5 Regional Hotspots in the Ever-Changing IT Jobs Market
While Silicon Valley and New York City continue to be major tech hubs, the old guard doesn’t call the shots in the IT labor market anymore. For instance, the high cost of living in San Jose has driven tech companies and workers to seek more affordable pastures. Plus, with the rise of remote teams, location requirements are far less rigid. Tech firms still like to cluster, and the options are expanding faster than ever. Let’s take a look at some emerging IT jobs and labor market leaders.
Front Range, CO
The Front Range is the Rocky Mountain equivalent of Silicon Valley. This urban corridor runs along the eastern face of the Southern Rockies, encompassing 18 counties in Colorado and Wyoming. Within the past year, over 22 tech companies (Google, Facebook, Apple, etc.) either moved their HQ or opened up satellites in the region.
The area attracts IT talent and enterprises due to lifestyle options, mild climate and more affordable housing when compared to NYC and San Francisco. In Denver alone, tech job growth YOY grew at a whopping 81.4% in 2018.
Think Denver is seeing solid growth? Well in Huntsville, AL, the IT job market grew at a rate of 309% in 2018. One of the big reasons for this skyrocketing growth is cost of living vs. value. The median home price in Huntsville clocks in at $150,000, a fraction of the $1.5 million price tag in the Bay Area. The region’s tech roots reach back to the 1950’s when NASA set up operations there. Since then, Huntsville has one of the most tech minded workforces in the country, ranking third after San Jose and Framingham, MA.
Kansas City, MO
With a 157% YOY growth in IT jobs, Kansas City was the first Google Fiber site, and the area has been booming with a healthy, vibrant start-up scene. The top technical jobs in the area are Project Managers, Network Engineers, Project Coordinators, Software Developers and Web Developers. With a median home price of just over $207K, Kansas City provides the frugal tech worker with plenty of opportunities and a low cost of living.
An affordable lifestyle, plenty of talent and investors flush with capital make Orlando one of the healthiest IT labor markets in the US. With 149% YOY growth in tech jobs, the area is home to one of the largest graduating classes in the country every year at UCF. The youthful downtown boasts a talent pool springing from universities and brands like Disney, Lockheed Martin and EA Sports.
“We’ve stayed ahead of the curve by testing and implementing bleeding-edge cleantech solutions, such as floating solar power, electric buses for public transit, and even positioning ourselves as a national research hub for autonomous and connected vehicles,” said Chris Castro, who leads Orlando’s smart city initiatives.
With its inviting climate and bustling nightlife, Atlanta provides juicy tax incentives for startups, and it’s paying off. Between 2017-2018, the region posted 76,000 IT jobs, and its tech talent pool expanded by 34.7 percent from 2012 and 2017. Despite its international status, the cost of living in Atlanta is actually lower than the national average. A recent study revealed that the Atlanta – Sandy Springs – Roswell, GA area ranks within the top ten regions for job openings in technology.
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