Dice: 6 emerging tech hubs with the greatest salary growth

Forget San Francisco and New York City. Dice's 2020 Tech Salary Report shows that emerging tech hubs are where to go for the best opportunities.

Highest and lowest IT job salaries ranked by US state Geography plays a major role in IT salaries. Here are the states paying the big bucks and those to be avoided.

The Dice 2020 Tech Salary Report shows that the average annual tech salary grew to $94,000 in 2019, up a mere 1.3% from 2018. However, tech hubs such as Silicon Valley, which includes San Francisco, saw salaries increase 4.7% to $123,826. In New York City, the average tech salary went up 1.7%, to $102,359. 

Emerging tech hubs saw a greater leap, with localized demand for technologists in specialized fields drawing the biggest salaries. "The real story, however, is in emerging tech hubs, where employers big and small are hiring technologists to work on every aspect of the business, from sysadmins who keep infrastructure running to iOS/Android developers who build mobile apps. This demand, in turn, translates into higher salaries," according to the Dice report.

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The cities of note for 2019:

Columbus, Ohio

There is a rising demand in both private and public sectors and an average salary of $92,017, with a 14.2% salary growth in 2019 compared to 2018.

According to the report, "Columbus is growing into a full-fledged Midwestern tech hub...The 38% year-over-year growth in tech job postings (according to Dice's partner Burning Glass Technologies) suggests that businesses in the city, including IBM and JPMorgan Chase (Central Ohio's fourth-largest employer), are looking to increase their technology ranks."

Key employers: Accenture, JPMorgan Chase, Huntington National Bank, CareWorks, IBM

St. Louis, Missouri 

There are large-scale businesses hiring at high volume and an average salary of $97,892, with a 13.6% salary growth in 2019 compared to 2018.

Job postings dropped 6% last year, but there was still a significant rise in pay last year in St. Louis as large-scale business were looking to hire at high volumes. In addition, the federal National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA) announced that they plan to build a new campus in North St. Louis where approximately 3,100 employers will work, according to the report.

Key employers: Boeing, IBM, Wells Fargo, Edward Jones, Enterprise Rent-A-Car

Atlanta

There is a powerful tech community presence and an average salary of $94,084, with 9.5% salary growth in 2019 compared to 2018. In recent years, Atlanta has positioned itself as one of the country's prominent tech hubs. In 2019, Atlanta also had the fourth-most tech job postings of any US city. This means that salaries are growing and the demand for tech pros are as well. The city incubates tech and has a thriving startup community, according to the report. It's also home to Georgia Tech.

Key employers: Home Depot, IBM, Cox Communications, Capgemini, Georgia Tech

Denver

There are companies moving to or expanding in Denver and an average salary of $102,557, with 6.5% salary growth in 2019 compared to 2018.

Over the past decade, Denver has increasingly positioned itself as a growing tech hub. The data shows that Denver had the seventh-highest salary of any city in 2019. "Some of the primary businesses responsible for Denver's growth include Amazon and KPMG. Part of Denver's growth can also be linked to available space: While larger tech hubs such as San Francisco and New York are increasingly restricted by their location, Denver has ample available room for companies and people to spread out," according to the report.

Key employers: Amazon, Comcast, Bank of America, KPMG, Transamerica,

Dallas-Fort Worth

This Texas city had more salary growth than Austin in 2019, with an average salary of $95,002, and 5.8% salary growth in 2019 compared to 2018.

While Austin is typically thought of as the prominent technology hub in Texas, Dallas-Fort Worth showed more significant salary growth. In the same year, Dallas' tech job postings rose by 5%. "Local employers are on the hunt for technologists with a range of skills; for example, IBM has been on the hunt for software development, network engineer and project management roles, while Deloitte is in the market to fill cybersecurity and solutions architect positions," according to the report.

Key employers: Salesforce, Lockheed Martin, Southwest Airlines, American Airlines, Goldman Sachs

San Diego 

This city had the most job posting growth in California, with an average salary of $109,428, and 5.4% salary growth in 2019 compared to 2018.

While San Diego has a lower average salary ($109,428) compared to Silicon Valley ($123,826), it showed more significant year-over-year growth. The 37% growth in local job postings exceeded that of any other California city. "The growth in San Diego stems at least partially from businesses that are hiring at high volumes, including Northrop Grumman, Qualcomm and Booz Allen Hamilton; on the technologist side of the equation, the lower cost of living (relative to San Francisco and Silicon Valley), as well as a high quality of life, make the city particularly attractive," according to the report.

Key employers: Intuit, Qualcomm, Booz Allen Hamilton, Northrop Grumman, General Atomics

Report methodology
The Dice Salary Survey was administered online by Dice.com, with 12,837 employed US-based technology professionals responding between October 14, 2019 and December 17, 2019. 

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