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8/22/2017
08:00 AM
Cynthia Harvey
Cynthia Harvey
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10 Best US Cities for Tech Jobs in 2017

These metro areas have seen the biggest gains in software jobs over the last five years. You might be surprised by where some cities rank, and which noted tech employer missed the cut.



Image: Pixabay
Image: Pixabay

It used to be that if you wanted to work in the technology industry, your best bet was to move to Silicon Valley. However, while San Jose and the surrounding cities still serve as home to some of the largest technology companies in the United States, a lot of the IT job growth is happening in other parts of the country.

Researchers from online job board Glassdoor recently analyzed the company's database of job posting data, looking specifically at job postings with the word "software" in the title. They found that over the last five years, San Jose has seen a 7.7% decrease in its share of software job postings, while ten other cities experienced increases.

This slideshow takes a closer look at each of these 10 cities, delving into the total tech employment, average IT salaries, cost of living and other key metrics that might influence an IT worker's decision to relocate to a particular area. Throughout the slideshow, data comes from the previously mentioned Glassdoor report, the CompTIA Cyberstates 2017 report, City-data.com and Numbeo.com.

If you're currently looking for a job in IT, particularly for a job in software development or a related area, these cities might be your best bets for finding a position.

Image: Glassdoor
Image: Glassdoor



10. Raleigh-Durham, N.C.

Image: Pixabay
Image: Pixabay

Share of 2017 Software Job Postings: 1.3%

Change in Software Job Postings from 2016: 0.3% increase

Tech Industry Employment: 60,269

Average Wage in Tech Industry: $103,189

Tech Industry as a Percentage of the Overall Workforce: 10.4%

Leading Technology Occupations: Software developers (applications), computer systems analysts, computer user support specialists

City Population: 439,896

Estimated Median Household Income: $56,910

Cost of Living Index: 75.22*

In recent years, Raleigh has become one of the biggest technology hubs on the East Coast. Major employers in the area include tech giants like IBM, Cisco, SAS Institute and Lenovo, as well as leading healthcare and financial services firms, like Fidelity Investments, GlaxoSmithKline and Wells Fargo. The weather is pleasant, and crime is relatively low, making this area very popular with families.

*Note: Throughout this slideshow, cost of living numbers are indexed to the price of living in New York City, which is designated with a 100.0 rating. The 75.22 index rating means the cost of living in Raleigh is about 75.22% of the cost of living in New York City.

 



9. Orlando, Fla.

Image: Pixabay
Image: Pixabay



Share of 2017 Software Job Postings: 0.8%

Change in Software Job Postings from 2016: 0.3 percent increase

Tech Industry Employment: 51,929

Average Wage in Tech Industry: $86,892

Tech Industry as a Percentage of the Overall Workforce: 4.6%

Leading Technology Occupations: Computer user support specialists, software developers (applications), computer systems analysts

City Population: 262,372

Estimated Median Household Income: $44,804

Cost of Living Index: 80.29

Orlando, of course, is best known for its tourism industry, which employs a growing number of technology professionals in order to provide guests the services they have come to expect. Other big employers in the area include Lockheed Martin, Siemens, AT&T and several large healthcare systems. One downside: tech wages run low in this community. But on the bright side, residents here don't have to worry about snow.

 



8. New York City

Image: Pixabay
Image: Pixabay



Share of 2017 Software Job Postings: 4.9%

Change in Software Job Postings from 2016: 0.4% increase

Tech Industry Employment: 392,424

Average Wage in Tech Industry: $130,718

Tech Industry as a Percentage of the Overall Workforce: 4.4%

Leading Technology Occupations: Software developers (applications), computer systems analysts, computer user support specialists

City Population: 8,491,079

Estimated Median Household Income: $55,752

Cost of Living Index: 100.0

New York City has one of the highest concentrations of technology jobs anywhere in the country. The city's well-known financial firms employ a lot of IT workers, but it is also home to a growing number of small tech startups. The cost of living is high, but that might not be a problem because IT salaries in the city are among the highest in the nation. There's no place else like it on earth, and if you like the diversity, opportunities and excitement of living in one of the world's biggest cities, New York might be right for you.



7. Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas

Image: Pixabay
Image: Pixabay


Share of 2017 Software Job Postings: 2.6%

Change in Software Job Postings from 2016: 0.4% increase

Tech Industry Employment: 209,568

Average Wage in Tech Industry: $108,785

Tech Industry as a Percentage of the Overall Workforce: 6.3%

Leading Technology Occupations: Computer systems analysts, computer user support specialists, software developers (applications)

City Population: 1,281,047

Estimated Median Household Income: $45,918

Cost of Living Index: 69.19

Dallas has the lowest cost of living of any city in this slideshow, but it still offers good salaries for IT workers. It also has a very large number of technology jobs. Big employers in the area include American Airlines, AT&T, Lockheed Martin, Texas Instruments, IBM, HPE, Raytheon, Southwest Airlines, Cisco and Dell. If you can handle the heat and humidity, you'll also find lots of IT job opportunities in this rapidly growing city.



6. San Francisco, Calif.

Image: Pixabay
Image: Pixabay



Share of 2017 Software Job Postings: 7.9%

Change in Software Job Postings from 2016: 0.6% increase

Tech Industry Employment: 262,501

Average Wage in Tech Industry: $168,920

Tech Industry as a Percentage of the Overall Workforce: 11.5%

Leading Technology Occupations: Software developers (applications), computer systems analysts, software developers (systems software)

City Population: 852,469

Estimated Median Household Income: $92,094

Cost of Living Index: 101.26

With its close proximity to Silicon Valley, San Francisco has long been a popular locale for startups and larger technology firms. Tech employers here include Salesforce, Twitter, Adobe, LinkedIn, Dropbox, Uber and Cisco. The City by the Bay pays some of the highest tech salaries of anyplace in the country, but conversely, it is the only place in this slideshow where the cost of living is higher than in New York City. And the median home value in the city is a whopping $941,400 (as of 2015).



5. Austin, Texas

Image: Pixabay
Image: Pixabay


Share of 2017 Software Job Postings: 2.3%

Change in Software Job Postings from 2016: 0.7% increase

Tech Industry Employment: 113,176

Average Wage in Tech Industry: $108,349

Tech Industry as a Percentage of the Overall Workforce: 12.1%

Leading Technology Occupations: Software developers (applications), computer systems analysts, computer user support specialists

City Population: 912,791

Estimated Median Household Income: $56,351

Cost of Living Index: 77.31

Austin may not be as well-known as a location for IT jobs as some of the other cities in this slideshow, but technology jobs make up a huge portion of its workforce. It's also home to the annual South by Southwest conference, which brings together many of the biggest names in the technology industry. Although home prices have been rising rapidly, Austin has a fairly low cost of living. Plus, it has a delightfully offbeat culture that makes it one of the most unique places in the country. Major tech employers in the area include Dell, IBM, Apple, Oracle, VMware and many others.

 



4. Denver, Colo.

Image: Pixabay
Image: Pixabay



Share of 2017 Software Job Postings: 2.1%

Change in Software Job Postings from 2016: 0.7% increase

Tech Industry Employment: 114,495

Average Wage in Tech Industry: $109,039

Tech Industry as a Percentage of the Overall Workforce: 8.2%

Leading Technology Occupations: Software developers (applications), software developers (systems software), computer user support specialists

City Population: 663,862

Estimated Median Household Income: $58,003

Cost of Living Index: 81.42

Because it's so close to the mountains, Colorado attracts technology workers who enjoy outdoor activities. IT salaries aren't as high as in some other locations, but the cost of living is fairly low. Big technology firms in the area include Lockheed Martin, IBM, Oracle, Avaya and Level 3.



3. Detroit, Mich.


Image: Pixabay
Image: Pixabay

Share of 2017 Software Job Postings: 1.6%

Change in Software Job Postings from 2016: 0.8% increase

Tech Industry Employment: 142,212

Average Wage in Tech Industry: $92,637

Tech Industry as a Percentage of the Overall Workforce: 7.7%

Leading Technology Occupations: Mechanical engineers, industrial engineers, software developers (applications)

City Population: 680,250

Estimated Median Household Income: $25,980

Cost of Living Index: 78.07

As connected cars and autonomous vehicles move from science fiction to reality, the Motor City is beginning to hire a lot more technology workers. In the past, Detroit sometimes earned a bad reputation for its crime rates and abandoned buildings, but the city is in the middle of a renaissance, with many neighborhoods flourishing. It also boasts some of the least expensive housing of any city in the slideshow: the median home value is just $42,600. It's no surprise that three of the biggest employers in the area are Ford, GM and Chrysler, but other big employers include Quicken Loans, Compuware and several large healthcare facilities.



2. Washington, D.C.

Image: Pixabay
Image: Pixabay



Share of 2017 Software Job Postings: 6.8%

Change in Software Job Postings from 2016: 1.3% increase

Tech Industry Employment: 297,932

Average Wage in Tech Industry: $120,283

Tech Industry as a Percentage of the Overall Workforce: 9.7%

Leading Technology Occupations: Software developers (applications), software developers (systems software), computer occupations (other)

City Population: 658,893

Estimated Median Household Income: $75,628

Cost of Living Index: 94.74

The government employs a huge number of IT workers, which makes Washington, D.C., one of the most attractive areas for tech employment. Other big tech employers in the area include Booz Allen Hamilton, Verizon, Mitre, Lockheed Martin and Comcast. On the downside, this area has a high cost of living, and the weather can be miserable in both the winter and the summer. On the other hand, many people find it exciting to live so close to the center of political power, and technology job opportunities abound.



1. Seattle, Wash.

Image: Pixabay
Image: Pixabay


 

Share of 2017 Software Job Postings: 16.9%

Change in Software Job Postings from 2016: 6.7% increase

Tech Industry Employment: 178,766

Average Wage in Tech Industry: $145,457

Tech Industry as a Percentage of the Overall Workforce: 9.6%

Leading Technology Occupations: Software developers (applications), computer systems analysts, computer programmers

City Population: 668,342

Estimated Median Household Income: $80,349

Cost of Living Index: 92.03

In the Glassdoor study, Seattle had the highest growth in software job postings by a wide margin. In fact, it had even more software jobs than San Jose. Like many other tech hot spots, the cost of living is high, but IT salaries are generally high enough to compensate. Two of the most well-known tech employers in the area are Microsoft and Amazon, but they aren't the only ones. Other tech firms with a presence in the city include Expedia, CenturyLink, Google, Facebook, F5 Networks and host of small startups. If you don't mind the rain, Seattle looks to be one of the best places in the country to find a technology job.

Do you want to see how this year's list compares with similar 2016 research? See the 2016 list here.

Cynthia Harvey is a freelance writer and editor based in the Detroit area. She has been covering the technology industry for more than fifteen years. View Full Bio

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