Which U.S. states pay out the most (on average) to tech pros? The latest Dice Salary Survey provides some answers. In what should come as no surprise, states with big tech hubs such as California and New York reliably delivered high average salaries; but states like Oregon and Minnesota also offered big average paydays to tech pros. Let’s run down the list:
YoY change: 1.4 percent
It goes almost without saying that Silicon Valley is the nation’s premier technology hub, home to tech giants such as Facebook and Google. But as we head into the end of the decade, a huge question is emerging: can Silicon Valley (and the Bay Area ecosystem as a whole, including San Francisco) maintain that dominance?
Any number of pundits will tell you that geographical location doesn’t matter anymore; that, thanks to a combination of ultra-fast internet and cloud-based resources, a tech company can spin up pretty much anywhere in the country and enjoy success, provided it’s powered by the right ideas and people.
But location does matter. Companies within tech hubs benefit from a deep pool of local talent, universities to pipeline that talent, venture capital funding from that office down the road, and places where tech pros can gather to share ideas and expand their personal networks. In light of that, Silicon Valley isn’t going anywhere; nor is Los Angeles, which has benefitted from the presence of well-funded companies such as Snapchat (although it seems that folks aren’t using the “Silicon Beach” moniker for L.A. as much as they used to).
Thanks to this concentration of tech firms (and the corresponding need for talent), salaries in California topped $105,953 last year, up 1.4 percent from the year before. And if you specialize in machine learning, artificial intelligence (A.I.), or other, in-demand skill-sets, you can make far more.
YoY change: -2.6%
Massachusetts is home to yet another mature, iconic tech hub: The area around Cambridge (which features MIT and Harvard). Those schools have evolved with the times; for example, MIT is opening a new college for artificial intelligence (A.I.), which will open in the fall of 2019, and Harvard has always served as a tech-talent pipeline.
As a bonus of sorts, Massachusetts is within relatively easy access of other East Coast tech hubs, including New York City and Washington, D.C. That’s great for tech pros in Boston and the surrounding areas who may need to venture to those other cities to secure talent, funding, and more—although it doesn’t help local efforts to keep tech pros (especially new grads) in the area.