Top tech hubs in the US

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Are you looking to kick start a career as a tech professional? Consider relocating to a new city where the tech industry is booming. Thanks to factors such as the expansion of industry giants such as Amazon and an increase in STEM majors, new US tech hubs have appeared across the country. The best cities for tech jobs now extend far beyond Silicon Valley and New York City.

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For the following article, we have surveyed the best tech hubs based on factors including salary, population growth, racial diversity, number of tech professionals employed, and more. Read on for our list of the best hubs for tech professionals in the country and what they can offer you.

Finding and rating tech hubs

If you are looking to advance your technology career, relocating to a city with a healthy tech scene can help you succeed more easily. However, what makes a city a great tech hub? In curating the following list, we drew upon a variety of factors that make a city a great destination for tech professionals, including:

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Demographics:

  • Population growth
  • Racial diversity
  • Educational achievements
  • Diversity and inclusiveness in beliefs 

Technology:

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  • Internet speeds, 4G and 5G coverage

Competitive spirit:

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  • Number of start-ups
  • Number of Fortune 500 companies

Best growth potential:

  • Highest salaries
  • Great number of open positions

Best place to live: 

  • Available housing
  • Local amenities
  • Walkability
  • Cultural landmarks and nightlife
  • Nature and outdoor recreation

Atlanta, GA 

Tech highlights:

  • A variety of pioneering schools nearby, such as Georgia Tech, the University of Georgia, and Morehouse
  • Inclusive to tech professionals of color

Urban features: 

  • Andersonville National Historic Site
  • The Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site
  • Walkability score: 82

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Major players:

  • Convoy
  • Mailchimp
  • Cricket Wireless
  • Global Payments

Caveats: 

  • High economic disparity between white and Black people
  • Lack of outdoor recreation options
  • Intense summer heat and humidity

Austin, TX 

Tech highlights:

Urban features: 

  • A comparatively low cost-of-living
  • A thriving live music scene, including the SXSW music fest
  • SXSW Film Festival and Austin School of Film

Major players:

  • PayPal
  • Bumble
  • Microsoft
  • Forcepoint

Caveats: 

  • One of the most gentrified cities in the country
  • Extremely hot throughout the summer
  • Single-family homes have become unaffordable for many

Baltimore, MD 

Tech highlights: 

  • Reputation for clean energy tech innovation
  • Centrally located relative to other major East Coast tech hubs
  • Healthy job market

Urban features: 

  • Rich history to explore, including a monument to Francis Scott Key
  • The Baltimore Museum of Art and the Walters Art Museum
  • Walkability score: 64

Major players: 

  • SYSCOM
  • Prometric
  • Metastorm
  • Zentech Manufacturing

Caveats: 

  • Some of the country’s highest homicide and violent crime rates
  • Maryland is a Blue Law state
  • Tropical storm and hurricane risk yearly

Boston, MA 

Tech highlights: 

  • Major hub for full stack development, machine learning, and artificial intelligence research
  • High pay for tech professionals
  • Major financial hub

Urban features: 

  • One of the best cities for postsecondary educational institutes
  • Historic sites include Fenway Park, the Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum, and MIT Museum
  • Walkability score: 98

Major players: 

  • Audible
  • Curriculum Associates
  • Liberty Mutual Insurance
  • Cambridge Semantics

Caveats: 

  • Prickly and aggressive social culture
  • Small living spaces
  • Difficult rental market and one of the highest COL in the country

Burlington, VT 

Tech highlights: 

  • Close to the University of Vermont
  • Low unemployment
  • Home to a number of up-and-coming entrepreneurial firms

Urban features: 

  • Vermont’s largest city
  • Low crime rate
  • Close to a number of top spots for skiing

Major players:

  • Dynapower
  • Beta Technologies
  • Benchmark Space Systems
  • Data Innovations

Caveats: 

  • Low population density and somewhat isolated
  • Low racial diversity
  • Heavy snowfall in the winter and “mud season” in the spring

Charlotte, NC 

Tech highlights:

Urban features: 

  • Affordable COL
  • One of the best cities in the nation for fine dining
  • High quality of life

Major players: 

  • Bank of America
  • Credit Karma
  • Passport
  • LendingTree
  • AvidXchange

Caveats: 

  • High risk of hurricanes and flooding in the summer
  • Low diversity/mostly white
  • Relatively quiet nightlife, with most businesses closing early

Chicago, IL 

Tech highlights: 

  • The nation’s second major financial hub after New York City
  • Lower COL than NYC or the Bay Area
  • Home to innovative schools such as University of Chicago and Illinois Institute of Technology

Urban features: 

  • One of the best jazz scenes in America
  • American architectural landmarks such as the John Hancock building and Marina City
  • Walkability score: 77

Major players:

  • Salesforce
  • LinkedIn
  • Avant
  • Clearcover
  • M1 Finance

Caveats: 

  • Some of the highest taxes in the nation
  • Gun violence issues in many parts of the city
  • Poor air and water pollution issues

Cleveland, OH 

Tech highlights:

  • OhioX, a nonprofit dedicated to technology innovation, has offices in Cleveland
  • Inclusive to tech professionals of color
  • Major hub for healthcare, banking, and insurance

Urban features: 

  • Home to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Cleveland Museum of Art
  • Cleveland Parklands
  • Walkability score: 57

Major players: 

  • InfoSys
  • MedPilot
  • OnShift
  • Bravo Wellness
  • Dakota Software

Caveats: 

  • Roads frequently under construction
  • Cold winds from Lake Eerie affect the weather
  • High cost of entertainment and fine dining

Columbus, OH 

Tech highlights:

  • Tech jobs in Columbus come largely from the city’s booming startup ecosystem
  • Top-ranked city for entrepreneurs
  • Economy largely based on education, technology, and government

Urban features: 

  • Home to Ohio State University, one of the nation’s largest universities
  • Columbus Zoo is one of the nation’s most respected zoos
  • Columbus’s most walkable neighborhoods are in Short North, Italian Village, and German Village

Major players:

  • JP Morgan Chase
  • iZotope
  • Circulo Health
  • Finite State
  • T-CETERA

Caveats: 

  • High radon levels throughout the city
  • High property taxes
  • Very few fine dining options within the city
  • Cloudy weather throughout the year

Dallas-Ft. Worth 

Tech highlights:

  • Dallas-Ft. Worth is home to one of JP Morgan Chase’s technology centers
  • 373,965 tech professionals work in Dallas
  • The Dallas economy is dominated by telecommunications, information technology, and financial services

Urban features: 

  • Numerous world-renowned museums, including the African American Museum and Dallas Museum of Art
  • Many options for outdoor recreation, including trails near the San Antonio River
  • Dallas’s most walkable neighborhoods are in Downtown, Henderson and Oak Lawn

Major players:

  • Texas Instruments
  • JP Morgan Chase
  • Omnitracks
  • DataBank
  • Allegro Development

Caveats: 

  • Sports-oriented culture
  • Huge disparity in wealth and living conditions, especially at racial lines
  • Confusing layout, making it easy to get lost

Denver, CO 

Tech highlights:

  • Low taxes and low COL
  • Denver startups raised $401 million in 2015
  • Reputation for innovation in green technology

Urban features: 

  • Diverse outdoor activities in the surrounding areas, passionate outdoor culture
  • Higher-than-average income in the Denver/Boulder area
  • Walkability score: 61

Major players:

  • Dish Network
  • Arrow Electronics
  • Gates
  • Vendavo
  • Four Winds Interactive

Caveats: 

  • At a high altitude, which can be difficult for people with health problems
  • Infrastructure struggling to keep up with rising population
  • Relatively scant urban culture outside of outdoor activities in the mountains

Detroit, MI 

Tech highlights:

  • Anderson Economic Group recently ranked Detroit 15th among emerging tech hub cities
  • Amazon added a new hub to downtown Detroit in 2015, adding more jobs in 2020
  • High-quality schools for STEM degrees, including Lawrence Technological University and University of Michigan

Urban features: 

  • The Fort Wayne exhibit highlights Detroit history
  • The city has in recent years begun revitalizing its economy, with many companies making the move to Detroit
  • Walkability score: 51

Major players: 

  • Smiths Group
  • OnStar
  • StockX
  • Detroit Labs
  • Cadillac

Caveats: 

  • Some of the nation’s highest crime rates, especially for violent, drug-related, and property crime
  • Lack of grocery stores throughout the city
  • Low property values that continue to drop
  • Huge gaps in wealth disparity, particularly between white and Black residents

Houston, TX 

Tech highlights:

  • In recent years, many Californians have relocated to Houston, bringing with them IT companies and startups
  • Tech jobs in Houston employ 243,900 workers
  • Oil industry giants now turning to the tech industry for clean energy solutions 

Urban features: 

  • The country’s fourth-largest city
  • Cultural landmarks include Rothko Chapel and the Johnson Space Center
  • Houston’s most walkable neighborhoods include Neartown-Montrose, Midtown, and Downtown

Major players: 

  • WiPro
  • BMC Software
  • KBR Inc
  • SnapStream
  • FlightAware

Caveats: 

  • Storm threats, such as hurricanes and floods
  • High sales tax
  • Car-centric culture/lack of public transportation and walkability
  • Lots of mosquitos and ticks

Indianapolis, IN 

Tech highlights: 

  • Indianapolis’s COL is 8% below the national average
  • The city’s tech sector makes an economic impact of $9.3 billion
  • University of Notre Dame and Purdue University have strong technology programs

Urban features:

  • Urban highlights include the Indianapolis 500 and the world’s largest children’s museum
  • The Art & Soul music festival has highlighted Black music for almost 30 years
  • Indianapolis’s most walkable neighborhoods are in Downtown, Fountain Square, and Broad Ripple

Major players: 

  • Franklin Electric
  • Greenlight Guru
  • hc1
  • Zylo
  • Bloomerang

Caveats: 

  • Lack of cultural diversity; the population is mostly white
  • Indiana is a Blue Law state with unusual alcohol legislation
  • Strong conservative bent and religious culture with Christian norms and expectations

Los Angeles, CA 

Tech highlights:

  • Tech scene employs 512,500 workers
  • Economic impact of LA tech scene is $94.6 billion annually
  • One of the most diverse economies of all major U.S. cities

Urban features: 

  • Second largest city in the U.S.
  • Local tech scene accepting of minorities and LGBTQ+ tech professionals
  • Walkability score: 69

Major players:

  • Snap Inc.
  • Disney Interactive
  • Youtube
  • StackCommerce
  • GumGum

Caveats: 

  • Extraordinarily long commute times due to difficult traffic
  • Highly competitive culture and high level of stress
  • Potential earthquake threat along the San Andreas fault line
  • Lots of urban sprawl — over 500 square miles

Miami, FL 

Tech highlights:

  • Low taxes and relaxed business regulations
  • In recent years, many Californians have relocated to Miami, bringing with them startups and ties to tech giants
  • Major Eastern seaboard financial hub

Urban features: 

  • One of the largest populations of Cuban Americans in the U.S.
  • Beautiful beaches and vibrant nightlife
  • Walkability score: 77

Major players:

  • Citrix Systems
  • The Hackett Group
  • Ultimate Software
  • Apple
  • MagicLeap

Caveats: 

  • Tropical storm threats and exceptionally humid weather in the summer
  • One of the country’s highest COL
  • Very few historical features or monuments
  • Lots of insects, along with alligators and introduced pythons

Minneapolis, MN 

Tech highlights:

  • Local tech scene employs 195,730 people
  • Major corporate hub for the Midwest — headquarters for 3M, Target, and other giants
  • Reputation for commitment to green energy

Urban features: 

  • HIghly-educated, mostly liberal populace
  • Popular bike share program usable citywide
  • Walkability score: 71

Major players:

  • Infosys
  • Wipro
  • UnitedHealth Group
  • Zipnosis
  • Ceridian

Caveats:

  • Cultural reserve and indirect communication from locals makes it harder to form friendships
  • High sales, property, and income taxes, along with a unique meal tax
  • Flat terrain limits outdoor activities somewhat

Nashville, TN 

Tech highlights:

Urban features:

  • Considered one of the birthplaces of modern country music home to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum 
  • The most walkable Nashville neighborhoods are East End, Downtown, and Cameron Trimble

Major players:

  • Emma
  • Asurion
  • Cloudvue
  • Ingram Content Group
  • CM Group

Caveats: 

  • Difficult for people living with seasonal allergies
  • Strong culture of Christian religious values and social expectations
  • The tourism industry can create stress for some
  • Mostly conservative culture

New York City, NY 

Tech highlights: 

  • The tech scene has economic impact of $153.9 billion annually
  • Amazon, Google, and Facebook have major headquarters in Manhattan
  • The country’s preeminent financial hub

Urban features: 

  • Largest city in the US
  • One of the most racially diverse cities in the US: 24% Black and 29% Hispanic/Latino
  • Walkability score: 88

Major players:

  • WeWork Technology
  • Google
  • Innovid
  • Bloomberg LP
  • FactSet

Caveats: 

  • High level of stress
  • Overcrowding
  • One of the highest COL in the country, and high rents
  • Culture of social aggressiveness and rudeness in some areas

Philadelphia, PA 

Tech highlights: 

Urban features: 

  • Home to numerous Revolutionary War landmarks, such as the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall
  • Relatively low COL for a city its size, only 17% above the national average
  • Walkability score: 75

Major players: 

  • CDI
  • Comcast
  • Inspiri-Tec
  • Siemens Healthineers
  • SAP America

Caveats:

  • Air pollution and overcrowding problems from high population density
  • Additional wage tax takes more from take-home pay for employees in the city
  • High rate of violent and property crime

Phoenix, AZ 

Tech highlights:

  • Low-cost and low business regulation environment located a short plane ride from Silicon Valley
  • Amazon recently announced it plans to create 550 new jobs at new hub

Urban features: 

  • Beautiful landscape, with hikes in the South Mountain Range within city limits
  • Population is 42.6% Hispanic/Latino
  • Phoenix’s most walkable neighborhoods are Downtown, Garfield, and Eastlake Park

Major players:

  • Amazon
  • Data-Core Systems
  • CDI
  • Guru
  • Piano

Caveats: 

  • Urban sprawl
  • High crime rate, particularly violent crime
  • High population of stray animals and dangerous wildlife
  • Struggling education system

Portland, OR 

Tech highlights: 

  • The cluster of tech companies within the Portland metro are known as Silicon Forest
  • Tech industry’s economic output is $24.8 billion annually
  • Portland’s tech culture has a clean energy focus

Urban features: 

  • Close to both the scenic Columbia River Gorge and the ocean
  • Hub for independent art and music
  • Walkability score: 67

Major players:

  • Nike
  • Radar
  • Planar Systems
  • InFocus
  • Integrated Services

Caveats: 

  • Comparative lack of racial diversity
  • Difficult for those with Seasonal Affective Disorder due to overcast, rainy weather
  • Many homes and apartments lack built-in AC
  • “Polite but reserved” culture

Salt Lake City, UT 

Tech highlights:

  • The tech scene between Salt Lake City and Provo has been nicknamed Silicon Slopes
  • Tax incentives and low COL have drawn many tech companies to the area
  • Tech scene has an economic impact of $11.0b annually

Urban features: 

  • Utah contains natural wonders such as Wasatch National Forest and Zion National Park
  • Walkability score: 59

Major players:

  • Adobe
  • Artemis Health
  • Capgemini
  • R-Zero
  • Filevine

Caveats:

  • Confusing street numbering system
  • Heavy snowfall in winter
  • Numerous drinking laws and other religious restrictions
  • Particularly poor air quality, especially in winter

San Diego, CA 

Tech highlights: 

  • High-income area where the healthcare industry is dominant
  • A short plane ride away from Silicon Valley
  • Startup San Diego is a nonprofit that advocates for tech entrepreneurship in the area

Urban features: 

  • Beautiful Spanish and Mexican architecture, historical navy warships, and Cuyamaca State Park nearby
  • Walkability score: 53

Major players:

  • Teradata
  • Qualcomm
  • Illumina
  • Brain Corp
  • ClickUp

Caveats: 

  • Airport is close to the city center, which creates noise
  • Lack of public transportation/car-centric culture
  • Limited historic sites
  • Lack of pro sports, aside from the Padres

Seattle, WA 

Tech highlights: 

Urban features: 

  • High number of college graduates and mostly liberal culture
  • World-class destination for seafood
  • Walkability score: 74

Major players:

  • Microsoft
  • Amazon
  • Expedia
  • Getty Images
  • F5 Networks

Caveats:

  • High rate of homelessness
  • Cultural reserve/the “Seattle freeze” makes forming friendships difficult
  • Lack of traditional nightlife
  • Cloudy/rainy weather much of the year



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