10 fastest growing US tech hubs for IT talent – CIO

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Tech salaries are on the rise thanks to a demand for talent across nearly every industry. Salaries increased 6.9% between 2020 and 2021, reaching an average tech salary of $104,566 per year, according to the 2022 Dice Tech Salary Report. Salaries vary by location, with the technologists reporting the highest average salaries of $133,204 per year in Silicon Valley, the original tech hub.
But you don’t have to live in Silicon Valley to earn a high-tech salary, there are several other cities that are considered growing tech hubs where technologists can earn higher than average salaries, often with a lower cost of living. Dice establishes a growing tech hub as a city with universities and colleges to recruit from, venture funding opportunities, a strong social scene for networking, and existing companies looking to hire talent.
These 10 cities are the fastest growing tech hubs by salary, according to Dice.
Pittsburgh has historically been known for its production of steel, iron, and glass, but the city is quickly growing into a tech hub. In 2006, Google opened an office at Carnegie Mellon University that eventually grew into the company opening a larger office space by 2011. Not long after Google put down roots in Pittsburgh, Faceboook, Uber, Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft all followed suit, opening offices in the area. DuoLingo also has a headquarters in Pittsburgh and Zoom announced it would be opening a research and development center in Pittsburgh. There’s also a strong focus on clean technology with startups such as CleanRobotics and RoadRunner recycling and on autonomous driving, with companies such as Argo AI.  
The average tech salary in Pittsburgh is $98,304 per year — a 14% increase from 2020, according to Dice.
Dubbed the “Silicon Peach,” Atlanta offers a low cost of operations and living, which is a draw for companies, while Georgia Tech and the University of Georgia provide a talent pool of educated tech professionals. MailChimp began in Atlanta as a startup and has since been bought by Intuit for $12 billion. Other tech companies include Calendly, NCR, SecureWorks, and Aware Software, among others. Amazon expanded offices in the area and plans to hire an additional 300 workers. As a state, Georgia is dedicated to fostering tech talent in the state — the Board of Education just approved a cloud computing curriculum that will be added to the Georgia Career Pathways program. They also offer the Georgia FinTech Academy, which is a collaboration between the Georgia FinTech industry and 26 public universities in the state to further develop talent.
The average tech salary in Atlanta is $107,515 per year — a 13.9% increase from 2020, according to Dice.
Chicago has become a hot spot for startups, with more than 378 startups founded in the past five years and a total of 6,151 tech companies in the city. Chicago also boasts the highest percentage of women-owned startups in the world, with 34% of startups being owned by women. Tech companies with offices in Chicago include PayPal, Microsoft, Adobe, Dell, SAP, Salesforce, Oracle, Cisco Systems, Google, eBay, VMware, and Roku, among others. The city has plenty of opportunity for investment capital, and companies have access to institutions such as the University of Chicago, Northwestern University, and the Illinois Institute of Technology for recruitment.
The average tech salary in Chicago is $106,537 per year — a 12.6% increase from 2020, according to Dice.
From 2020 to 2021, the number of tech workers moving to the Miami-Fort Lauderdale area increased by over 15%. Interest in the city spiked during the pandemic, with people trying to escape cold cities and ultimately deciding to stay. Some say that Miami’s growth as a tech hub is in part thanks to a simple Twitter exchange between Delian Asparouhov, an entrepreneur who had grown disillusioned with Silicon Valley, and Miami mayor Francis Suarez. Asparouhov joked about “moving” Silicon Valley to Miami, and the mayor responded asking how he could help. After that, Google searches for “Miami Tech” doubled amidst the pandemic and the city continued to gain momentum in the tech scene.
The average tech salary in Miami is $92,004 per year — an 11.4% increase from 2020, according to Dice.
Just north of Silicon Valley, Seattle was the birthplace to some of the world’s largest tech companies such as Microsoft and Amazon. It’s now home to the headquarters of companies such as T-Mobile, Expedia, Nintendo of America, and offices for companies such as Twitter, Zendesk, Facebook, and Google. Twitter opened a family-friendly community learning center called the NeighborNest that offers residents and organizations access to technology and life skills. They offer programs such as digital literacy courses, coding for kids classes, and other family-friendly events for locals, and Twitter employees can volunteer their time and experience to the NeighborNest and to help foster future tech talent.
The average tech salary in Seattle is $118,729 per year — an 11.2% increase from 2020, according to Dice.
Philadelphia ranked as the third most diverse US city for STEM in 2020 and third as the city with the highest representation of women in STEM at 30% of the tech workforce. The city is focused on continuing this upward trend of tech diversity in the city, with the Department of Commerce awarding $500,000 to a handful of organizations for its Most Diverse Tech Hub Initiative, which aims to boost tech skills for future diverse talent. The city plans to continue these efforts by supporting underrepresented founders, finding more ways to connect companies with local talent, and offering on-the-job training and internships for BIPOC Philadelphians who want to transition into a career in tech.
The average tech salary in Philadelphia is $106,725 per year — a 10.6% increase from 2020, according to Dice.
Tampa alone makes up 25% of Florida’s tech jobs, with more than 50 IT and software companies located in the city and an additional 2,000 jobs expected to be added in the coming year. Companies such as Amazon, Infosys, IBM, Wipro, Apple, Oracle, Microsoft, Capgemini, Uber, Dell, Google, and Salesforce all have offices in Tampa. The Tampa Bay Tech organization was formed over 21 years ago to connect the technology community in Tampa and has since grown into one of the biggest networks for technologists. Tampa is also home to Embarc Collective, billed as the state’s “fastest-growing startup hub.” Embarc Collective raised a total of $107 million in venture capital in the past year, according to Tampa Magazines.
The average tech salary in Tampa is $97,098 per year — a 10.6% increase from 2020, according to Dice.
As home to General Motors, Detroit has always been known as the Motor City, but it’s quickly shifting to becoming a home for startups and tech giants alike. Detroit is home to TechTown, an urban research and technology business park that serves as a “community of entrepreneurs, investors, mentors, service providers, and corporate partners creating an internationally recognized entrepreneurial village in the city of Detroit,” according to the Detroit Free Press. A number of tech companies have opened offices in Detroit, including ServiceNow, Nuspire, MathWorks, Detroit Labs, Microsoft, Google, Pegasystems, IBM, Amazon, and Acer.
The average tech salary in Detroit is $99,376 per year — a 10.3% increase from 2020, according to Dice.
Los Angeles has always been known as a hot spot for aspiring actors, artists, and other creatives, but it’s also home to a growing tech community. Dubbed the Silicon Beach, LA’s tech scene includes the surrounding Santa Monica, Venice, Marina del Ray, Playa Vista, Playa del Rey, El Segundo, Manhattan Beach, and Hermosa Beach. Companies that operate out of Silicon Beach includes Hulu, Google, Postmates, Beats by Dr. Dre, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, Headspace, Snap, Facebook, Microsoft, and The Aerospace Corp. There are plenty of colleges and universities for companies to recruit from such as Loyola Marymount University and Otis College of Art and Design.
The average tech salary in Los Angeles is $113,658 per year — a 10.2% increase from 2020, according to Dice.
Dubbed the Silicon Forest, Portland is home to several high-tech companies such as Tektronix, Intel, Pixelworks, Hewlett-Packard, Xerox, and Epson. While Intel’s headquarters were established in California, starting in the 1990s the company moved its most advanced technical operations to Oregon, and it’s now the company’s largest operating hub. Other tech companies that have opened offices in Portland include Airbnb, Google, IBM, Amazon, Logitech, Apple, Nvidia, Oracle, and Salesforce among others.
The average tech salary in Portland is $107,185 per year — a 9.3% increase from 2020, according to Dice.
Sarah White is a senior writer for CIO.com, covering IT careers, hiring & staffing, and diversity.
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