12 fastest growing US cities for IT talent – CIO

These days, it’s difficult to find a company that isn’t looking for qualified professionals to fill vital IT roles. In fact, despite layoffs and hiring freezes reported among technology companies, IT job postings grew month-over-month in the first half of 2022, a boom Dice.com attributes to IT hiring having strengthened in nearly every other industry outside of tech, according to its Tech Jobs Report.
This means that career opportunities for IT pros is growing beyond the usual coastal cities that typically dominate IT hiring. The COVID-19 pandemic has also contributed to a boom in tech job postings in various cities across the country, as a number of IT professionals relocated to new cities or states, and employers became more open to hiring remote workers. This was especially true for Silicon Valley, which saw a mass exodus of tech workers throughout the pandemic. Companies have since started to branch out, opening offices in cities that have more space, a lower cost of living, and a diverse talent pool.
While hiring remains strong in traditional tech hubs, such as San Francisco and New York, tech job postings have increased the most this year in the following 12 cities, according to data from Dice, making them the fastest growing locations for IT jobs in the US today.
Orlando experienced the most significant increase in tech job postings, with 111% year over year growth. Typically seen as a city for retirees and tourists, Orlando is making a name for itself as a growing tech metropolis. The city is home to several colleges and universities, making it a hot spot for recruiting talent, and it’s not too difficult to sell candidates on a move to Florida. The city also built the Central Florida Research Park, a campus-like environment for businesses located nearby the University of Central Florida. A Creative Village was also built in downtown Orlando to serve as an urban innovation center complete with mixed-income residential buildings, student housing, office and creative space, and more. Companies such as Apple, Oracle, Veritas, Lockheed Martin, AMD, MITRE, and Electronic Arts have offices in the Orlando area, and the average tech salary in Orlando is $88,598 per year, according to the Orlando Business Journal.
Dubbed “Silicon Beach,” Miami has experienced 104% year over year growth for tech job postings, according to Dice. Much of this growth is attributed to Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, who has encouraged technologists and tech companies to make the move to Miami. Some of the top hiring organizations in Miami include Anthem Blue Cross, Accenture, Deloitte, Dell, ChenMed, and UKG. Companies in Mami are looking for software developers and engineers, project managers, network engineers and architects, IT project managers, and customer support specialists. Tech salaries have grown alongside job postings — the average tech salary rose 11.4% between 2020 and 2021, with an average annual salary of $92,000.
Detroit was one of the cities that saw a lot of “boomerangs” during the pandemic, which is a term for people who have moved away only to eventually return and settle down. With the rise of remote work, many took the opportunity to move back to Detroit, strengthening the talent pool in the area. The city is also expected to add around 1,800 new tech jobs this year, according to CompTIA. Companies such as Google, Twitter, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Amazon, and Pinterest have opened offices in Detroit in recent years. Detroit experienced a 90% year over year growth in tech job postings, with an average tech salary of $99,376 per year, according to Dice.
Irvine has experienced 89% year-over-year growth in tech job postings, according to Dice. Amazon plans to add 800 office and tech jobs to Irvine this year and Apple has also signed a lease on a building in the city. Mayor Farrah Khan also launched an Innovation Council, which consists of industry leaders from government, education, and business sectors to bolster the region’s position in the tech industry. Companies that have opened offices in Irvine include Sega, Razer, Vizio, Viant Technology, Blizzard Entertainment, and The Linksys Group, among others.
While Austin has long been viewed as Texas’ premier tech hub, Houston has also seen a boom in tech talent of late, boasting 83% year-over-year growth in tech job postings, with an average tech salary of $100,341 per year, according to Dice. The city converted an abandoned Sears department store into a 300,000 square-foot complex for innovation and as a spot for startup accelerators and incubators. The goal is to cultivate even more tech talent in the Houston area, bringing bigger tech giants to the area. Companies with offices in Houston include The Aerospace Corp., ServiceNow, Optum, Corva, Siemens, and AvidXchange, among others.
San Antonio’s “Tech Port” is a 1,900-acre campus located at the former site of the Kelly Air Force Base, which has been redeveloped over the past 20 years to help the city advance the local technology industry. The Tech Port also features a music venue, and the proceeds from events go to the Kelly Heritage Foundation, which provides technology and STEM opportunities to students in the San Antonio area. Companies such as Hulu, Amazon, IBM, Oracle, Apple, ServiceNow, iheartMedia, and Cisco have opened offices in San Antonio. Job tech postings in San Antonio grew by 80% year over year, with the average tech worker earning $81,870 per year, according to Dice.
Portland is part of the “Silicon Forest,” a moniker that references high-tech companies that have settled into the Portland metropolitan area. The tech scene in Portland started back in the 1940s with companies such as Tektronix, Intel, InFocus, PixelWorks, Hewlett-Packard, Xerox, and Epson moving into the area. In the early 2000s, Portland suffered a hit during the dotcom bust, with a lull in tech job hiring. But that has turned around in recent years as the city experienced 76% year-over-year growth in tech job postings, with the average tech salary coming in at $107,185 per year, according to Dice.
Dubbed the No. 1 emerging tech city in the US by Forbes, Tampa is home to more than 25% of all the technology jobs in Florida, with an anticipated 2,000 additional jobs to be added in the coming year. The city is in the process of building a mixed-used Innovation Center in Tampa’s Uptown neighborhood, with 19 square miles of housing, creative, office, and retail space to be built around the University of Southern Tampa. Companies such as Infosys, IBM, Wipro, Honeywell, Apple, Oracle, Microsoft, Google, Dell, and Salesforce have opened offices in Tampa within the past few years. Tampa experienced a 71% year-over-year growth in tech job postings over the past year and tech workers earn an average salary of $97,098 per year, according to Dice.
Phoenix is home to the “Silicon Desert,” and it’s quickly becoming a hot spot for the tech industry, with a focus on telecommunications, electronics manufacturing, and aerospace. Operational costs in Phoenix are 36% less than in California, according to the Phoenix Business Journal, making it an appealing spot for tech companies looking for a less expensive home base for headquarters. It’s also the fifth-largest data center market in the nation, with a “low natural disaster risk, inexpensive power, and a competitive colocation and cloud market.” Phoenix is home to companies such as ADP, Workiva, ServiceNow, Traffic Tech, BigTime Software, and General Motors. Job tech postings in Phoenix grew 69% year over year, with tech workers earning an average annual salary of $91,105, according to Dice.
Charlotte has been hailed as the tech hub of the south, with tech job postings growing 65% year over year, and an average annual salary of $100,691 for tech workers, according to Dice. There’s strong traction with tech jobs in the financial services industry, as banking turns more to digital transformation. Charlotte is home to companies such as Red Ventures, Credit Karma, EPAM Systems, Torc Robotics, Axios, Cisco, LendingTree, and AvidXchange. There’s high demand for software engineers, web developers, IT support specialists, network administrators and architects, data scientists, and cybersecurity professionals, according to CompTIA.
Boston has grown to become a popular tech hub in recent years, with companies such as Amazon, Google, IBM, Microsoft, and Oracle opening offices in the city. Amazon recently opened a technology hub in the Seaport district, with space for over 2,000 employees and over 1,000 technology and corporate roles available. There’s also a hot market for startups in the city and access to graduates from MIT, Harvard, BU, Tufts, and Northeastern. VCs have relocated to the area to keep an eye on emerging startups given the city’s success rate with startups such as Hubspot, Care.com, TripAdvisor, and Wayfair. Job tech postings in Boston grew 64% year over year, with an average tech salary of $114,959 per year, according to Dice.
Missouri is part of what’s been named the “Silicon Prairie,” which includes several midwestern states that have experienced a boom of tech companies opening shop. Tech job postings in St. Louis grew by 64% year over year, according to data from Dice. And the average annual salary for tech employees in St. Louis is $124,487, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Midwestern states often have a lower cost of living and more space than the traditional tech hubs. This has drawn tech companies and technologists alike to the Midwest to put down roots in St. Louis. Companies that have moved to or opened an office in St. Louis include Spectrum, EPAM Systems, ServiceNow, Cash App, ServiceTitan, Boeing, and Square, among others.
Sarah White is a senior writer for CIO.com, covering IT careers, hiring & staffing, and diversity.
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