Best City to Get a Tech Job? It Varies

Susan Hall

It's so interesting to see all the best/worst lists of cities for tech employment, because usually they don't agree or measure things slightly differently.


A new list from job aggregator Simply Hired takes a stab at just best or worst, looking simply at the number of openings vs. the number of tech workers employed there. Its top five are:

  1. Baltimore, Md. (46,150 employed, 14,093 tech job openings) – It's close enough to the nation's capital to siphon from the large talent pool there.
  2. Detroit (15,930 employed, 3,387 tech job openings) – There's a lot happening in tech in the Motor City these days. Most recently: General Motors plans to bring back 90 percent of its outsourced IT services work in-house; Quicken Loans, which is looking to add 300 IT pros, is among the companies trying to lure laid-off Yahoo workers from California; and project management firm GalaxE.Solutions wants to add 500 professionals. The state's economic development folks have been courting laid-off NASA workers, some of whom are struggling to find work a year after being let go. On top of that, Amazon is rumored to be setting up a tech hub there.
  3. Charlotte, N.C. (24,900 employed, 5,228 tech job openings) – LPL Financial is setting up a tech hub in Charlotte, adding 100 jobs. It's just one of the financial services firms adding jobs that are making up for defense jobs that have been cut. The North Carolina Technology Association's most recent report, however, took a particularly pessimistic view of the IT job market in the state.
  4. Portland, Ore. (28,630 employed, 5,934 tech job openings) – Intel helps boost the tech vibe and a lower cost of living and outdoor recreation can make this city an easy sell, according to ReadWriteWeb.
  5. Seattle (93,620 people employed, 18,011 tech job openings) – Seattle's robust startup scene competes for talent with giants Microsoft, Amazon, Boeing, Google and others. The New York Times recently highlighted the growing reputation, too, of the University of Washington as a pipeline of talent for this hot tech scene.

And the worst?


  • Newark, N.J. (26,930 employed, three tech job openings) – Seriously?
  • Birmingham, Ala. (20,140 employed, 843 tech job openings)
  • Riverside, Calif. (23,400 employed, 1,034 tech job openings)
  • Little Rock, Ark. (16,460 employed, 800 tech job openings)
  • Honolulu, Hawaii (15,360 employed, 780 tech job openings)

The Arkansas mention was interesting because a Brookings Institition report recently found the Midwest especially relying on H-1B engineers to fill tech jobs. It specifically named Fayetteville, Ark., as a city struggling to fill positions.

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