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Beyond Silicon Valley: Emerging Tech Hubs and the Jobs Driving Their Growth

There was a time when a career in tech meant heading straight for Silicon Valley. The US remains a world leader in IT and teaching, with nearly 8% of the country’s workforce working within the tech and IT industries. However, California isn’t the only place to seek tech success; in fact, there are new tech hubs evolving that offer a wealth of opportunity and that are not as saturated as their more well-known counterparts.

If you are dreaming of a career in tech, it is wise for you to extend your job search beyond Silicon Valley. An emerging trend is exciting new tech opportunities available in less salubrious but more accessible locations. Here are five of the most promising tech hubs and the jobs that are instrumental to their development.

Phoenix, Arizona

Move over to Silicon Valley; the Silicon Desert is here. A rapidly growing tech hotspot, Phoenix is building a reputation as a base for electronics, aerospace, and telecommunications. One distinct advantage that the Desert has over the Valley is that operational costs are reportedly more than 1/3 less than its tech-savvy neighbor. Add this to the geographical advantages: Low natural disaster risk and cheaper power, and it stands to reason that Phoenix is a popular option for those looking to pursue careers in telecoms, aerospace, or electronics.

Tampa, Florida

In general terms, where the big five tech companies go, others will naturally follow. The natural fallout of mass tech migrations to relatively small areas means that there is a wealth of talent and opportunity to be had for individuals and companies of all sizes and stages of their journey. Tampa is home to a host of big names, including IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, Apple, CapGemini, Amazon, and Google. Tampa had a slow start; it has been merging in the tech industry for more than two decades. However, today, Tampa is home to 25% of Florida’s tech jobs as well as Embarc Collective, the state’s “fastest-growing startup hub,” which raised over $107m in venture capital in the last year.

Charlotte, North Carolina

Stealing the crown for the tech hub of the south, Charlotte is a hub for healthcare, fintech, and logistics tech. Charlotte has been traditionally known as a financial services hub, so its emergence as a tech hub has been somewhat surprising, albeit slow and steady. In an era when banking is experiencing a massive digital transformation, there is a particular wealth of opportunities in financial services and a high demand for IT support roles, web developers, software engineers, network architects, network administrators, data scientists, and cybersecurity experts.

Salt Lake City, Utah

With more than 2,500 new tech jobs available in 2022 and an anticipated 3,000 in 2023, Salt Lake City is predicted by CompTIA (Computing Technology Industry Association) to be one of the fastest-growing tech hubs in the next ten years. With representation from eBay and Adobe and a strong university and research presence, Salt Lake City has a huge amount going for it in terms of tech jobs as well as becoming a central hub in the future. So, it is unsurprising that it has earned the name “Tech Lake City.”

Sacramento, California

It is no surprise that California ranked top in CompTIA’s State of the Tech Workforce report. But the activity isn’t isolated in Silicon Valley. One of the leading companies adopting smart grid technology, Sacramento is fast becoming a hub for clean energy technology. With the massive growth in job opportunities and revenue over the last year, resulting in nearly 5,000 new job opportunities, Sacramento is seen by many as a more wholesome neighbor to Silicon Valley, offering a wealth of employment opportunities as well as a lower cost of living and more balanced work ethics.

Colombus, Ohio

With a diverse and growing population, Colombus is popular among companies for testing new products and services. The strong test market naturally lends itself to becoming a hub for innovative organizations, and with companies including Amazon, Facebook, and Intel bringing thousands of jobs, the city is fast becoming a prime spot for tech jobs, providing a wealth of opportunities in emerging markets and exciting startups. According to TechCrunch, Columbus is rapidly becoming the Midwest’s tech hub, with a massive rise in investment in startups over the last two years.

The reasons for the emergence of up-and-coming tech hubs can vary from economics to geography and, occasionally, the whims of daring startups or established tech giants. However, one thing remains clear: this migration from high-cost, high-competition tech hubs to more innovative micro hubs presents opportunities for people seeking a career in tech that extend far beyond Silicon Valley.