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New CompTIA Study Identifies America’s Top 20 Tech Towns Based on Job Opportunities and Quality of Life

Oct 23, 2018

  • North Carolina Takes Top Two Spots with Charlotte and Raleigh
  • College Towns - With Their Proximity to Jobs, Access to Talent and Desirable Quality of Life - Emerge as Leading Tech Hot Spots
  • 14 States Plus District of Columbia Represented in Top 20

Downers Grove, Ill. – Tech workers looking to jumpstart their careers have more opportunities than ever, as America’s “Top 20 Tech Towns” can be found across 14 states and the District of Columbia, according to a new study released today by CompTIA.

The 2018 Tech Town Index identifies Charlotte, NC as the nation’s top Tech Town, offering the best quality of life for tech workers, factoring in salaries, job availability, job growth and cost of living. North Carolina emerged as a red-hot tech hub with Raleigh earning the number two spot and Durham-Chapel Hill landing at number 15.

CompTIA’s Tech Town Index is designed to help in-demand IT pros make educated decisions about where to live and work based on opportunity and opportunity costs. The index also highlights the need for an educated, tech-ready workforce and the factors that are contributing to each metro areas’ ability to attract and retain that workforce.

Many cities often thought of as college towns made the list, demonstrating that an abundance of well-educated talent has helped cities such as Boulder, Madison and Lansing blossom into full-on innovation hubs.

Several Tech Town up-and-comers including Des Moines, Lansing, Colorado Springs and Huntsville, Alabama secured top 20 rankings. Despite being among the most expensive areas to live in the U.S., tech-heavy hitters like San Jose and San Francisco find themselves at number four and number five, respectively— as employment opportunities continue to outpace the ramifications of housing costs.

“As technology permeates every corner of our personal and professional lives, employment opportunities are expanding across the nation and fueling job growth in regions not traditionally thought of as tech hubs,” said Nancy Hammervik, executive vice president, industry relations, CompTIA. “The geographic diversity of the index is something we’re very excited to see and demonstrates the positive impact the technology industry is having on regional economies.” 

The study comes at a time when the technology industry is fueling economic growth and workforce gains at a rapid pace. The tech industry expanded by nearly 200,000 jobs in 2017 to an estimated 11.5 million total workers. Additionally, at $1.6 trillion, the tech sector is one of the largest components in the nation’s economy and is a top-five economic contributor in 22 states.

Many tech positions offer salaries significantly higher than other industries. The average annual wage in the tech industry is $112,890, 107 percent higher than the average annual wage for all jobs ($54,420).

To determine the 2018 Tech Town Index rankings, CompTIA compiled job posting data over a 12-month period (August 2017-July 2018) focusing on 20 metropolitan areas with populations greater than 250,000, where demand for tech workers is greatest. CompTIA then ranked the cities based on cost of living, number of open IT positions, and projected job growth over the next 12 months and the next 5 years. CompTIA’s Tech Town Index will be published annually, to capture and share important tech industry and national trends.

The complete CompTIA 2018 Tech Town Index with details and data on each city’s tech sector, affordability, and lifestyle accommodations is available here

About CompTIA
The Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) is a leading voice and advocate for the $1.5 trillion U.S. information technology ecosystem; and the 11.5 million technology and business professionals who design, implement, manage, market, and safeguard the technology that powers the U.S. economy. Through education, training, certifications, advocacy, philanthropy, and market research, CompTIA is the hub for advancing the tech industry and its workforce. Visit to learn more.

Charlie Schoenthaler
Phone: (202) 888-1963


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Fast Facts

  • $1.8 trillion – Estimated direct economic impact of the U.S. tech industry, representing 10.2% of the national economy.

  • 525,500 – Number of tech business establishments in the U.S.

  • 11.8 million – U.S. net tech employment at the end of 2018.

  • 89,500 – Estimated number of new jobs added by the U.S. tech sector through the first eight months of 2019.

  • 6 – Rank of tech in U.S. job creation since 2010 among the top 22 occupation categories.