15 Best Cities to Launch a Career in Tech

Suppose you’re a recent college graduate considering a career in a technology-related field. In that case, you have many areas of the country you could call home. It’s not always the biggest cities that offer the most opportunities; sometimes, it might be in places you wouldn’t have considered at first. 

1. Madison, WI

Madison Wisconsin capitol building
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Madison has seen an uptick in small startups and larger global companies focusing on consumer and high-end tech industries. Since 2023, 53 out of 1,000 jobs in Madison are tech-related, with 20,760 professionals working in the field.

You can make a great living if you’re looking for a career in this field. These jobs pay an average salary of $90,000. 

2. Denver, CO

Image Credit: Sheila Sund – CC BY 2.0/Wiki Commons.

Tech-related jobs are plentiful in Denver, a Rocky Mountain city where many large tech companies have their headquarters. The cost of living is higher, but salaries are generous, too, and many who work in Denver live in the suburbs, where it’s a little cheaper. 

Xero, Norris Design, and Akamai employ over 83,000 workers, with an average pay range of $115,000. 

3. Colorado Springs, CO

Prospect Lake, in downtown Colorado Springs
Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0/Wiki Commons.

Colorado Springs is a beautiful city for those looking for a career in the tech field. The city has a ratio of 55.59 per 1,000 professionals who work in tech. That means over 16,000 of its residents work in that area.

Over 100 companies are headquartered in Colorado Springs, making it one of the fastest-growing technology sectors in the country. Many hiring opportunities pay in the six figures.

4. Raleigh, NC

The Raleigh skyline
Image Credit: Abhiram Juvvadi, Own Work – CC BY-SA 4.0/Wiki Commons.

Raleigh has the perfect combination of affordable living costs and a rapidly growing tech community. With 57 out of 1,000 jobs centered in tech, you’re sure to find a well-paying job in the technology and commerce sectors.

Due to the numerous larger tech companies that call Raleigh home, employees enjoy an average salary of $109,000. 

5. Provo, UT

Novell HQ Provo
Image Credit: Shaan Hurley – CC BY 2.0/Wiki Commons.

Provo, Utah, is a growing town just outside of the capital, Salt Lake City. Provo has been steadily recruiting candidates from Silicon Valley to work in a more cost-efficient part of the country.

Provo employs 16,500 tech employees, which doesn’t sound like many, but it’s a ratio of 58 out of 1,000 employees. It’s an excellent opportunity to work in tech but live in a place with a small-town feel. 

6. Austin, TX

Downtown Austin
Image Credit: CC BY-SA 4.0/Wiki Commons.

Austin is home to some of the biggest companies in the technology field. Brands like Dell, Indeed, Intel, Texas Instruments, and Cisco Systems are located there. About 67 out of 1,000 workers make their living in some form of tech-related field.

The city is growing due to companies moving to the Lone Star State, so if you like the sound of life in Texas, you can make an excellent salary working in the tech industry. 

7. San Francisco, CA

San Francisco skyline
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Many people who live outside California might think that San Francisco and Silicon Valley are the same. While they are close, they’re two completely different areas of The Golden State.

San Francisco has 164,480 residents who work in the tech field, with most of them employed in the city’s art and entertainment industries. The city is notoriously pricey, but those who work in the tech field can make as much as $155,000 a year.

8. Durham, NC

Downtown Durham
Discover Durham, Own Work – CC BY 4.0/Wiki Commons.

The Durham-Chapell Hill metro area is known as the Research Triangle Region, and it is home to many technology companies and educational institutions.

Schools like Duke and the University of North Carolina continue to graduate eager tech employees, making it a great place to start a career. Tech employees make an average salary of almost $115,000 per year. 

9. Huntsville, AL

The U.S. Space & Rocket Center, Huntsville, Alabama
Image Credit: Carol M. Highsmith/Wiki Commons.

Just a couple of states south of North Carolina is Huntsville, Alabama. The city has long been a hub for aerospace and aviation industries, resulting in a fast-growing need for tech professionals. Huntsville is also now the largest city in Alabama. 

The Rocket City, home to Redstone Arsenal and NASA, has a large population of military and government contractors who need IT analysts, programmers, and network specialists. If that’s your area of expertise, you can make a great living with salaries averaging $100,000. 

10. Bloomington, IL

The Ames Library at Illinois Wesleyan University
Image Credit: Emily Marvin, Own Work – CC BY-SA 4.0/Wiki Commons.

Bloomington might be a smaller city with a population of only 78,000, but 7,000 of those residents work in the tech industry.

Most of these workers are focused on computer network support specialists, computer user support specialists, and computer network architects. It’s a prime option for those who like a slower pace of life than bigger cities like Chicago.

11. Washington, D.C.

Edgewood, Washington DC
Image Credit: David – CC BY 2.0/Wiki Commons.

Our nation’s capital is filled with many different tech jobs, mostly centered on the needs of federal government administration. Almost a quarter million people living in D.C. work in some sort of tech-related field. They also choose to live outside the city, where it’s a little cheaper. 

These professions can be lucrative. The annual salary is about $125,000.

12. Seattle, WA

Seattle Center
Image Credit: Jeffery Hayes – CC BY-SA 3.0/Wiki Commons.

Many tech companies are based in Seattle. Companies like Redfin, Expedia, OfferUp, Rover, and Getty Images are all based in the Pacific Northwest. With companies like this, there’s an abundance of entry-level positions that need to be filled.

About 83 out of 1,000 employees work in tech in Seattle, making an average salary of $135,000. It’s a hot spot for new and experienced tech pros.

13. Boulder, CO

Naropa University Boulder
Image Credit: David Shankbone, Own Work – CC BY 3.0/Wiki Commons.

Boulder is another city in Colorado that offers plenty of tech jobs. Boulder currently has the third largest concentration of tech workers, with 86 out of 1,000 workers paying their bills while working in a tech-related field.

The city is known for wanting to give back to its residents and provide a greener lifestyle. Most tech jobs are in the transportation, civil services, and environmental innovation sectors, with pay as high as $140,000. 

14. California-Lexington Park, MD

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

This small metro area on the Chesapeake Bay is just south of Washington, D.C. Almost 5,000 residents work in tech, but the entire population is under 15,000. That’s about a third of the people working in a tech-related industry.

Maybe it’s the people who want to escape the busy city life, but it is a densely populated town for tech employees. 

15. San Jose, CA

Evergreen, San Jose, CA
Image Credit: Cristiano Tomás, Own Work – CC BY-SA 4.0/Wiki Commons.

San Jose is the mecca of the California tech industry. Sitting in the heart of Silicon Valley, it has the highest proportion of workers in tech jobs, with a ratio of 131 out of 1,000.

The city is home to famous companies like Hewlett Packard, Fico, and Adobe, so it’s no wonder it’s the center of innovation and future designs. The area continues to attract confident entrepreneurs and startups and employs over 200,000 tech pros. 

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