Chicago and Atlanta aren’t widely viewed as “traditional” tech hubs on the level of Silicon Valley or New York City, but both cities are enjoying a lot of tech-hiring momentum right now.
Based on job-posting data from the past 90 days provided by Emsi Burning Glass, we can see that New York City remains the nation’s hungriest metro area for tech talent, with Chicago and Atlanta right behind. San Francisco and Austin—longtime tech centers—rounded out the top five. Here’s a complete list:
The hiring momentum around Chicago and Atlanta has sustained for quite some time; both cities were second and third, respectively, as far back as 2021. Both cities offer technologists high average compensation; according to Dice’s latest Tech Salary Report, the average technologist salary stands at $107,515 in Atlanta (placing it just behind Austin and ahead of Portland) and $106,537 in Chicago (right behind Philadelphia, and just ahead of the up-and-coming tech hub of Dallas).
Atlanta and Chicago are also two of the fastest-growing tech hubs by salary, having seen salaries rise by 13.9 percent and 12.6 percent, respectively, between 2020 and 2021. Both cities have enormous portfolios of traditional companies, large and small, that need tech talent; both have spent considerable resources to position themselves as friendly to tech companies, and enjoy a healthy startup scene. According to Bloomberg, the number of “unicorn” startups in Chicago has noticeably accelerated over the past five years.
Across the country, the widespread demand for tech talent (and the notably low tech unemployment rate) has translated into opportunities in cities large and small. Technologists often have their pick of positions—so long as they have the right mix of skills and experience for the role.