The 10 hottest tech hubs outside of the usual suspects

These smaller cities have growing tech job postings and far lower costs of living than Silicon Valley, New York, or Seattle, according to Indeed.

Tech jobs remain clustered in the top tech hubs of the US, but smaller cities increasingly offer employment opportunities and other benefits for those in the field, according to a Thursday report from Indeed.

Indeed defined "tech hubs" as metro areas with at least 1 million people, where technology occupations accounted for a high share of overall job postings on the site in 2018. Unsurprisingly, the Bay Area maintained its lead in this area: Metro San Jose topped the list, with 23% of last year's job postings in tech. It was followed by Washington, DC, Seattle, and San Francisco.

SEE: Special report: IT Jobs in 2020: A leader's guide (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Most of the eight tech hubs identified—San Jose, Washington, DC, Seattle, San Francisco, Baltimore, Raleigh, Austin, and Boston—saw increasing numbers of tech jobs in recent years. Between 2017 and 2018, the fraction of national tech jobs rose 10% in San Jose, 9% in Austin, and 6% in Boston, the report found. Only Baltimore and Washington lost some of their share.

As such, the concentration of tech jobs across these eight hubs grew, despite increasing labor and housing costs, according to the report. In 2018, 31.7% of national tech jobs were found in these eight metro areas, up from 31.1% the year before.

Indeed also examined where job seekers can find the hottest tech jobs—defined as those that pay well and are growing rapidly in demand, including data scientist and cloud engineer. In San Francisco, 19% of tech jobs were hot titles like these, while in San Jose, 18% were. Austin, Seattle, and Boston also had high concentrations of these popular tech titles, while Raleigh, Washington, DC, and Baltimore were at or below the national average of 11%, the report found.

Tech jobs in smaller cities

Fewer tech jobs exist outside of large metro areas, according to the report: Tech accounted for 6.6% of job postings in cities with more than 1 million people, compared to 3.3% of postings in cities with between a quarter million and 1 million people. In large metros, 12% of tech job postings were for those fast-growing, high paying roles, compared to 6% of those in smaller metros.

However, smaller tech centers can offer several benefits to tech job seekers, including affordability and more diversity in terms of geography and politics, the report found.

Here are the 10 leading smaller tech hubs with the highest share of local job postings in tech, according to Indeed:

1. Huntsville, AL

Tech share of all postings: 17.8%

Hot title share of tech postings: 2%

2. Boulder, CO

Tech share of all postings: 10.9%

Hot title share of tech postings: 12%

3. Trenton, NJ

Tech share of all postings: 8.8%

Hot title share of tech postings: 14%

4. Colorado Springs, CO

Tech share of all postings: 8.4%

Hot title share of tech postings: 4%

5. Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL

Tech share of all postings: 7.1%

Hot title share of tech postings: 3%

6. Provo-Orem, UT

Tech share of all postings: 7.1%

Hot title share of tech postings: 11%

7. Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA

Tech share of all postings: 6.6%

Hot title share of tech postings: 6%

8. Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers, AR-MO

Tech share of all postings: 6.1%

Hot title share of tech postings: 9%

9. Ann Arbor, MI

Tech share of all postings: 6%

Hot title share of tech postings: 9%

10. Durham-Chapel Hill, NC

Tech share of all postings: 5.8%

Hot title share of tech postings: 11%

The best cities to be a tech job seekers

Larger and smaller tech markets differ in terms of the level of competition for tech jobs, measured by examining the number of times a job posting is clicked on. The more clicks per posting, the more competition for that role, according to the report.

Tech jobs generally get fewer clicks per posting in places where that occupation is more concentration, the report found. For example, because data science jobs are more common in Seattle and San Jose, those jobs get fewer clicks per post than those in Denver or Houston, where they are more rare.

Job seekers tend to have more control in places where specific tech jobs are highly clustered, the report found. Cities with the fewest clicks per post include Baltimore, Huntsville, and Colorado Springs. Among the larger tech hubs, Baltimore, Washington, Seattle, and San Jose had relatively fewer clicks per posting, the report found.

"Smaller tech markets offer affordability and geographic diversity," Indeed chief economist Jed Kolko wrote in the report. "What's more, in many of these smaller markets, job seekers are in the driver's seat. For some in tech, the Bay Area remains the only place to be—but there are plenty of tech centers elsewhere for those who want someplace different."

For more, check out The 10 best cities to find a job in 2019 on TechRepublic.

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Image: iStockphoto/Sean Pavone

By Alison DeNisco Rayome

Alison DeNisco Rayome is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. She covers CXO, cybersecurity, and the convergence of tech and the workplace.