polte), cybersecurity (Trend Micro, CRITICALSTART, HCL Technologies, QED Secure Solutions, and Jacob), quantum computing (UT Dallas, Zyvex Labs), autonomous vehicles (TuSimple, Hillwood, Bell Textron, FusionFlight), robotics (Hilti, RoboKind), nanotechnology (Peak Nanosystems, OncoNano) and biotech (Nanoscope Therapeutics, Caris Life Sciences, Bio North Texas).
Given the importance of the financial sector for the Dallas economy, top tech employers like Capital One and JPMorgan Chase have decided to open offices here and are currently planning to expand their activities in the next few years.
Presently, Dallas hosts more than a dozen fintech companies that are driving innovation in the region.
Due to its strategic position, Dallas is also a thriving hub for transportation and logistics companies, which have long moved beyond railroads to specialize on a variety of transportation services and solutions. The top transportation employer in the area is, needless to say, Dallas Fort Worth International Airport.
However, the sector that experienced fastest growth is healthcare, which some consider to be the key driver of the Dallas’ tech revolution. In fact, out of the four Dallas-based companies that received the most funding last November, two were healthcare start-ups.
Lifestyle and Cost of Living
During the pandemic, Dallas experienced a heavy influx of tech workers who relocated from tech hubs like San Francisco and Silicon Valley.
In fact, in the period between March 2020 and February 2021, Dallas ranked third nationwide for the number of relocating software and IT workers.
Relocation was so intense that the local population grew by more than 97,000 residents in 2021 — the most of any other metro area – pushing the Dallas area population up to 7.7million.
Some of the key factors driving Dallas’ population boom are the region’s warm weather, low taxes and a work culture centered on flexibility.
Affordability adds up to Dallas’ appeal as housing costs are fairly low and the overall cost of living is 2% lower than the national average
Tech workers in Dallas make a median wage of $88,778, which is 89% more than other occupations (CompTIA).
Once adjusted to the cost of living, the same salary would translate to $152.406 in San Francisco, where tech workers however earn only $121,079.
Taking these numbers into consideration, it is no surprise that more and more young people are choosing Dallas as their home: the area has now become an exciting melting pot of cutting-edge businesses, diverse talent, and a thriving cultural center.
Only a decade ago, Colorado’s economy was mostly reliant on traditional sectors like transportation and logistics, construction, and tourism.
Ten years later, things have changed dramatically.
Colorado is now a national leader in cybersecurity, aerospace, cloud computing, intelligence, data, sports and green sports tech, and other key tech sectors.
Needless to say, the state’s capital Denver had a major role in this dramatic transformation.
Denver Technology Careers
Despite the small size of its population, last year Denver ranked at No8 on CompTIA’s cybermetro ranking for the number of tech job gains.
With 191,793 people employed in tech and over 11,000 tech organizations currently based in Denver, these numbers confirm a long-lasting trend that has seen San Francisco Bay Area companies opening secondary offices in Denver.
Technology Companies in Denver
Over the years, Denver has attracted tech giants from all over the country. This is the case for Microsoft, which has a long-standing presence in Boulder, about 40 miles away.
Google also invested $131m on a Boulder campus back in 2018.
Inside the city of Denver, Facebook began hiring back in 2017, when Microsoft also built a tech hub.
In 2016, Zoom had already turned up in Denver, along with Michigan-based Service Express.
More recently, Palantir Technologies, the data analytics company, moved its headquarters to Denver from Palo Alto, California.
Other top employers that are currently hiring tech workers in the area include Accenture, Amazon, Arrow Electronics, Comcast, Deloitte, Lockheed Martin, Lumen, Raytheon, and Spectrum.
Despite the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, the tech scene in Denver has continued to see significant growth.
Last year, the Denver metro area led the nationwide rebound in office leasing activity.
According to CBRE’s annual Tech-30 Report, tech companies claimed a 22% share of U.S. office-leasing activity, up from 17% for all of 2020.
The share was even higher in Denver, where tech businesses leased over 1m square feet in 2021.
This is yet another indicator that the physical office is not going anywhere, with tech workers having to settle for hybrid solutions that will require them to turn up at the office at least two or three days a week.
Lifestyle and Cost of Living
The good news is that the demand for tech workers in Denver is high, while the supply of local talent is relatively lower compared to employers’ needs. And along with a labor shortage come higher salaries.
According to a survey by BWBacon, tech salaries in Denver rose an average of 9% last year or twice the U.S. average.
The cost of living in Denver is 14% above the national average.
This makes it less attractive than other secondary tech hubs like Austin or Atlanta, where livings costs are respectively 13% and 11.6% lower.
However, Denver is considerably more affordable than leading tech hubs like San Francisco (-61.3%) and New York (-104.7%).
In fact, the Denver metro area offers just as many opportunities to tech workers, who earn a median annual wage of $96,121 (CompTIA).
This is 79% more than non-tech wages and more than enough to afford to buy a house, which comes at a median price of $614,800.
LOS ANGELES, CA
Los Angeles is home to the nation’s second-largest tech workforce (512,500) and to nearly 19,000 tech business establishments (CompTIA).
Also known as Silicon Beach, L.A. boasts a $94.6bn tech sector, which accounts for 10% of the local economy.
Although the city’s tech population decreased by 0.5% in 2020, last year it returned to pre-pandemic levels, with an estimated growth of 2,617 new tech jobs.
Technology Careers in L.A.
L.A. and Orange Counties ranked ninth in CBRE’s “2021 Scoring Tech Talent” report, climbing eight spots up from the 2020 rankings.
The report estimates that L.A. County added more than 22,000 tech workers over the last five years, while the number of jobs in software development and engineering grew by nearly 15%.
Los Angeles appeals to employers because of its vast supply of tech talent, which is comprised of graduates from local universities like the California Institute of Technology, California State University and the University of Southern California.
In the five years between 2015 and 2020, Los Angeles produced 44,386 tech degrees.
Tech companies in L.A. benefit from fairly competitive operating costs, which are lower than in rivalling coastal centres like the San Francisco Bay Area and Seattle.
Technology Companies in L.A.
Some of the biggest names that have been expanding in the area include Apple, Google, and Netflix.
According to Amplify’s LA Seed Report, in 2021 Los Angeles saw a record amount of seed capital flocking into its tech scene.
$330m was secured by 116 start-ups providing a variety of services like e-commerce and consumers products (e.g. Cartwheel and Ready, Set, Food!).
The largest share of seed dollars was raised by SaaS start-ups, which attracted over $121 million across 44 deals in the first half of 2021 (e.g. Preveta and Wonder Dynamics).
In terms of venture capital deal activity, National Venture Capital Association and Pitchbook found that in 2021 Los Angeles was second only to the San Francisco Bay Area and New York City, having secured $17.9 billion across 762 deals.
Out of the top 10 deals, three were fintech companies, with software and energy also receiving investments of more than $100m.
A less obvious booming sector is the home fitness industry, with LA-based tech start-ups like FrameFitness, FightCamp and Day-J, tapping into the millions of Americans who were forced to take their workout
routines indoors during the lockdown.
Lifestyle and Cost of Living
Tech workers in L.A. make a median salary of $94,141, 83% more than the median metro wage (CompTIA).
The cost of living is 46% higher than the national average, with the rent for a one-bedroom apartment costing $2,256. Commute time to work also exceeds smaller-sized tech hubs by a significant margin.
On average, it takes L.A. workers an hour to get to the office, nearly double the time of their colleagues in Austin.
However, L.A. is still more affordable than San Francisco, where the cost of living is 26% more expensive.
NEW YORK CITY, NY
Only a handful of experts would have expected the New York tech scene to recover from the dot-com crash of the ‘90s. But in the last two decades, things have changed dramatically.
Whilst very few other local industries were growing, the Big Apple turned into a major tech hub, with thousands of start-ups and billions of venture capital flocking into the city.
New York Technology Careers
Presently, the New York metropolitan area ranks consistently among the nation’s five top tech economies.
According to CompTIA, New York City has the largest tech workforce in the US, with over 670,000 people employed in tech.
The State of New York attracts the nation’s second-largest amount of venture capital after California and ranks fourth for the number of tech companies (27,478) and job openings (190,720).
The tech sector leads employment growth in the area as it accounts for 10% of New York’s entire economy.
Technology Companies in New York
The great majority of tech giants like Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft and Salesforce have a campus in New York City.
Last September, Google announced it was expanding its local presence with a $2.1bn investment into a new Manhattan office.
According to venture-capital firm Work-Bench, New York-based startups raised $6.7bn across 119 deals in the first six months of 2021.
That’s more than the $5.8bn raised in all of 2020, and 28.7% of all the funding raised since 2014 ($23.4bn).
Despite the national contraction of the economy brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, in 2020 investments into New York-based start-ups were already up more than 75% from the $3.3bn of venture capital raised in 2019.
Currently, New York City is home to 18 unicorns, namely tech companies valued at $1bn or more.
Among the 33 up-and-coming tech companies identified by Work-Bench, 24% are cybersecurity
companies (e.g. BetterCloud, BlueVoyant, and Deep Instinct), 21% are Sales and Marketing companies (e.g. Braze, ActionIQ, and Glia), 18% are Collaboration and Productivity companies (e.g. Bizzabo), 15% are AI and Machine Learning companies (e.g. Enigma), and 15% are HR tech companies (e.g. Spring Health).
New York hosts a large number of financial firms, healthcare organizations and other technology adopters looking to accelerate their digital transition.
Consequently, the city has seen a boom of startups specialized in digital transformation services.
Lifestyle and Cost of Living
The estimated median tech wage in New York is $102,561, which is 80% higher than the median metro wage (CompTIA).
However, the city is famously overpriced, with the average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment costing $3,250.
In fact, the cost of living in Manhattan is 25% higher than in San Francisco.
Outer boroughs like Brooklyn, the Bronx and Queens do offer more affordable living conditions.
However, this did not seem to prevent the mass exodus of New Yorkers in the spring of 2020, as the city became the epicentre of the Covid-19 pandemic in the U.S. and the rate of move-outs tripled compared to pre-pandemic levels.
However, nearly 80% of New Yorkers who moved out of the city stayed within the New York metro area or neighboring suburban towns like Hudson, New Jersey, as revealed by New York City’s Comptroller Scott M. Springer.
Most importantly, this was just a temporary “exodus”, with the city seeing a gradual but steady return of residents ever since July 2021.
For those working remotely, New York City has to offer the nation’s highest average Internet speed (190.5 Mbps) and over 12,000 Wi-FI hotspots.
The state of New York hosts some of the nation’s leading tech institutions, like Cornell University, New York University, Rochester Institute of Technology and New York Insitute of Technology.
Greater Phoenix is a small but up-and-coming tech hub in its own right, with a solid ecosystem of software companies.
Things used to look quite different only two decades ago, when the local economy was still largely focused on residential real estate.
Intel was the first big tech company that decided to bet on Phoenix, establishing a large office in nearby Chandler twenty years ago.
As SanDisk followed soon after, a new tech ecosystem was gradually emerging.
The 2008 economic crisis put a definite end to Phoenix’s focus on real estate, causing a butterfly effect that would gradually benefit the tech scene to come.
More recently, the Covid-19 pandemic has led to an influx of tech workers and companies from larger US tech hubs like San Francisco, ushering in a new phase of growth for the Phoenix tech scene.
By the end of 2020, 60,000 tech workers had relocated to Phoenix from California, following the lead of 45 tech companies that had also chosen the Valley of the Sun as their new home.
The surging popularity of Phoenix as an up-and-coming tech city is understandable.
As operational costs here are 36% lower than in a top US tech hub like California, companies based in Phoenix can fully focus their efforts on growth.
And the numbers are there to prove it.
Tech jobs in Phoenix
Last year, Phoenix made it at No9 on CompTIA’s cybermetro ranking for the number of tech job gains.
According to CompTIA, one out of five workers based in Arizona are employed in Tech, which brings an estimated $25bn of annual revenues to the state.
Out of the Phoenix’s overall tech workforce, more than 100,000 people work in computer science occupations at Information and Communications Technology (ICT) companies.
The ICT workforce in Phoenix has experienced a 64.1% job growth in the past decade, well above the national average of 34.0% in the same time period.
Tech Companies in Phoenix
Big and small tech companies alike are choosing to invest in Phoenix because of its solid pipeline of skilled talent.
With Arizona State University and the University of Arizona in nearby Tempe and Tucson, Phoenix can count on highly respected education facilities that supply a large pool of local talent.
ICT is the biggest tech sector in Phoenix, with top employers including giants like Amazon, Deloitte, Intel, Infosys and TikTok.
Software developer Infosys has recently opened a Technology and Innovation Center in the area, which is expected to deliver 1,000 new job openings in autonomous technologies, Internet of Things, full-stack engineering, data science, and cyber security.
The greater Phoenix area is also an up-and-coming hub of innovation for Aerospace & Aviation because its excellent weather conditions make it perfect for flying throughout the year.
As of 2022, more than 1,200 aerospace companies are based in the Greater Phoenix Area, including big tech employers like Honeywell Aerospace and Boeing.
FinTech is yet another sector that has experienced growth in recent years.
In 2018, Arizona became the first US state to adopt a “regulatory sandbox”, namely a legislation granting relief for innovators in emerging industries like fintech, blockchain and cryptocurrencies.
This means that it is cheaper and faster for FinTech companies to do business in Phoenix compared to other US tech hubs, with big companies like Vanguard, PayPal, and Charles Schwab taking notice and expanding their local presence.
Phoenix has also seen a surge in high-tech manufacturing, with self-driving and electric car companies like Waymo and Lucid Motors setting up huge offices in the area.
Although not quite at the same level as top US tech hubs like the Silicon Valley, there are also lots of startups based in Phoenix, along with several incubators, like Seed Spot, Stealthmode Partners, Coplex, Armory, and the Center for Entrepreneurial Innovation.
There are plenty of reasons why the Phoenix area has begun to draw more and more tech professionals in recent years.
Lifestyle and Cost of Living
Ever since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, tech workers have been flocking to Phoenix because of its affordable cost of living, great weather, outdoor activities and vibrant culture.
All things considered, tech workers in Phoenix benefit from a warm climate and a chilled lifestyle just like their counterparts in top US tech hubs like the San Francisco Bay Area.
Unlike the Bay Area however, Phoenix has a low cost of living, which is 5% below the national average.
This makes Phoenix an attractive place to live for technologists, who make a median annual wage of $83,175 (CompTIA).
With the median home price amounting to about $430K and large amounts of cheap land still available, it is no surprise that more and more tech workers keep moving here
Located in the North Carolina Research Triangle, Raleigh is a major tech hub, offering an affordable lifestyle and overflowing with in-demand talent.
Along with nearby Durham and Chapell Hill, Raleigh is home to a network of prestigious institutions.
This is the world-famous Research Triangle, which comprises North Carolina State University, Duke University, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
These research universities partner with over 300 tech companies, government agencies and non-profits at the Research Triangle Park, the nation’s largest research park and one of the most prominent high-tech research centres.
Raleigh Technology Careers
The Raleigh-Durham metro area has one of the largest concentrations of tech talent in the country across mobile applications, open-source, healthcare IT, data analytics, cloud computing and cybersecurity.
With a pipeline like that, tech employers have been flocking to the Research Triangle for years.
For example, last year Apple revealed its plans to invest more than $1bn in a new campus and engineering hub in the Raleigh-Durham area.
This new site is expected to create 3,000 new jobs in artificial intelligence & machine learning, software engineering, 5G tech and many other fields.
Google is also expanding its local footprint, with a new cloud engineering hub in Durham expected to create more than 1,000 jobs.
Technology Companies in Raleigh
Other tech giants with a presence in the Raleigh-Durham area include IBM Corporation, SAS Institute Inc., Cisco Systems, Lenovo, Fidelity Investments, Credit Suisse, Red Hat, Verizon Business, NetApp, Bandwidth, Pendo, HCL Technologies, ABB Inc., DB Global Technology, Citrix Systems, Channel Advisor Corporation, Dell EMC Corporation, LexisNexis, and Infosys.
Last year, the Raleigh-Durham area made it on Inc.’s Surge City list as the third best place in the U.S .to start a business.
This is no surprise, given that start-ups in the Research Triangle region have access to more funding and resources than ever before.
Last year, North Carolina’s startups raised over $1bn in venture capital funding, with incubators and accelerators based in the Research Triangle leading growth.
Recently-funded startups include PrecisionHawk (drones), Pendo (business website analytics) and Teamworks (sports team scheduling software).
Lifestyle and Cost of Living
The boom in start-up activity has deeply altered Raleigh’s old industrial look.
Take the Warehouse District in downtown Raleigh, which was recently revitalized to host Raleigh Founded, a 20,000 square-foot coworking space for local start-ups.
Tech workers in Raleigh earn a median wage of $89,085, or 88% more than local residents not employed in the tech sector (CompTIA).
This is more than enough to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle, given that the cost of living in Raleigh is 5% lower than the national average.
In fact, life here is 90.6% cheaper than in San Francisco, with the price of housing over three times lower.
Having said that, be aware that competition for housing is getting fierce.
As the Research Triangle area has become more and more popular among tech workers, the brokerage Redfin found that about 87% of homes on the local market saw bidding wars last year, branding Raleigh “the most cutthroat real-estate market in the country”.
San Francisco, CA
We all know how the story goes. More and more tech workers and businesses are leaving the San Francisco Bay Area, with the Covid-19 pandemic signaling the beginning of the end for the biggest tech hub in the country.
As enticing a prospect as tech democratization might be, things are not that easy.
Despite the increasing number of relocations and its exorbitant cost of living, the Bay Area is still the No1 tech hub in the nation, with no other worthy competitor in sight just yet.
During the pandemic, San Francisco did experience some of the most intense patterns of outgoing migration in the country, along with New York City and Los Angeles. However, the widely-reported “exodus” is an over-inflated narrative.
According to research by the University of California, about two-thirds of those who left San Francisco during the pandemic stayed in the Bay Area, while 80% remained in California, which is in line with pre-pandemic trends.
The study also found no evidence of a “millionaire flight” from California, which continues to attract as much venture capital as allother U.S. states combined.
This is confirmed by Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program, which found that the great majority of remote workers who moved out of San Francisco relocated to nearby counties.
Lifestyle and Cost of Living
This is not to say that the tech workers in San Francisco are not facing any challenges. Needless to say, the elephant in the room here is affordability.
Tech positions in San Francisco are estimated to pay 82% more than other occupations (CompTIA). However, a median annual salary of $121,079 won’t take you that far in such an expensive area. According to PayScale, the cost of living in the Bay Area is a whopping 80% higher than the national average.
In fact, San Francisco is ranked the third most expensive city in the nation by NerdWallet, while expatistan.com ranks it at No1.
For example, an average one-bedroom apartment costs $3,137 a month, while the median listing home price hit a record high of $1.3m in November 2021, according to realtor.com.
Taking these numbers into consideration, it is no surprise that San Francisco earned the infamous last spot for affordability on CompTIA’s Techtown Index.
San Francisco Technology Careers
Despite the exorbitant cost of living, no other city in the US can quite compete with the sheer amount of opportunities that arestill open to San-Francisco based technologists.
Last year, San Francisco experienced the highest number of tech jobs gains in the nation.
With 7,543 new positions created, this was nearly 3,000 more than in Seattle, the second-highest scoring metro area.
San Francisco also boasts the fourth-largest tech workforce in the nation (426,286).
Apart from the nation’s capital Washington D.C., only larger-sized cities like Los Angeles and New York City can count on more tech workers.
This is no surprise, as the tech industry in San Francisco accounts for an impressive 28% of the overall economy.
With more than 13,000 tech business establishments based in the Bay Area, the opportunities for tech workers are plenty and varied, ranging across every single sub-market of the tech industry: artificial intelligence, machine learning, robotics, software, SaaS, data analytics, fintech, edtech, health tech, real estate tech, cloud computing, quantum computing, energy/cleantech, automotive and electric vehicles, Internet of Things, web design, mobile apps, wearables, telecommunications, blockchain, cyber security, digital marketing, web development.
Technology Companies in San Francisco
If that wasn’t enough, San Francisco hosts some of the biggest tech companies in the nation.
The list here could go on and on, but these are some of the top employers that call the Bay Area home: Amazon, Facebook, Wells Fargo, Deloitte, Salesforce, Accenture, Pacific Gas & Electric, and Anthem Blue Cross.
And then there are the start-ups. Lots and lots of them. The Bay Area hosts 7,894 scaleups, tech companies that have raised over $1 million since inception.
Scaleups headquartered in the Bay Area raised $501.3bn in capital funding, which accounts for about half of the total capital made available to U.S. tech companies.
On top of that, last year San Francisco saw 80 new companies added to its 212-strong population of unicorns, namely start-ups valued at $1bn or more.
San Jose, CA
Just like the rest of the Bay Area, San Jose experienced high patterns of outgoing migration during the pandemic.
As employers allowed remote work and offices closed throughout the Santa Clara and Mateo counties, population growth in Silicon Valley was flat throughout 2020.
As fears of a long-term exodus began spreading, many experts wondered whether this was the beginning of the end for the Silicon Valley tech era. However, the numbers don’t quite add up.
San Jose Technology Careers
According to CompTIA, Silicon Valley’s largest city continues to have the highest concentration of tech workers in the nation.
398,839 people are employed in the San Jose tech industry, namely more than one out of three local residents.
The local tech sector is worth $169bn and accounts for an impressive 60% of the overall economy.
This is twice as much as Seattle (29%), the country’s second highest-scoring area for the economic impact of the tech sector.
Last year, San Jose experienced the fourth-highest number of job gains, with more than 4,000 new tech positions added to its massive workforce.
Technology Companies in San Jose
San Jose is home to more than 8,000 tech business companies (CompTIA).
Besides hosting tech giants like Amazon, Apple, CIBM, Cisco, Deloitte, Google, NVIDIA, Paypal, VMware and Xoriant, the San Jose area is famous worldwide for its ecosystem of startups.
In fact, Silicon Valley is the world’s biggest startup ecosystem, hosting 2.3 times more startups than New York, 4.6 times more than Los Angeles, 7 times more than Texas, 8 times more than Boston, and 11 times more than Seattle and Chicago (Mind the Bridge).
It takes the whole continent of Europe or the country of China to find a worthy competitor.
Not only is the tech sector alive and well in San Jose but recent data shows that employers are getting ready to bring workers back to the office.
According to the annual Tech-30 report issued by CBRE, the tech sector is leading office rebound in the area.
Office leasing activity in Silicon Valley was 44% higher in the first nine months of 2021 compared with the same period in 2020.
In fact, this is well above the rest of the nation, where office leasing was up only by 7.5%.
Big tech was the key player in leading the demand for Silicon Valley commercial real estate.
2021 saw Apple leasing about 700,000 square feet in Sunnyvale. NetApp leased 301,000 square feet in San Jose and Tesla has rented 193,000 square feet in Palo Alto.
On top of that, Google is planning to open major office hubs in Sunnyvale, Mountain View and Downtown West San Jose, with the latter site expected to employ up to 20,000 people.
Surgical robots maker Intuitive Surgical is planning to build a two-building office and research tech hub in Sunnyvale that would total about 1.21m square feet.
Adobe is building a new office tower to expand its three-building headquarters campus in downtown San Jose.
Despite the pandemic, it looks like the physical office will not disappear.
Lifestyle and Cost of Living
Most likely, San Jose tech workers will have to settle for hybrid work options that will require them to be in the office at least a couple of days a week.
It goes without saying that affordability is a big issue. San Jose residents do benefit from a great climate and easy access to the Bay but the cost of living is exorbitant.
For example, the median home value in the area is $1,332,518 (+18.5% in the last year).
Tech workers in San Jose earn a median salary of $128,492, which is 71% higher than the median metro wage.
However, once adjusted to the cost of living, the same salary would translate to $161,469 in a secondary tech hub like Austin. As steep as that might seem, life in San Jose is still more affordable than in San Francisco.
The pandemic hit Seattle really hard. As the city became one of the nation’s major Covid-19 hotspots, nearly 480,000 people moved out of the Seattle-Tamoca-Bellevue area.
Only New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles experienced higher patterns of outgoing migration.
However, recent findings reveal that the city is starting to recover from the pandemic, with the local tech industry leading the healing process.
Seattle Technology Careers
According to CBRE, in 2021 Seattle led the nation’s rebound in office leasing activity.
In fact, the Seattle area outpaced Manhattan by 85% in office space used by top tech companies like Amazon, Facebook and Google.
A majority of these new leases took place in nearby areas like Redmond, Kirkland and Bellevue.
These major investments in new office spaces are not the only reason why the local tech scene is expected to grow in the coming years.
Pace Covid-19, Seattle benefits from a healthy ecosystem of emerging technology sectors and a solid pipeline of tech talent.
The tech scene in Seattle accounts for an impressive 29% of the local economy, second only to tech giant San Jose.
Overall, the Seattle metro area is home to 11,239 tech companies, with 96,238 job openings posted last year (CompTIA).
Technology Companies in Seattle
Besides hosting giants like Amazon, Microsoft, Salesforce, Google, Apple and Facebook, Seattle has also experienced significant growth in the biotech and life sciences sector.
Recently-launched biotech companies raising capital in the last year include Shape Therapeutics ($112m), Umoja Biopharma ($263m) and Sonoma Biotherapeutics ($265 million).
Seattle has also seen a boom in climate tech startups, which raised more than $1bn across the Pacific Northwest between 2020 and 2021.
For example, LevelTen Energy, a company that facilitates the purchase of renewable power, recently collected more than $62m of venture capital funding, while Rad Power Bikes, a startup selling electric bikes, raised $175m.
Seattle-based startups benefit from the region’s long-lasting tradition in the aviation and maritime fields and from the presence of top research institutions like Washington State University, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the University of Washington.
Taking these factors into consideration, it is no surprise that the State of Washington ranked No 1 in the 2021 Global Startup Ecosystem Report.
After all, Seattle is filled with small but highly innovative startups doing interesting things, ranging from edtech (e.g. Brite) to mental health (e.g. Mindbase) and workflow optimization (Edizeven, Symbolic Frameworks).
Lifestyle and Cost of Living
The cost of living in Seattle is 22% higher than the national average.
However, it looks like tech employers are taking this into consideration as tech workers in Seattle make a median wage of $117,028, which is over 90% higher than the median metro wage (CompTIA).
For this reason, Seattle has ranked consistently as one of the best-paying cities in CompTIA’s Tech Index, reaching the No1 spot in 2020.
Washington D.C. wins the prize for job opportunities.
In the last few years, the nation’s capital has consistently outranked San Francisco and New York for the number of job postings (CompTIA).
Washington D.C. Technology Careers
Last year, 247,400 tech jobs were advertised in Washington D.C, 4,000 more than in New York and an impressive 89,000 more than in the San Francisco Bay Area. Overall, the city employs 452,666 tech workers, second only to New York and Los Angeles.
More than 16,000 tech companies are based in Washington D.C., making it one of the nation’s largest and healthiest tech hubs.
Many agencies that shape the tech industry are located here, such as the National Institute for Standards and Technologies, the Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Homeland Security.
The government sector is undoubtedly the biggest driver of the local tech scene, with the great majority of tech workers (80,731) employed in IT Services and Custom Software Services.
With a large amount of sensitive digital information flocking into the city on a daily basis, cybersecurity comes second.
Technology Companies in Washington D.C.
Software development and technical and digital solutions are also expected to grow in the next five years. And then there’s Amazon’s HQ2.
Over the next decade, the retailer giant’s $2.5bn expansion in Arlington and Alexandra is expected to generate 2,500 new jobs, including tech positions like software development engineers, technical sales representatives, program managers, and solutions architects.
The D.C. region ranked third in CBRE’s “2021 Scoring Tech Talent” report, behind only San Francisco and Seattle.
The strength of the area lies in its large pool of skilled workers, which is estimated to be the 4th largest in the whole of North America.
This is no surprise.
Thanks to a local network of top universities like Capitol Tech and Georgetown University, the D.C. population is amongst the most educated in the US.
Lifestyle and Cost of Living
Washington D.C. also boasts the nation’s most gender-diverse tech workforce, with 32.3% of tech workers being female, compared to 27% nationally.
The cost of living in Washington D.C. is 17% higher than the national average.
However, tech workers here earn a median salary of $110,020, which is 102% higher than the median state wage (CompTIA).
In recent years, millennials have been flocking to the region,putting on the map neighborhoods like Shaw and Capitol Riverfront.
So that’s our comprehensive guide to tech hubs in the US 2022!
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About the author
Ruggero Galtarossa is a PHD Researcher with a background in Journalism and Sociology. He studied at Cambridge University, England, and has worked as a content creator for Incubeta, an international team of experts in marketing, technology, data, and creative. He currently works as PHD Researcher and technology writer.