Huntsville, Ala., is a technology Mecca. Well, it’s not exactly Silicon Valley, but it’s in the Top 10 best cities for technology jobs, according to U.S. News & World Report.
It’s never surprising to see Boston, San Francisco or Seattle rated highly for tech opportunities. Boston is the birthplace of the Internet at MIT; Frisco is right next to Silicon Valley and the titans of tech Google, Apple and too many microchip manufacturers to name; and Seatlle has the largest software maker on Planet Earth, Microsoft.
But Huntsville, Houston and Phoenix? Not exactly well-known technology job centers, until now.
Here’s why, according to the USN&WP article:
- Huntsville is home to a growing aerospace industry, a NASA training facility and Cummings Research Park, “which houses 225 companies and 23,000 employees.”
- Houston, post-Enron, is still the center of the energy industry in the U.S., and all that energy translates into a ton of information-technology opportunities. “Houston ranks high for total tech job postings and has above-average ratios for tech job postings to employment in multiple occupations,” says the article.
- Phoenix gets a nice bump of technology jobs from Arizona State University, and a strong presence from some industry heavyweights like Intel, Oracle and Microsoft, as well smaller player GoDaddy — the Internet domain registrar (the company with the nearly rated-R-for-racy Danica Patrick commercials). USN&WR says “Phoenix has 4,200 high-tech companies and upwards of 81,000 high-tech jobs.”
Who missed the list? Raleigh, N.C., for one.
Raleigh and its Research Triangle Park usually make best technology-job rankings like this for the area’s overall quality of life, low housing costs and high-salary earnings potential. In fact, Raleigh has topped the Forbes list for three years in a row for the most upside for business and jobs.
Another city that did not make this list was Austin, Texas, which according to a Forbes ranking earlier this year has been one of the places in the country that has not been affected much at all by the subprime mortgage situation. With a large presence from computer maker Dell and large research presence from the University of Texas, Austin is one area that you shouldn’t rule out. While subprimes and foreclosures may be low, Dell as a consumer-centric company is not doing as well as it once was … Its stock has reached lows as far down as $8.41 in 2009 , though it has risen since.
One California city, however, that made the list is San Diego. Why would a border town historically known for its large U.S. military presence at the Naval base make this list? Great universities and colleges and a robust venture capital and start-up community.
“City officials boast that the metro area has one of the highest concentrations of high-tech companies in the nation. San Diego also ranks fourth for tech salary pay, according to Glassdoor data—above the more expensive cities of Washington, New York, and Boston,” says the USN&WR article.
[Image by Alabama Geographer via Flickr CC 3.0]
Where are the technology jobs today?