For decades, Silicon Valley was widely considered the nation’s preeminent tech hub. Over the past several years, though, other states and cities have realized the benefits of encouraging a local tech industry. With a basket of tax cuts, incubator programs, and other incentives, governments have done their best to entice well-established tech companies and aggressive startups to set down roots.
In order to determine which states have succeeded at encouraging tech employment, we can turn to Burning Glass, which collects and analyzes millions of job postings from across the country (in addition to other data). Over the past year, the following 10 states have seen robust demand for software developers, along with high median salaries—two big indicators that the local tech scenes are thriving:
That California tops these rankings should come as no surprise: Some of the nation’s largest tech companies call the state home, and Silicon Valley will likely continue to nurture a robust tech scene for years to come, thanks to easy access to venture capital, prestigious local schools, and metropolitan amenities.
But Silicon Valley also faces more competition than ever. Over the past few years, Texas has done its best to pull companies and technologists from California. Local officials like to claim that Austin, Dallas, and Houston offer lower taxes and cost-of-living than Los Angeles and San Francisco. Based on software developer job postings over the past 12 months, as well as median salaries, it’s clear that the Lone Star State has succeeded in attracting significant tech interest—but rising demand can also translate into a higher cost of living.
Virginia is also on the rise, and not just because Amazon chose the state as the host for its massive “HQ2” office. Virginia is already home to tech contractors that serve the federal government, as well as the massive datacenters powering AWS and other services.
It’s interesting that New York and Washington, both of which host well-established tech hubs, have trailed Texas and Virginia (and are only just ahead of Florida and Colorado) when it comes to software developer job postings. With the rise of the cloud and the increasing prevalence of remote and hybrid work, the growth of smaller tech hubs may only accelerate in years to come. That’s good news for software developers and other technologists who want plentiful jobs and high salaries, but don’t necessarily want to move to New York or Silicon Valley.