If you are looking for a high-tech career, Silicon Valley isn’t the only place in the US where you can achieve that goal. Even though you can find average salaries in the six figures in Silicon Valley, its high cost of living isn’t really friendly to fresh graduates and to junior engineers, unlike other locations in the US.
Together with the increasing cost of living, a changed distribution of software jobs – once to be found only in IT companies, now instead shifted among industries – is contributing to the decline of software-related roles particularly in San Jose, California, the valley’s biggest metro area. According to a study conducted by Glassdoor, the retail industry has recorded the largest gain in software jobs since 2012 to now (+7.5%), while the computer software industry itself has instead recorded the biggest decline (-10.5%) in the last 5 years. In order to provide clear evidence that tech jobs have spread among industries, the research also analyzes the concentration of software jobs among industries using the HHI. This value ranges from zero to one, with zero meaning tech jobs are highly dispersed across any industries, and one meaning they’re clustered entirely in one industry. In 2012, the index of software job concentration among industries was 0.16. By 2017 it had fallen to 0.11 — a decline of roughly 30 percent in terms of the HHI index value.
According to Gergo Vari, founder of the job portal Lensa, “Software, automation and big data once used only by tech companies are nowadays heavily used by any industry. Every company is somehow tech and this trend is drastically changing the geography of tech jobs in the US.”
Here are the 5 best cities that, since 2012, have seen the largest gains in the share of software job postings for each respective metro area.
From 2012 to 2017, Seattle saw a 6.7% increase in software jobs.
The average salary for tech jobs in Seattle is $99,290. This growth, of course, is driven by the tech giant Microsoft, which is located in Redmond, Washington and employees 30,000–40,000 people – but also by Amazon, which has settled its international hub in Seattle’s South Lake Union district and by Walmart.
From 2012 to 2017, Washington, D.C. saw a 1.3% increase in software jobs.
LinkedIn counts more than 10,800 Information Technology jobs in Washington, DC. This city, home to tech giants such as Oracle, IBM, and HP, is also experiencing growth of education-based companies such as Lexis Nexis, Cengage, and Kaplan that are also contributing to the creation of new tech jobs.
From 2012 to 2017, Detroit saw a 0.8% increase in software jobs.The technology industry is driving job growth in metro Detroit. With huge auto manufacturers such as Ford and General Motors relying heavily on engineering services, automations, and R&D testing labs for their productions, tech jobs are more and more heavily in demand in Detroit. And considered the latest integration of software and traditional auto manufacturing in products such as driverless cars, this growth is expected to increase even more in the following years.
From 2012 to 2017, Denver saw a 0.7% increase in software jobs.
In Denver, the growth in tech jobs has to be assigned to a lower cost of living compared to other US cities, as well as the result of a centralized governmental approach. Institutions such as the Denver Tech Center are encouraging tech companies to settle in the city and huge tech companies are massively investing in Colorado. Google, for example, has doubled its workforce ahead of opening a new campus.
From 2012 to 2017, Austin saw a 0.7% increase in software jobs.
It’s also the second city to get Google Fiber and the city is hosting SXSW Interactive, a conference exploring what’s next in the worlds of entertainment, culture, but particularly technology. Austin is the home of companies seeking tech engineers such as iHeartMedia, Home Depot and Indeed.
This post is part of our contributor series. It is written and published independently of TNW.