We’ve come to associate Silicon Valley as the top place where IT jobs are centered, much the way Detroit used to be the heartbeat of the auto industry. But is that still the case? Is Silicon Valley really the only, or best, place to land a hot IT job? We don’t think so, and neither does Forbes. In an article published late last month, they counted down all the unknown cities in this country where IT jobs are plentiful and of a high quality, so let’s take a look at where they are.
8. Nashville-Davidson—Murfreesboro—Franklin, Tennessee
When you think of Tennessee, you usually picture the epicenter of country music, and why not? It’s the home of the Grand Ole Opry, and bears the nickname “Music City”. So, it’s perfectly understandable that IT isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. But IT jobs take up 2.5%of the local economy’s, and have grown a total of 2.9% from 2005 to 2013.
7. Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale, Arizona
The desert seems like it’d be a hotbed for sports, ecology and commerce jobs, but IT is making a really strong mark on the local economy. Right now, it occupies 1.8% of the jobs in the local economy, but that’s just the immediate scenario. From 2012 to 2013, IT jobs grew an eye-opening 4.1%, marking a huge increase in the 0.4% total from 2005 to 2013.
6. Raleigh-Cary, North Carolina
North Carolina used to be known for its plantations, but has now grown into a commerce and transit hub in recent years. But IT? You’d better believe it. It grew at a rate of 5.7% from 2005 to 2013, with 2.3% new jobs from 2012 to 2013 alone. And when talking about the local economy as a whole, IT jobs take up 3.3%.
5. San Antonio-New Braunfels, Texas
Right now, the Spurs are the most well known commodity in San Antonio, having just won their fifth NBA title in 15 years. If you’re not into sports, though, then you probably recognize San Antonio as having a number of U.S. Armed Forces facilities there, the only medical research center in South Texas in South Texas Medical Center or a booming oil and gas sector. You can add IT jobs to that, too, as it occupies 2.3% of the local economy. Overall, growth from 2005 to 2013 went backwards at -0.3%, but 2012 to 2013 saw a strong improvement at 3.6%.
4. Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, Georgia
The South strikes again, only this time in IT. The metropolis usually known for its Civil War history, once-great baseball team, being a transportation hub in the Southeastern United States, and a commerce hotspot. Now, you can add IT to the list, as it comprises 3.5% of the local economy. Overall growth from 2005 to 2013 wasn’t so great at -1.3%, but it was the opposite from 2012 to 2013 at 1.4%.
3. Madison, Wisconsin
This “sleepy” city of half a million in Wisconsin has grown from a swamp-and-forest land to a sleeper of an IT city, commanding 3.5% of the jobs in the local economy and growing 1.9% from 2012 to 2013. But when you look at the total growth from 2005 to 2013 – a whopping 41.2% — it’s a wonder it’s not named the Silicon Valley of the Midwest.
2. Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos, Texas
We’re back in Texas and it’s a place where, no matter if Nashville is “Music City”, the music scene is so strong, it’s known as the “Live Music Capital of the World”, due in no small part to the long-running Austin City Limits. But IT is giving it a good run for its money, coming in at 2.7% of the jobs in the local economy. When looking at overall growth, 2.6% from 2012 to 2013 was strong, but not as much as the 8.3% growth from 2005 to 2013.
1. Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, Massachusetts
The homes of MIT and Harvard University make this entry not much of a surprise, as the Boston area houses many of the nation’s brightest minds. Usually, we think of them tucked away in labs and ivory towers, but 3.3% of all jobs are now in IT. There was roughly the same figure in job growth from 2012 to 2013, but 2005 to 2013 is when IT really boomed at 9.0% growth.