According to the September 15 edition of U.S. News and World Report, there are actually other American cities out there besides San Francisco and San Jose that are good for tech jobs. Who knew?
U.S. News and World Report used a database of 2,000 cities — with data provided by Onboard Informatics — and sorted the cities on the basis of:
- High rates of graduate degrees
- Geography of job openings within the industry on a broad job search engine and a tech-specific site
- Local supply-demand ratios in several tech occupations
- Cost of living
Here are the 10 cities they found to have better opportunities for tech workers right now:
- Atlanta — Industry salaries are surprisingly competitive. The city was up there in volume of tech job openings in early September and had an above-average ratio of tech openings to employees for many IT occupations, including computer programmer, software engineer, and systems analyst.
- Boston — Because it is the home of many universities including MIT and Harvard, Boston is a draw for employers and fertile ground for start-ups. In fact, Microsoft opened its first East Coast research lab in nearby Cambridge last year. As for salary, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that programmers and software applications engineers in nearby Lowell, MA, rank among the highest paid in all U.S. metro areas.
- Houston — Houston is full of service firms (many of which are IT) that serve the energy industry.
- Huntsville, Alabama — According to the U.S. News and World Report, more than 300 companies in the area are focused on designing and producing electronics and computer-related technology. Huntsville is also the home of the second-largest tech and research park, Cummings Research Park, which houses 225 companies and 23,000 employees.
- New York — No surprise here. The Big Apple also ranks well above the national average in terms of the percentage of its job postings that cross multiple tech occupations.
- Phoenix — Microsoft, Oracle, and Intel all have tech presences in Phoenix. In addition, Phoenix is the home of Arizona State University and its esteemed College of Technology and Innovation and Advanced Technology Innovation Center.
- San Diego — It has one of the highest concentrations of high-tech companies in the nation and ranks fourth for tech salary pay.
- San Francisco — Although this seems like a logical inclusion, it's not all because of the tech-savvy population there. San Francisco also boasts an unemployment rate of 9.3 percent, which is below the national average.
- Seattle — Well, duh. Seattle has more than 700 tech industry organizations and companies and is among the most active for start-ups this year.
- Washington — Washington has among the highest number of openings in the nation and ranks in the top five for volume of job openings on Dice.com.
For details on the study, see the article in U.S. News and World Report.
Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.