If you're searching for a job at a startup or large tech company, chances are you have your sights set on Silicon Valley. While the area does have a significant concentration of profitable technology businesses, the cost of living is among the highest in the country. Before packing your belongings and heading for Northern California, consider several other cities across the U.S. with strong and growing tech scenes, high average salaries and low median rents in comparison to Silicon Valley.
In Boulder, Colorado, 70 out of every 1,000 jobs are in the tech industry as of 2015. The average tech salary is $97,757 a year while median rent is just $1,168 per month. Over 1,600 digital companies are located in Boulder, some of the largest of which include Arrow, TeleTech and HomeAdvisor. Home to the University of Colorado, the city has an artistic, youthful culture and gorgeous natural views in every direction.
Tech workers in Austin – Known for the annual South by Southwest festival – can make an average of about $98,672 a year, according to Dice. Median rent is $1,000 a month and about 58 out of every 1,000 jobs are in tech. Besides featuring some unbeatable food and a hip nightlife, Austin is home to companies including dating app Bumble, virtual reality game maker Owlchemy and financing solutions provider Vyze.
Median rent in Boston is $1,200 a month, and 57 out of every 1,000 jobs are in tech. Boston is a serious STEM hub. While companies like HubSpot and TripAdvisor are headquartered in the city, Boston is also home to robotics pioneers such as Rethink Robotics, Amazon Robotics and Boston Dynamics. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of 2015 there are more than 126,600 workers in computing and math occupations.
Our nation's capital and the areas around it may be a centuries-long home to American government, but it's recently become home to a significant volume of tech companies and startups as well. As of 2016, the average tech salary in Washington, D.C. is $94,857 a year, where about 79 out of every 1,000 jobs are in tech and median rent is $1,481 a month. Companies such as TrackMaven, Silica Labs, Soundtracker and EverFi are headquartered in the area.
Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, North Carolina
The Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill region features the Research Triangle, an area home to a number of large universities, tech companies and, appropriately, ground-breaking research. 66 out of every 1,000 jobs are in tech, average salaries are more than $94,500, and median rent is just $870 a month. Larger companies like IBM, Cisco and Glaxo Smith-Kline are located in the Research Triangle, as well as a significant amount of startups and accelerators.