The digital job market is a fast-paced, competitive industry. With companies in this field being global, it can be difficult to grasp where to even begin looking for a job. I was interested in which cities are the best places to start your tech career.
You may have your traditional thoughts on the best cities with a tech culture, such as Seattle, but this article will show you that there are other great options. It is important to consider what cities have to offer you that suit your needs and lifestyle so that you can have a great start to your career in tech.
I have compared aspects such as start-up numbers, innovation and even where the tech giants choose to work. This information has come from many different research reports, so you’ll have a thorough introduction to which cities you should consider for your tech career.
What are the best cities for tech jobs?
If you are looking for an extremely fast-growing market, Toronto would be the tech city of your choice. If you are looking to join tech start-ups and enhance your career in an extremely innovative environment, then Berlin is for you.
There are also the classic choices of San Francisco and Seattle who are consistently tech-focused and have predicted future growth.
Let’s look further into the positive aspects of these cities in terms of tech employment and compare them to some other city options.
Berlin has many of the top tech firms hosted in the city and start-ups, with a new start-up being founded every 20 minutes. So, whether your interest is in global giants or innovative new firms, Berlin has the choice. Their tech market is booming in areas such as health technology or financial technology. It is interesting to note that Berlin also has various initiatives for their tech businesses, demonstrating their investment in the tech industry in their city, and planned expansion. For example, their government launched ‘KFW capital’ supporting early-stage and growth phases in tech companies in Berlin. It was expected to reach €200 million at the end of 2020. A competitive advantage of a tech career in Berlin is that 44% of all entrepreneurs in Berlin are non-German, which shows an extremely diverse range of people working in the city which is a great benefit for innovation and inspiration.
Seattle is home to two of the largest tech companies, Microsoft and Amazon; with Google and Apple also expanding into Seattle. With the opportunity to learn from some tech powerhouses, it seems a no brainer why Greater Seattle ranked #1 in attractiveness for STEM jobs. The University of Washington is planning to build an innovation district that would house tech start-ups. So, this could be one to watch.
Toronto holds 30% of Canada’s IT firms. It also saw the biggest growth in technology jobs in any North American city in the past five years. If you enjoy a fast-paced, ever-expanding environment, then Toronto holds the position for this. Whilst having a future projection for growth, it also currently supports 5,200 start-ups and 15,000 tech companies: plenty of choice for your tech career. Amazon has decided to open their second headquarters in Toronto, so even the tech giants want a piece of the pie.
Austin Texas: Ranks 3 overall on stem job attractiveness, just below Boston, in a new study by Wallethub in 2020. There is an expected growth in IT jobs of 16% in the next five years. It is a hub for technology and innovation; it has even been nicknamed “Silicon Hills”. A positive factor here is Austin’s collaborative tech culture which is great for those out there who love to work combining ideas with others. Whilst Austin has great opportunities, it also has a low cost of living which is important to consider – therefore it could have great benefits for you. Alexandra Williamson, the founder of Bumble, has stated: “I think we will only continue to see more opportunities for tech workers in the city of Austin and the surrounding areas in the future”.
San Francisco: has an estimated increase in tech jobs just below Austin Texas with 13% in the next five years. However, if you consider the cost of living in San Francisco, it is 67% higher than the national average. In 2018, 40% of US venture capital investments were poured into the San Francisco Bay area, with most investments being in information and biotechnology. San Francisco is also home to companies that want to redefine entire industries and revolutionise how the world does things. This is a fascinating area, and if innovation is a key driver for you, this tech hub is the right place.
In east London, a Tech city has been established, nicknamed the Silicon Roundabout. Tech City has seen lots of investment in its community, with Amazon and Facebook setting up offices there. It is constantly growing and is in the perfect location for business. It is a few hours flight away from many European cities, so if linking with other countries is an attraction for you, London is a great option. It has been said that London has an “incredible entrepreneurial attitude” in a report by EY UK, and it is an extremely thriving area. The 2020 Technology Innovation Hubs report found that London was among the five cities ranked as the leading technology innovation hub outside Silicon Valley. If a booming, creative environment is on your list, check out what London has to offer. London also took third place in the Savills Tech Cities index. This index measures cities on business and tech environment, city buzz and wellness, talent pool, real estate costs and mobility.
Not only is Amsterdam a creative tech scene with many innovative companies, but it is also a great choice for international professionals. It has a vast digital infrastructure that makes it an ideal place to work when the tech industry is your career choice. Around one-third of European data centres are based in Amsterdam. It is argued that Amsterdam is rapidly developing, perhaps catching up with other European tech hubs. It is also very welcoming to innovation and encourages fresh, bright ideas in its vibrant working environment. This is the tech city for the innovator and creator.
Why is Paris an up-and-coming tech hub? The government has created an organisation called La French tech that aims to promote France as a tech business destination. It is also pushing to make France Europe’s next start-up ecosystem. This seems like an environment thriving with investment and focuses on the tech industry—an inspiring place to be or start your career. French President Macron is a great enforcer of a shift towards a tech environment, and there is even a ‘French Tech Ticket program’ that attracts people to establish their start-ups in France with funding, office space and a fast-track resident permit. Something to consider if you are holding onto a bright idea.
In 2017, Expert Market ranked Beijing as the number one tech city in the world. This is because of its massive market, rapid business development and innovation drives. It has had many tech company success stories and will continue to do so in the future with its extreme effort to rank at the top of the tech map. The creation of Alibaba, China’s E-commerce company, has put China on the road to becoming a global tech powerhouse – very intriguing.
Boston has been named an emerging tech hub, even America’s underdog in the tech industry. An interesting aspect of working in Boston would be University resources. It is home to Massachusetts Institute of Technology so you could be working with the up-and-coming geniuses of the technology industry. An exciting prospect is that the Mayor wants to make Boston the tech capital of the World. This will take much investment and dedication to the industry – perhaps something you want to be a part of? This great support from the city must put a great drive into the sector. Another great aspect that demonstrates Boston as a tech city is ‘Walsh’s Women Entrepreneurs Boston (WE BOS) which provides women in Boston with technical assistance and similar resources. Initiatives like this are prevalent in Boston and are, therefore, a very encouraging place to start your career.
There are many things to consider when deciding on where is best to grow your career, but hopefully, this article has given you an insight into what the major cities have to offer, and you can tailor this information to inform your decision and suit your needs.