ITCareerFinder analyzes key data points in technology, employment and livability to uncover the best cities for IT professionals to live and work in.
This page will be updated annually with the latest and greatest tech cities. Current year: 2022.
Many of the best computer jobs can now be done remotely. This is a welcome change for many of us. For everyone else, choosing the right city to live, work and play in can be vital to happiness and success. This study combines statistical analyses of the high-tech workforce and livability factors in over 150 cities across the nation to find the best places to live in - or relocate to - as an IT professional.
To determine the best cities for tech jobs, we analyzed key employment data such as IT salaries, the number of jobs and the percentage of workforce in technical roles from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, as well as the leading indexes for cost of living and quality of life, because after all, once the 9-to-5 is over you still have to live there.
Jump down to the bottom of the page for the ranking methodology and source list, or read on for this year’s top 8 cities for IT professionals.
Best tech city for value and affordability.
With a proliferating startup scene, high quality of life, solid wages and one of the lowest costs of living, Huntsville Alabama is 2022's top destination for IT workers. Huntsville’s tech workforce was traditionally centered around NASA and the city's large concentration of aerospace and military contractors. This is still true of “Rocket City” today, however Huntsville recently revamped its downtown and attracted a slew of high-tech startups eager to capitalize on the built-in talent pool of engineers and low barriers to entry for business.
Pros of calling Huntsville home include best-in-class value (in both real estate and purchasing power), a strong and fast-growing job market, a convenient airport and a short average commute with hardly any traffic. Huntsville also consistently ranks among the most educated cities in America.
Major technology employers in Huntsville include NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, Boeing, Siemens, Mazda-Toyota and Northrop Grumman.
The dominant tech careers in Huntsville are software engineer, aerospace engineer, systems analyst and mechanical engineer.
Best city for high-tech entrepreneurs.
Raleigh is making a name for itself in the computing scene and handily earned its spot in the top cities for tech jobs. Beyond its strategic focus on innovation, Raleigh’s future as an American tech hub is only getting brighter as Apple recently announced plans to build a new campus and engineering hub while investing over $1 billion in the city. According to Cupertino, this investment will create roughly 3000 tech jobs over the next decade in hot fields like software engineering, artificial intelligence and machine learning. This closely followed Google’s announcement to create a Raleigh hub for its fast-growing cloud division, eventually adding another 1000+ high-paying tech jobs to The City of Oaks.
Benefits of living in Raleigh North Carolina include the city’s cleanliness and natural beauty, midsize city amenities with a small town vibe, and a populace that's young, friendly and educated.
Major providers of technology jobs in Raleigh-Durham include Red Hat, PRA Health Sciences and IBM.
The most prevalent tech sector careers in Raleigh are software developer, IT support specialist, computer systems analyst and civil engineer.
Best city for tech jobs in the heart of it all.
Even as the technology workforce migrates from expensive locales and shifts to a more remote footing, no list of the best cities for tech jobs is complete without San Jose. San Jose is the largest city in Silicon Valley - the mecca for high-tech jobs and innovation in America. Computing professionals in San Jose take home an average salary of $153,640, making it the highest paying city for IT pros. This premium pay will come in handy as the Silicon Valley standout also has the highest cost of living - more than double the national average.
For those who can swing it, San Jose is an amazing place to live - highlights include great weather (300+ days of sunshine per year), abundant job opportunities at some of the world's greatest tech companies, easy access to outdoor activities, and a diverse and accessible food culture.
Major high-tech employers in San Jose include Google, Cisco Systems, Western Digital, PayPal and Adobe.
The most popular IT careers in San Jose are software developer, software analyst, information security analyst, and computer systems analyst.
Best tech city for outdoor enthusiasts.
With a cost of living 67 percent above the national average, starting or growing your IT career here won’t be cheap, but for the right professionals it’s absolutely worth it. Boulder is an ideal city for tech pros with a love of the outdoors, offering easy access to a plethora of hiking and biking trails, climbing, skiing and snowboarding, and water sports on its many lakes, rivers and creeks. When it comes to the tech scene, Boulder has seen massive venture capital investments into startups that have placed this relatively small city on the map as a destination for high-tech talent.
Beyond the great outdoors, US News & World Report’s Best Place to Live features top-notch dining and nightlife, a gorgeous cityscape packed with young innovators in tech, business and creative pursuits, and close proximity to safe, family-friendly neighborhoods with great schools.
Major high-tech employers in Boulder include Zayo Group, Gorilla Logic, Google Boulder and Hamamatsu Photonics.
The dominant tech careers in Boulder Colorado are software developer, end-user support specialist, network administrator and computer hardware engineer.
Best city for tech pros on the cutting-edge.
With the slogan “Keep Austin Weird,” but located inside the more traditional state of Texas, this eclectic city has a lot to offer a lot of people, including IT professionals. Tech giants and startups alike are flocking to Austin in search of a favorable tax structure, small-business-friendly legislation, and a young and diverse talent pool. This migration has opened up a ton of opportunities for IT professionals, engineers and developers. Factor in the city’s low unemployment, high quality of life, low cost of living and solid wages and you have a great place to launch your IT career.
On the lifestyle front, points of interest include a renowned live music scene, great food - especially barbecue, an up-and-coming comedy scene, and relatively mild weather (with a handful of scorchers and freezers mixed in to keep you on your toes).
Major high-tech employers in Austin Texas include Dell, Tesla, AMD and Apple.
The dominant IT careers in Austin are software developer, technical support specialist, systems analyst and network administrator.
Best city for government tech jobs.
Beyond being the seat of the federal government, the DMV (shorthand for District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia) is home to a unique and fast-growing tech community. Like many companies in the capital, a good amount of DC tech jobs are working for the government or its contractors. These positions tend to have good benefits, strong training budgets and flexible schedules (compared to other tech roles), but there can also be a ceiling to advancement and political maneuvering and bureaucratic red tape to get things done. So based on what’s important to you, the DMV can be an ideal place to live or relocate to as an IT professional.
Highlights of living in Washington DC include the capital's rich history and culture, an impressive public transportation system, and a population that’s young, diverse and ambitious.
Major tech employers in DC include numerous agencies and departments in the federal government and military, as well as large satellite offices from major players like Amazon, IBM and Oracle.
The most prevalent info-tech careers in Washington DC are IT security specialist, software developer, technical support specialist and computer systems analyst.
Best city for tech jobs in New England.
Boston is one of America’s oldest and most storied cities, but Beantown isn't resting on its laurels when it comes to high-tech innovation. Surrounded by Northeast states and cities that boast some of the best educational institutions for STEM, Boston has harnessed this brain power to become a leading destination for career-minded technologists and engineers. Major high-tech growth sectors in Boston include FinTech, EdTech, BioTech and robotics (we’ve all seen the dystopian dogs).
Advantages of living in Boston include a rich American history that you can feel throughout the city, a diverse and accessible food scene, world-class professional sports, a solid public transportation system, and amazing education providers plus an educated populace. Drawbacks include a high cost of living and frigid, snow-filled winters.
Major technology employers in Boston include SkillSoft, Toast, NVIDIA and Boston Dynamics.
The most popular IT career paths in Boston are software developer, industrial engineer, computer support specialist, robotics engineer and systems analyst.
Best city for tech jobs in the Pacific Northwest.
One of the largest tech hubs outside The Valley, Seattle presents a multitude of benefits to IT pros and engineers. Beyond its top-tier IT salaries, Seattle is home to tech giants like Microsoft and Amazon which offer thousands of sought-after jobs with some serious perks. I will note however that the cost of living here is high and rising, and quality of life in the city is threatened by issues like rising crime and homelessness. While Seattle is still an amazing place to live and work, savvy tech pros should carefully consider their Seattle relocation plans - or dig into the surrounding suburbs, which are quite beautiful.
Besides its rainy winters, Seattle is an outdoorsman’s paradise featuring easy access to the coast and mountains year round. The Emerald City also boasts a vibrant downtown full of nightlife, an incredible and culturally rich food scene, and a ton of options for live music, art and entertainment.
Major technology employers in Seattle include Microsoft, Amazon, Tableau and Boeing.
The most popular tech careers in Seattle are software engineer, web designer, help desk technician and computer systems analyst.
† The average annual salary for computing and technology professionals in the U.S. is $99,860, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics.
To determine this year’s best cities for information technology jobs, we performed a weighted analysis using the following data points:
We then combined this data with expert advice on current and emerging trends in IT hiring and the high-tech economy to assemble the final ranking.