10 Best Up-and-Coming Cities for the Tech Industry

Sure, New York and Silicon Valley are always thought to be the areas to be for the tech hubs and the next big thing. But this is not always true, there are many cities that are now becoming major hubs in the tech industry.

Typically, the hottest up-and-coming tech scenes in the country are found in mid-sized cities eager to make a name for themselves. They offer great resources such as universities, access to talent, and tech industry titian satellite offices along with lower living costs and an amazing work/life balance.

“If you are just out of school and you are looking to get into tech, you might go to Silicon Valley, but you will be facing a lot of people with a lot of experience. The housing market there is also incredibly expensive,” said Scott Garner, Ziprecruiter’s online job board communications and content marketing manager.

Ziprecruiter.com has released a list of the top up-and-coming cities based on the job market in the tech field across the nation. The website tracked hiring patterns to determine which of the cities had an increase in job listings in technology industry and at the fastest rate.

“If you want to take the first step in a career in tech, or have an idea to start a startup, these can be potential alternatives,” said Garner.

1. Austin, Texas

Austin is known to have the most overvalued housing market in the nation, but the cost of living is very affordable compared to other major tech hubs. It also has many resources for new entrepreneurs and tech industry talent.

“They have an amazing university and are starting to attract talents that are looking to start their own businesses, so they have a very lively tech scene,” said Garner. “Dell was founded in the Lonestar State, and IBM is there. Google also has a well know outpost, as well as Facebook. Austin offers a solid mix of older companies and entrepreneurial startups.”

Total Tech Jobs Open: 50,920

Major College: University of Texas

Top Tech Jobs: Development analyst, network administrator, java developer, software engineer, and technical writer.

Average Rent: $1,375

Recreation: Hiking, boating, fishing, art, music and food scenes, SXSW, and historic downtown.

2. Raleigh, North Carolina

Raleigh has become the tech hub of the Southeast. It is home also to many renowned educational institutes. With a historic downtown, expansive natural landscape, thriving tech industry, the city offers a comfortable mix of recreation and resources.

Total Tech Jobs Open: 28,510

Major College: North Carolina State, Duke, and University of North Carolina

Top Tech Jobs: Design engineer, tooling engineer, infrastructure architect, SQL developer, and java developer.

Average Rent: $1,190

Recreation: Biking, hiking, historic downtown, and the Capital Area Greenway.

3. Provo, Utah

Now here is a city with a huge booming startup culture and new talent coming out from BYU’s engineering, IT, and entrepreneurship programs. Utah’s third largest city and home to a lively culture and arts scene, as well as a scenic downtown.

Total Tech Jobs Open: 8,570

Major College: Brigham Young University

Top Tech Jobs: Python developer, software engineer, field technician, technical support, and net developer.

Average Rent: $950

Recreation: Skiing, hiking, Google Fiber pilot city, camping, mountain biking, and Sundance Film Festival.

4. Fort Collins, Colorado

Fun fact about Fort Collins, did you know that this scenic town is what inspired Disneyland’s Main Street USA? In recent history, Fort Collins has had a major influx with tech employers. Some of these tech companies include Hewlett Packard, Advanced Micro Devices Inc., and Intel.

“They have done an amazing job capitalizing on the beauty and resources they have been able to attract,” said Garner. “It may have a small-town feel, but it has access to these world-class facilities.”

Total Tech Jobs Open: 5,590

Major College: Colorado State University

Top Tech Jobs: Test engineer, application software developer, lead systems programmer, Software QA, and SQL database developer.

Average Rent: $1,350

Recreation: Colorado’s Brewer’s Festival, hiking, fly fishing, biking, historic downtown, and skiing.

5. Hartford, Connecticut

Home to top level universities like MIT and Yale a quick drive away, Hartford provides engineers and startups with an easy access to nearby resources of Boston and New York without the high living costs.

Total Tech Jobs Open: 20,920

Major College: Trinity College, MIT, Yale

Top Tech Jobs: Systems analyst, java developer, applications engineer, data architect, and infrastructure engineer.

Average Rent: $1,668

Recreation: Close to major metropolitan areas: New York City, Boston, Providence, riverfront activities, biking, and historic downtown.

6. Indianapolis, Indiana

It has become an ideal city for many professionals that are looking for affordable living and work/life balance. Indianapolis boasts three Fortune 500 companies – Simon Property Group, Eli Lilly and Company, and Anthem Inc. – and they have plenty of sporting events.

Total Tech Jobs Open: 28,370

Major College: Marian University and Butler University

Top Tech Jobs: Infrastructure architect, net developer, java developer, Senior java developer, and operations manager.

Average Rent: $1,050

Recreation: Monon Trail, White River, Carmel Arts and Design District, and over 100,000 acres of parkland.

7. Boise, Idaho

Boise has made itself know for an affordable launch area for tech careers. It has attracted companies like Microsoft and Hewlett Packard along with a budding startup ecosystem.

“It is always ranked near the top of best places to live due to quality of life, recreational opportunities, affordability, and an amazing work environment,” said Garner.

Total Tech Jobs Open: 8,180

Major College: Boise State University

Top Tech Jobs: Firmware engineer, net software engineer, application engineer, and mobile software engineer.

Average Rent: $925

Recreation: Skiing, hiking, and biking.

8. Manchester, New Hampshire

Manchester gives a New England feel without the city-sized living costs. It also gives easy access to cities like Portland and Boston. Manchester was the leader in floppy-disk production back in the 1990s and has roots in the tech industry. It is also home to some major tech companies like Dell and Hewlett Packard.

Total Tech Jobs Open: 2,700

Major College: University of New Hampshire and Granite State College

Top Tech Jobs: SharePoint administrator, java developer, systems architect, senior IT project manager, and Ui software engineer

Average Rent: $1,195

Recreation: Thriving arts scene, skiing, boating, historic downtown, golfing, and boating.

9. Nashville, Tennessee

Nashville is better known as the home of country music, but it is home to a large biotech and healthcare industry.

“In terms of driving growth, that would have to be due to Vanderbilt University,” adds Garner. “STEM research is huge in this medical Center, there is plenty of access to doctors and researchers.”

Total Tech Jobs Open: 20,430

Major College: Vanderbilt University

Top Tech Jobs: Information security engineer, IT manager, iOS developer, and Senior programmer analyst.

Average Rent: $1,400

Recreation: Nightlife, waterskiing, boating, music scene, and fishing.

10. Eugene, Oregon

Eugene is also known as the Silicon Forest and is home to the culture and natural beauty of the state. It is also well known for its fast-growing tech industry.

Total Tech Jobs Open: 3,000

Major College: University of Oregon

Top Tech Jobs: Application software developer, network and systems engineer, programmer analyst, senior QA analyst, and IT services manager.

Average Rent: $950

Recreation: Indie rock scene, skiing, mountain biking, and counter-cultural spirit.