CDI Corporation

Report shows best cities for tech jobs

A survey conducted by financial literacy organization NerdWallet recently revealed the top cities for tech jobs throughout the U.S. Using a number of criteria, researchers compiled a list of both traditional tech hotspots and up-and-coming areas.

Research methods 
While other companies have attempted to gage this employment trend, Forbes magazine explained that NerdWallet’s methods were among the most thorough and effective. According to Forbes, NerdWallet calculated the number of employees with tech jobs per 1,000 total jobs in each of the 370 major metropolitan areas it analyzed, using numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics published in May 2014. Because the BLS does not measure tech jobs as their own industry, NerdWallet pulled specific employment information from a variety of sectors, from architecture to software development. This calculation was 50 percent of each city’s overall score.

An additional 25 percent of every area’s score came from the region’s mean annual salaries for tech positions, numbers also taken from official BLS data. The last quarter of each location’s overall rating comes from the cities’ median gross rent, which NerdWallet took from the 2013 Census’ American Community Survey.

Tech employment hotspots scattered throughout the U.S.
NerdWallet’s analysis revealed that tech workers do not necessarily need to head to Silicon Valley for high-paying jobs in their field. A variety of metropolitan areas across the country are making names for themselves as emerging technology cities.

1. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, California
Even though other regions are budding meccas of tech employment, they have yet to catch up to Silicon Valley. This area, which took the No.1 spot on NerdWallet’s list, boasts 126 tech jobs for every 1,000 positions. Workers in the industry make an average yearly salary of $130,000. Although this is an impressive number, rents in the area are similarly high, with a median monthly rate of $1,600. Since this West Coast metropolitan area became notorious for tech jobs, it has become home to some of the biggest companies in the field, including Apple and eBay.

2. Huntsville, Alabama 
Tech experts in the South will not need to pack their bags for the Golden State anymore – they have their own version of Silicon Valley right in Alabama. The survey indicated that Huntsville is home to 68 tech jobs for every 1,000 general jobs, and that tech workers make on average just over $92,000 per year. Median rent in Huntsville is much lower than Southern California, at just $725 per month. One of the city’s largest employers for tech professionals is NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center.

3. Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, Washington 
A region known for coffee and garage rock will now be known for something else – tech jobs. NerdWallet explained that 77 jobs per every 1,000 are tech-related, and that average salaries amount to $108,000 per year. Rent is fairly high, with a median monthly price of $1,100, but professionals who choose to work here have a variety of companies to consider, including offices for Amazon, Microsoft, Google, Facebook and Twitter among others.

The other cities rounding off the top 10 included Durham-Chapel Hill, North Carolina; Boulder, Colorado; San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City, California; Washington, D.C.-Arlington-Alexandria, Virginia, Maryland and West Virginia; Raleigh-Cary, North Carolina; Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos, Texas and Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, Massachusetts.