Lured by lower costs of living and competitive salaries, technology workers are migrating from traditional technology centers like Silicon Valley, New York and Los Angeles to new hubs around the U.S., according to a Comparably report of more than 8,000 tech employees from 10 cities. Emerging tech hubs include Atlanta, Baltimore, Boulder, Colo., and Phoenix.
The national average salary for a junior developer is about $75,000, and Phoenix offers a competitive $72,000 for the same position with a lower cost of living. IT managers make an average about $112,000 nationally but cities like Atlanta, Dallas and Minneapolis offer about $120,000, $121,000 and $118,000 for the same role, respectively.
For many techies, the contrast in cost of living is reason enough to work elsewhere. For example, the average cost of rent in San Francisco is $2,420 compared to just $940 nationally for a one-bedroom.
Each of Comparably's 10 emerging tech hubs — which also include Portland, Ore., Washington, Denver and Chicago — are underrated but becoming competitors in their own right in the tech scene. There are already about 11.5 million tech workers in the U.S., and 200,000 more jobs are added annually.
It's no secret that with the expansion of any given technology, there needs to be someone there to support and maintain its functionality. Software jobs in particular accounted for about one-third of all technology occupations from 2010 to 2017.
Still, almost one-fifth of all tech workers live in California, setting the Golden State up for having the highest salaries for tech professionals. But other places like Austin are continuing to gain traction. When adjusted for the cost of living, the Texan city outranks Seattle and Washington's salaries at $202,000 compared to $182,000.
Many cities are looking to avoid becoming a "digital Rust Belt" by experimenting with new technologies. These experiments could lead a city right into housing Amazon's second headquarters. Some of the same cities on Comparably's list are also on Amazon's: Washington, Atlanta, Dallas, Denver and Chicago.