Report: These cities are the best for tech professionals

If you're a tech professional willing to relocate, one of these five cities is worth considering, CompTIA said in a new report.

Report: These cities are the best for tech professionals

Tech certification organization and trade group CompTIA has released a new report of the top 20 cities for tech workers in 2019.

CompTIA ranked cities not only based on their cost of living and number of available jobs, but also included 12 month and five year job growth potential when ranking its top 20 locations. 

"The moral of the story is that there is a need for an educated, tech-ready workforce nationwide," the report said, adding that it's not just tech mainstays like San Francisco and San Jose making the list. 

Sixteen locations in the report are repeats from last year, but four cities have joined the list, including Columbus, Ohio, which ranks number one in cost of living. 

SEE: Recruiting and hiring top talent: A guide for business leaders (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

The top five cities and why they earned their rank

1. Austin, Texas

Tech professionals looking for a hip town with opportunity need look no further than Austin.

Austin is quickly becoming the next tech hotspot: The cost of living is still relatively low, it ranks number one in both 12 month and five year growth projections, and a number of big tech companies have, or are planning, relocations to the Austin-Round Rock metro area (46 in 2018 alone).

Apple is planning $1 billion in investment in Austin, and Microsoft Office competitor Zoho is planning torelocate from California to Austin, bringing 500 new jobs with it.

2. Raleigh, NC

Raleigh is a bustling town for those looking for tech jobs in the biotech and medical industries, which are two of the biggest employers in the area.

Not only are jobs plentiful for tech pros in the Raleigh area, but it also has the second best cost of living-adjusted hourly rate on the list. That means the average salary in Raleigh goes a lot further than it does in other places on the list. 

3. San Jose, CA

Those looking for jobs in Silicon Valley need not be dismayed: They're still there aplenty. According to the report, the San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara area had more than 140,000 openings last year, and 10% growth is expected over the next five years.

There is a drawback to living where it's sunny and beautiful 300 days a year: The cost of living in the San Jose area is 44% higher than the national average, putting San Jose at the bottom of the barrel in terms of affordability.

4. Seattle

Believe it or not, Seattle is one of the most affordable locations on the list, right behind Raleigh in terms of its cost of living/adjusted hourly pay rate. The cost of living in Seattle is high, but so are the salaries.

Not only is Seattle affordable for the well-paid professional, it's tech sector is also growing like mad. Home to Amazon and Microsoft, Seattle is expected to see 11% employment growth over the next five years. 

5. San Francisco

It might be one of the most expensive places on the list to live, but San Francisco rounds out the top five for a reason.

One of the biggest tech hubs in the country, San Francisco had more than 167,000 tech job postings last year, is expected to see 13% growth over the next five years, and it has the highest concentration of "unicorns" (tech startups valued at over $1 billion dollars). 

Yes, the cost of living in San Francisco is 65% higher than the national average, but as the report states, "if you've got big ideas, the benefits of being at the epicenter of tech in the US may outweigh the costs."

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