Here Are the Top Cities for Starting a Career in Tech

I'll give you three guesses as to what city's at the top.

Getty Images / Justin Sullivan

The start of a lucrative career in the tech industry might require a moving van.

Computer Training Schools has published a roundup of the 30 best cities to start a career in tech based on earnings, commute times, and other factors that are likely to affect the aspiring tech worker’s attempts to make it in the industry.

It’s no surprise that San Francisco tops the list. The city is known for its free-flowing venture capital — and for being called the best city in the United States in the recent Mercer Quality of Life rankings.

But for those who don’t want to live in Frisco — it’s expensive — there are some other options that could lead to a decent career in tech without requiring a move to a city where the apartments are scarce and the rent is constantly rising.


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For the recent grad: Denver

CTS reports that the “mile-high capital of Colorado scores highly in nearly every category related to the technology industry” and offers a median salary of $76,448 plus a relatively low commute time of just 27 minutes. And, of course, the city offers some of the only legal marijuana available in the country.


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For the person seeking work-life balance: Los Angeles

Los Angeles doesn’t have quite the tech-friendly reputation of San Francisco, but it does offer something else: Things to do besides work. The city “scores the highest among 77 major metropolitan regions for its wide range of diverse cultural attractions, sporting events and performing arts centers,” CTS says.

San Jose

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For the money-seekers: San Jose

San Jose doesn’t have the night life of Los Angeles or the recreational drug use of Denver, but it does have something going for it: The highest median earnings of every city on the CTS list at $105,554. If you’re getting into tech to capitalize on the modern gold rush, well, San Jose might be a good place to look for work.


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For the civic techie: Washington, DC

Anyone who wants to use tech as a tool for change should consider Washington, D.C. Sure, it has a long commute time (34 minutes) but it has the second-highest median earnings ($92,878) and a high concentration of tech workers. Assuming you can live with the commute and you care about politics, it’s worth a look.

New York


For the futurist: New York

New York is one of the lowest-ranking cities on the CTS list. But given the city’s plans to revamp its subway system and rip out its pay phones to install the world’s largest public wifi network it’s also shaping up to be the city of the future. There are also slightly lower rents than San Francisco, a night life to rival Los Angeles, and even the existing subway system offers an easy commute.

Below’s the full list, and more information on why each city landed where it did is right here.

The 30 Best Cities for Tech Workers:

#1 San Francisco

#2 Austin

#3 Denver

#4 Colorado Springs

#5 San Jose

#6 Washington, D.C.

#7 Boston

#8 San Diego

#9 Los Angeles

#10 Durham

#11 Portland

#12 Seattle

#13 Provo

#14 Salt Lake City

#15 Minneapolis

#16 Phoenix

#17 Dallas

#18 Baltimore

#19 Raleigh

#20 Philadelphia

#21 Omaha

#22 Tampa

#23 Atlanta

#24 Albany

#25 New York City

#26 Chicago

#27 Madison

#28 Kansas City

#29 Houston

#30 Orlando

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