5 Top States with Employers Hungry for Tech Talent

Which states are enjoying the most demand for tech jobs? That’s a tough question to answer, but fortunately we have Burning Glass, which analyzes millions of job postings from across the country. Leveraging that data (along with some other sources) shows us which states are full of employers desperate for talent.

In addition to showing job demand, we also threw together key salary averages, as well as some other data points that illustrate the tech culture in each state. If you’re thinking of moving to a new state, or simply wondering how your state matches up nationally, keep reading.

California

Average 2018 Tech Salary (Dice Data): $105,953
Change Y/Y: 1.4%
Job Postings (July-Sept): 164,540

Of course California would top this particular list of states: Silicon Valley and San Francisco remain America’s premier technology hub, despite aggressive attempts by New York City to take that particular crown. And although Silicon Valley’s cost of living is astronomical, squeezing local startups and independent developers trying to build the Next Big Thing, the area remains home to technology giants such as Facebook and Google, which will likely ensure its dominance for some time to come.

Based on Burning Glass data, it’s clear that employers are desperate for talent of all kinds, suggesting that Silicon Valley is very much in an expansionist mood. And why not? The area features universities to pipeline talent to companies, venture-capital firms to provide funding to startups, and networks of experienced technologists to shepherd projects along—if you’re going to cycle up something that demands talent, this is still the place to do it.

Meanwhile, Los Angeles is also no slouch when it comes to tech companies, thanks to the presence of firms such as Snap (in Venice Beach).  Towns such as Santa Monica and Manhattan Beach also host their share of startups.

Texas

Average 2018 Tech Salary (Dice Data): $89,277
Change Y/Y: -1.4%
Job Postings (July-Sept): 76,433

Don’t mess with Texas: from Houston to the “Silicon Hills” of Austin, this big state enjoys a robust tech scene. Austin itself is home to companies ranging from Dell (which is headquartered in nearby Round Rock) to Apple (which plans to manufacture its new Mac Pro at a factory there). 

The living here is also more affordable than Silicon Valley. For example, both Dallas and Houston ranked high on SmartAsset’s “Best Cities to Work in Tech,” based on how much technologists in those towns make vis-à-vis the “average wage,” and the relative cost of living. 

New York

Average 2018 Tech Salary (Dice Data): $98,219
Change Y/Y: -6.6%
Job Postings (July-Sept): 55,233

New York City has spent years trying to grow into a tech hub capable of competing toe-to-toe with Silicon Valley. Part of that strategy included a rebranding (“Silicon Alley,” even though most of the city lacks alleys) and an aggressive attempt by former mayor Michael Bloomberg to lure startups and large companies to town.

The “New York City has arrived as a tech hub” narrative seemed to reach its peak when Amazon announced that it would establish one of its two “HQ2” headquarters buildings in Long Island City, a neighborhood across the East River from Midtown. However, that move sparked a huge amount of local protest from the community, and Amazon backed down.

While everyone in the city clearly isn’t onboard with some company expansion, Amazon, Google, and other firms have nonetheless continued to pour into the five boroughs—and post jobs. Outside of New York City, the state government has tried to make things hospitable to tech firms, albeit with very mixed results. For some states, it’s clear that the bulk of tech activity is centered in one place.

Florida

Average 2018 Tech Salary (Dice Data): $86,139
Change Y/Y: 3.9%
Job Postings (July-Sept): 43,873

For years, Florida has angled to be taken seriously among tech-friendly states. There’s been more venture-capital investment, as well as a significant well of talent, and a notable cost-of-living advantage over other cities. The big question is whether the state can maintain and grow whatever it’s managed to establish—and based on the Burning Glass data, it seems that employers are indeed hungry for tech talent. That bodes well for the state.

Virginia

Average 2018 Tech Salary (Dice Data): $101,935
Change Y/Y: 4.4%
Job Postings (July-Sept): 40,193

When it comes to states’ growth in tech jobs, Virginia enjoys one spectacular advantage: nearby Washington, D.C. The federal government (and its contractors) means constant demand for technologists of all stripes.

In addition, Virginia plays host to Microsoft, Amazon, and other major firms, some of which have built out considerable datacenter infrastructure. And even though New York City rejected one of Amazon’s “HQ2” headquarters buildings, the other one is still being built in Crystal City, right across the river from D.C. Once that’s completed, expect the number of technologist job postings to only increase.

10 Responses to “5 Top States with Employers Hungry for Tech Talent”

  1. Robert Safadi

    Cost of living factor is not considered in these areas and certainly extremely low salary scales. It’s shocking to see salaries abroad are double what USA have to offer. Working hour’s are1.5 time higher and lower on global scale. Something wrong in this picture.

    • S. Thomas

      You beat me to it, Robert. California and New York have two of the highest costs of living in the country. I would expect that Virginia and Florida are up there as well. I had a former coworker who made $300k a year and was barely able to make ends meet in California because his job was in a big city, I forget which. He ended up moving back to the east coast, which is where I met him.

  2. The article author needs to better classify how “Average 2018 Tech Salary” is defined in this article…

    It seems like comparing Apples to Oranges when Cost Of Living Adjustments (COLA) for each City are not listed or discussed.

    Which data sources did Dice Insights/Burning Glass use to:
    1.) arrive at these employee salary estimates,
    2.) which tech jobs titles were included in their assessment,
    3.) how were the total # of job ads seeking IT employees selected from the general IT population (ie websites, newspapers, magazines), and
    4.) what is the sample size (total number of employees) included in the study?

    Does “Average 2018 Tech Salary” include only take-home salary + taxes or does it include salary + taxes + benefits such as medical, dental, and vision care?

    I wonder if “Average 2018 Tech Salary” also include benefits granted based upon incentives or performance such as Cash payout, Company Stock awarded, or etc.?

    The bottom line is an employee’s “Salary” is hard to define and difficult to honestly research through vague job listing ads…

  3. This article is just about demand. Why is everybody piling on about what it doesn’t say about cost of living, etc. …I am just wondering why Seattle/Bellevue/Redmond is not on the list. I am personally leaving the area as soon as I can because it is now seriously overcrowded and headed for becoming totally unworkable like California. But it is not there yet and there are many jobs… and no income tax.

    • Agreed, Dave. I work in IT in the Seattle area. There is more demand than supply for IT workers here and the cost of living is increasing at a faster rate than salaries offered by tech companies located here. I have coworkers making six figures and can’t even buy condos let alone single homes. Single homes are just too expensive.

  4. Agreed, Dave. I work in IT in the Seattle area. There is more demand than supply for IT workers here and the cost of living is increasing at a faster rate than salaries offered by tech companies located here. I have coworkers making six figures and can’t even buy condos let alone single homes. Single homes are just too expensive.

  5. Andrew Mc

    The reason why Seattle isn’t on the list is because he went by total number of job postings per state, which is why the states with the biggest populations made the list.

    The author should have gone by job posting density, by dividing postings by the state population.