Which State Will Host America’s Next Great Tech Hub?

Every state wants to host a massive tech hub, and why not? The tech companies within these hubs generate lots of jobs, pay their employees considerable salaries (which are then spent within their local communities), and throw off substantial tax revenue for years. Building up a tech hub, though, is much easier said than done.

As part of its monthly analysis of employment data, nonprofit association CompTIA generated a list of states that saw the biggest gains in tech job postings between August and September. None of them are “major” tech states (in fact, California, New York, and Texas all saw their tech job postings dip month-over-month), and the actual number of jobs in play is relatively small. However, the increases are significant on a percentage basis, suggesting these states (and one federal territory) have some momentum when it comes to tech employment—and, perhaps, creating tech hubs. Check out the chart: 

Washington, D.C. is probably the most significant tech city on this list when it comes to overall job count. For years, technologists within the city have benefitted from the enormous number of federal IT contracts; it’s also notable that D.C. is right across the river from Virginia, which is enjoying a burst of tech activity thanks to the presence of Amazon and other companies. This mix of private tech companies and federal contractors is a robust one, and will likely ensure tech jobs for many years to come.

With some of these other states, it’s harder to see if they’ll eventually grow significant tech hubs, despite the short-term uptick in job postings. Tech hub growth hinges on a number of factors, including a robust educational pipeline, access to plenty of funding and venture capital, a pool of technologists, and infrastructure (airports, highways, housing stock, etc.) to keep everything moving. As demonstrated by cities such as Austin, having these factors in place means you can start to rival well-established hubs such as Silicon Valley when it comes to attracting tech investment and talent. Without them, though, states and cities will have a hard time building up a reputation for technology.