If you’re a regular visitor of TechAcute, you probably know how much the technology industry has grown in the last 20 years. Even the last five years have been a veritable boon of progress.
Tech is no longer the trade of stereotypical “geeks” or “nerds,” but has evolved into a meeting place for individuals of various backgrounds. Businesses, in particular have become more in need of skilled tech professionals, as have many other industries.
But, with so many potential options as a tech professional, where should you focus your career goals? In terms of geography, this list can help you narrow down your search.
NerdWallet recently compiled a list of the highest-paying metro-areas for tech professionals. If you’re looking for a new place to settle down and flex your tech skills, check out the top six tech-friendly metro areas below:
1. Silicon Valley, California (i.e. San Jose, Sunnyvale and Santa Clara)
Arguably, the birthplace of the modern technology industry, this is where industry veterans and young hopefuls go to make a name for themselves—the “Hollywood” of technology and startups.
Home to tech giants like Facebook, Adobe and Apple, and including every startup under the sun, Silicon Valley is the place to be.
Despite the fact 126 of every 1000 jobs in technology come out of California, the average cost of rent is about $1,600 a month. Good thing that the average salary is $130,000 a year, assuming you can find a job there.
2. Huntsville, Alabama
Contrary to popular belief, technology companies do exist outside of California.
What NerdWallet calls the “heart of the Southern tech scene,” Huntsville accounts for 68 of every 1000 tech jobs and is a great place for engineers because of the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center and Cummings Research Park.
While the average salary of $92,296 is lower than average, median rent ($725 per month) is the cheapest of any city on the this list.
3. Seattle/Bellevue/Everett, Washington
Not only did Bill Gates of Microsoft and Jeff Bezos of Amazon settle their companies in Washington, but Facebook, Twitter, Expedia and Zillow also have offices here.
These three cites represent 77 of every 1,000 tech positions. With salaries around $108,000 and rent at $1,100, tech enthusiasts would wouldn’t mind being closer to the coffee scene might like to do some job prospecting here.
4. Durham/Chapel Hill, North Carolina
“The Triangle” consisting of Durham, Raleigh, and Chapel Hill in North Carolina not only serves as a geographic marker for the state, but also reflects the high amount of technology companies in the region (e.g. IBM and Cisco). This area also hosts satellite locations for Google and Microsoft.
In this region, salaries are over $94,000 and rent is the second lowest on NerdWallet’s list at $870 a month.
About 66 of 1000 tech jobs are found in NC, but we also suspect more will be coming soon because of the state’s many accelerated startup programs.
5. Boulder, Colorado
Yes, people come here for more than just the Rockies. Aside from the awesome view, Boulder features many venture capital companies that have a penchant for backing tech-related projects. Big names like Oracle and Twitter have subsidiaries in Colorado.
Boulder boasts 70 of 1,000 industry jobs with salaries around $97,000 and living costs of about $1,168.
6. San Francisco/San Mateo/Redwood City, California
Need some inspiration for a startup? You don’t have to look very far; Redwood City, San Francisco and San Mateo host tech superstars including Twitter, Google, LinkedIn, Yahoo and many more.
Salaries around $113,000 are tempting, but median rent is also on the higher side at $1,435 a month. The number of tech jobs available is 72 of every 1,000.
If you’re a tech professional who’s considering locating to a new place, make these cities some of the first prospects on your list.
Kayla Mathews is a writer and blogger with a passion for technology and gadgets. Follow her on Google+ and Twitter to get updates on all of her latest posts.