Seven great cities for tech jobs in 2021
These seven cities may not be top of mind for tech jobs, but they should be
There are technology hubs strewn all across the US, and a few areas almost immediately come to mind when talking about technology capitols. Of course, Silicon Valley is the first to come into mind for most people, but there are other blooming tech hubs in the US, including Seattle, Boston, New York, San Diego and Chicago.
Though these tech hubs are chock-full with potential jobs and countless great companies to work for, these tech-heavy cities aren't for everyone. One big deterrent is they are also some of the most expensive places to live in the US, making the job market not seem quite as favorable.
Fortunately, there are loads of new tech hubs cropping up nationwide. These relative newcomers offer plenty of job postings, competitive pay and reduced living costs, making them more desirable places for early-career tech workers to put down roots.
Here are seven of our favorite cities for tech jobs.
1. Austin, Texas
Tech Job Postings:4,937 (6th)
Average Tech Salary: $95,118 (11th)
Cost of living index: 62.98
Austin isn’t exactly off the radar when it comes to great tech hubs, but it’s still relatively new to the scene. Despite being the United State’s 14th largest city with a population of just over 790,000 people, Austin posts the sixth most tech jobs in the US and has the 11th best average salary.
Where Austin really shines is the cost of living. Compared to other cities on this list, you can live like a king for the salary you can make. Plus, in US News & World Report’s Top 125 Best Places to Live in the United States it came in at No. 1.
Moreover, the city was recently chosen as the new location for Oracle's headquarters. Tesla founder Elon Musk is also moving to the Lone Star state to concentrate on major projects his company is involved with, such as SpaceX. Texas' popularity is likely due to its lower cost of living and no state income tax.
2. Denver, Colorado
Tech Job Postings: 3,044 (16th)
Average Tech Salary: $102,557 (7th)
Cost of living index: 73.39
Denver is a well-known cultural hub with an amazing selection of restaurants, great music venues and a craft beer scene that’s one of the best in the country. The weather and scenery are great too, especially if you like skiing.
Behind all of that is one of the country’s best tech cities. With the 16th most tech job postings and the seventh best average pay, it’s a great place to look for that next job. The cost of living isn’t nearly as high as one might expect either. Denver comes in at No. 2 on the Best Places to Live report, so you may want to settle in.
3. Atlanta, Georgia
Tech Job Postings: 6,570 (4th)
Average Tech Salary: $94,084 (15th)
Cost of living index: 75.03
Atlanta is another city that is embracing tech and climbing the ranks of tech cities in the US. It has the fourth most tech job postings and the 15th best average tech salary while boasting a pretty good cost of living index.
If you’re looking for a bigger city where you won’t have to live like a college kid just to get by, Atlanta is worth a look. Despite being the ninth largest metro area in the country, it has a lower cost of living than many smaller metros. Atlanta is a city bursting with history and culture, but it’s also not stuck in the past.
4. Raleigh, North Carolina
Tech Job Postings: 2,366 (24th)
Average Tech Salary: $95,810 (11th)
Cost of living index: 69.42
Previously labelled as merely a college town, Raleigh is starting to attract more than just beer pong fanatics. North Carolina’s second-largest city is now also earning its reputation as one of the best places in the US to work in tech.
Despite being quite low on the list of most tech job postings, at 24th place, its tech employees are one of the highest-paid in the country. In fact, it doesn’t fall far behind such metropolitan areas as Los Angeles and St. Louis.
Moreover, due to its rather small size with around 400,000 residents, Raleigh is a very affordable town to live in. With the cost of a pint of draught beer at only $5, the greater Raleigh-Durham area was also ranked 10th in the Best Places to Live report.
5. Columbus, Ohio
Tech Job Postings: 3,277 (14th)
Average Tech Salary: $92,017 (17th)
Cost of living index: 70.92
While Columbus, Ohio may not be on your radar, it’s popped up on a lot of other people’s radar. As a growing tech hub, people are starting to see the appeal of the Buckeye state’s capital.
Home to Ohio State, you’ll never lack for football talk in Columbus. You shouldn’t lack for a job either, as it ranks 14th for tech job postings and has the 17th best average salary.
With a solid cost of living index, Columbus is another city where you can live well with the money you make. You just have to be ready for a little snow now and then.
6. Tampa, Florida
Tech Job Postings: 3,182 (15th)
Average Tech Salary: $88,753 (20th)
Cost of living index: 75.03
It wouldn’t be a comprehensive list if we didn’t include at least one seafront town, would it? Instead of cursing the feverish heat, overpriced drinks, and crowded beaches of Miami, head further west to enjoy the other jewel of Florida’s shoreline – Tampa Bay. The area is not only a great alternative to the state’s Atlantic coast, but is also one of the best places to work in tech.
In fact, Tampa was listed as the 15th in the ranking of most tech job postings, while its residents enjoy the 20th best average salary.
Despite its relatively high cost of living, the benefits are astounding: from delicious Cuban cuisine to the beautiful greenery and 246 sunny days per year, which you’re unlikely to get in the more expensive Boston or New York.
7. Kansas City, Missouri
Tech Job Postings: N/R
Average Tech Salary: $90,092 (18th)
Cost of living index: 70.79
Kansas City is a quintessential midwest town. It’s blue-collar at heart, but quickly making a name for itself as a place where technology thrives. Though it didn’t rank on Dice’s top 25 cities for job postings, it’s worth a look here because it comes in a very respectable 18th in average salary and posts a cost of living index below 70.
Kansas City jumped up nine spots on the Best Places to Live report from 2018 to 2019 landing on the No. 49 spot. The report lauds KCMO’s historical roots from riverboats to legendary barbecue and its evolution as an up-and-coming city.
An influx of millennials has helped to bring a more hip (if not hipster) culture to town to go along with great-paying tech jobs.
Look beyond the job listing
When it comes to finding your next great tech job, where you land can be just as important as the job itself.
If you dream of entering the fray of Silicon Valley or living it up in the Big Apple, go for it. But if you’re looking to land a great job somewhere you can stretch your dollar but still enjoy a great city, these seven tech hot spots are some prime choices to consider.
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