Are you passionate about the evolution of new technology? Have a knack for working with innovative software systems or tackling hardware issues? Now is the time to enter or rise up in the technology and information sector, as the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projected the field to grow 13 percent from 2016 to 2026, which is much faster than the national average for all occupations. The greatest expansion will result from the areas of big data, cloud computing, and information security.
While a good job outlook is necessary, it’s important to know where to begin looking for these available jobs. After all, the BLS might suggest that the field is exploding with new positions, but you likely won’t reap the benefits of this growth if you don’t apply where tech jobs are the most plentiful. So what are the best cities for jobs around the U.S.?
According to Monster.com’s analysis of data from the Corporate Executive Board Company, the best cities for tech jobs in the U.S. include Washington, D.C; New York City; Dallas; San Jose, California; and Atlanta. Additionally, a 2017 study from NerdWallet found that the top five metro areas for tech employees were San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, California; Huntsville, Alabama; Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Washington; California-Lexington Park, Maryland; and Durham-Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
So what area of the country might be right for you? Deciding where to work is more than just a salary or good benefits package. Once your 9-to-5 job draws to a close, you’ll still need to enjoy the city or region where you live. Finding the perfect IS job for you takes time and careful deliberation. To make your job search process a little easier, here is an overview of a few of the top cities for tech jobs besides New York City and Silicon Valley.
- Washington, D.C.
When you think of a thriving startup scene or plenty of IS jobs, Washington, D.C. might not make your initial list. Despite the city’s deep ties to the political system, the technology sector in the nation’s capital is thriving and rivaling the growth in other major tech-centered regions, such as New York City. According to Monster, the most in-demand tech jobs in the city are for computer systems administrators, software developers, and information security analysts. For these jobs, major companies such as Booz Allen Hamilton, Capital One, and BAE Systems might be the first place to start your job hunt.
Though the city ranks as the sixth most expensive of NerdWallet’s database of 232 locations in the U.S., some experts believe this price tag may lead to the redevelopment of many affordable living areas. At the moment, an average two-bedroom apartment rents for $2,111 a month. Additionally, NerdWallet reported the median salary for the city is $61,835 and the median tech income is $106,917, which is well above the BLS median pay for information security analysts at $95,510 or software developer at $103,560.
- Huntsville, Alabama
If you are looking to be closer to NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center and experience a less expensive standard of living, Huntsville might be the right choice for you. Though not a traditional best city for tech jobs, the space center has brought in plenty of software developers, information systems analysts, computer system analyst, and more to build, test, and analyze vehicles for space flight. If you have dual passions for space and tech, Huntsville is perfect.
While there are plenty of tech jobs available, what makes Huntsville stand apart from others on this list is its high degree of affordability, according the NerdWallet. The median rent per month $785. The median tech income is $91,508, well above the BLS $88,270 median salary estimate for computer systems analysts.
- Dallas, Texas
Love barbecue and hot summers? Maybe cowboy hats and wide open spaces are more your style than Washington, D.C., or Huntsville, which makes Dallas a fantastic choice for potential software developers, network and computer system administrators, and web developers, according to Monster. As the 67th most expensive city in NerdWallet’s database, this major Texas hub should rank high on your list for solid earning potential and lower cost of living.
Job seekers can find attractive salary potential in Dallas. For instance, the average software developer salary in the Dallas-Plano-Irving area is $109,980, according to the BLS. If you have a tech job at AT&T, Southwest Airlines, Texas Instruments, or many of the other companies headquartered in Dallas, affording the two-bedroom monthly rent of $1,050 or mortgage payments for the median home price of $272,431 may not be a problem.
- Atlanta, Georgia
As one of the best cities for jobs in the south, Atlanta should be one of the first picks on your list for IS jobs. Though the cost of living is higher than Huntsville or Dallas, Monster noted the city is a major hub for Delta Airlines, Cox Communications, and First Data, which can make it a great choice for job seekers. Some of the top tech jobs include web developers, network and computer systems administrators, and software developers.
The city manages to combine small-town charm with big city hustle, making it the home to over 5.8 million people with numerous unique neighborhoods for anyone to find the right place to live. Though cheaper than other major U.S. cities, median gross monthly rent is $1,608, and the median home value is $179,000, according to Glassdoor.
- Durham, North Carolina
Last on the list is one of the corners of what is known as the Research Triangle, which is made up of the areas surrounding three major research universities: North Carolina State University, Duke University, and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. While known for college basketball, Durham is a growing tech hub in the south. Ranking as one of the most affordable metro cities on NerdWallet’s list, it also hosts major employers Cisco and IBM, along with Lenovo and SAS being close by in Raleigh.
Work toward your dream tech city at UAB
Whether you seek barbecue and a Texas Instruments job in Dallas, to progress your career in the Research Triangle, or to work in any of the other best cities for tech jobs, an online Bachelor of Science in Information Systems from the University of Alabama at Birmingham may be right for you. With our knowledgeable staff and 100 percent online curriculum, you can gain the skills you need to transition into a new job or new company in one of these cities. To learn more, reach out to an enrollment advisor today.
Occupational Outlook Handbook: Computer and Information Technology Occupations by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
So you want to work in tech? Here’s what you should know by Monster
Best Places for Tech Jobs by NerdWallet
City life: Washington, DC by NerdWallet
Occupational Outlook Handbook: Information Security Analysts by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Occupational Outlook Handbook: Software Developers by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Occupational Outlook Handbook: Computer Systems Analysts by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
City life: Dallas, TX by NerdWallet
Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2017: 15-1132 Software Developers, Applications by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
25 Best Cities for Jobs 2017 by Glassdoor