Best Metro Areas for Tech Talent Aren’t All in Silicon Valley, NYC

What are the best metro areas in North America for tech talent? A recent report crunched a lot of data and concluded that Silicon Valley still dominates—but other cities, including Toronto and Washington, DC, more than hold their own.

CBRE’s Scoring Tech Talent 2022 uses 13 factors to “measure each market’s depth, vitality and attractiveness to companies seeking tech talent and to tech workers seeking employment,” including the local concentration of tech talent, labor costs, and more. Here’s the breakdown of the top 10; the report features 50 cities:

“As companies across all industries expand their technology services, there is high demand for tech talent in both large and small markets,” the report stated. That’s great news for technologists who don’t necessarily live in a traditional tech hub like San Francisco or New York City. While cities like San Francisco have the highest concentrations of tech talent, the up-and-coming hubs have seen a rapid accumulation of that talent over the past five years or so; for example, Toronto had the most growth between 2016 and 2021 (roughly 88,900 jobs).

The biggest tech hubs also benefit from the presence of top-tier schools, access to venture funding, large employers, and lots of amenities. “These clusters typically form around preeminent universities that tend to invest the most in innovation and provide a steady flow of new talent for local companies,” the report added. “Tech clusters also form around leading companies that draw other companies to a region and support an innovative ecosystem that spawns new entrepreneurs and companies. Tech companies use these clusters for synergy and competition, thereby accelerating the innovation process.”

On a broader level, CompTIA’s monthly jobs report put California and Texas atop the list of top states for tech talent, based on August job postings. States such as Texas have used business-friendly tax packages and other incentives to draw companies in, rapidly growing their in-state tech hubs. Even with that migration, though, California and New York have remained strong as tech centers.