Top 10 U.S. Cities Expanding Tech Teams in 2018

Top 10 U.S. Cities Expanding Tech Teams in 2018

Print Article
When it comes to increasing the size of their tech teams, CIOs in these 10 cities will be the most active nationwide in 2018, according to a recent Robert Half Technology report.

And while San Diego, Atlanta, and New York City top the list, based on Robert Half’s survey of 2,600 CIOs, are these the best cities where tech professionals want to live?

Austin, Texas, for example, ranked No. 1 in the 2017 Best Places to Live report by U.S. News & World Report, while San Diego was ranked No. 22, Atlanta No. 50, and New York City No. 80 out of 100 cities.

Most tech professionals value a balance of work and play, so here’s a list of the top 10 cities where CIOs plan to expand their tech teams, the skills they are seeking and starting salaries they are likely to pay compared to the national average, based on Robert Half Technology’s survey. And for each of these 10 cities, data pulled from U.S. News & World Report‘s study provides a peek into the livability rating of the region.

Are you ready to call any of these places home?

SAN DIEGO

What is your company's plan for hiring full-time employees in the first half of 2018?
Expanding, adding new positions29
Maintaining, only filling vacated positions51
Freezing, not filling vacating positions and not creating new ones16
Reducing, that is, eliminating positions1
Don't know/Refused3
[Source: Robert Half Technology]

Tech Expansion Hiring Ranking (No. 1):

“I’m involved in the local tech scene here and a number of companies come to campus to recruit,” says Junru Ren, an engineering student at the University of California San Diego (UCSD) and chair of the IEEE student branch at UCSD.

But he noted a number of the San Diego tech companies are tied to the defense industry, which he believes makes it challenging to secure a position at these companies because he is an international student and may face greater hurdles gaining security clearance.

“For international students in San Diego, it’s quite hard to secure a full-time positon unless you are one of the top students,” Ren said, noting he applied to more than 30 companies for an internship and received only two offers – one at Yelp in Silicon Valley and the other from Mitchell International in San Diego.

But Kyle Houston, Robert Half Technology’s San Diego branch manager, says San Diego’s tech market has undergone a transformational year, as more businesses build a presence in the Southern California beach community.

“We expect continued demand for project and full-time professionals with skills in web development, DevOps and cybersecurity to support the growth of internet-based companies and the already strong start-up market,” Houston says.

Top three technical skills in demand by San Diego CIOs:

  • Cybersecurity, 60%
  • Wireless network management, 52%
  • Database management, 50%

Starting salaries for San Diego tech professionals: 26% above the national average.

Livability Ranking (No. 22):

  • Overall Score: 6.9
  • Quality of Life: 7.3
  • Value: 4.4

As for living in San Diego, Ren says the warm weather and beaches create an atmosphere where he feels like he is on vacation every day, compared to San Francisco where the pace is quicker and people walk faster.

San Diego has 3.2 million residents and the median age is 35.1 years-old, according to U.S. News & World Report’s study. The median home price is $484,654 and the average monthly rent for an apartment is $1,344.


ATLANTA

What is your company's plan for hiring full-time employees in the first half of 2018?
Expanding, adding new positions26
Maintaining, only filling vacated positions56
Freezing, not filling vacating positions and not creating new ones13
Reducing, that is, eliminating positions4
Don't know/Refused2
[Source: Robert Half Technology]

Tech Expansion Hiring Ranking (No. 2):

In the coming year, big data, business intelligence, security and cloud will continue to be important growth areas for Atlanta due to strategic business initiatives, says David Sheehan, Robert Half Technology’s Atlanta branch manager.

“Employers within the healthcare, manufacturing, real estate, travel, finance and logistics fields are creating opportunities for database administration and analysis talent, as well as help desk professionals. We have even seen some robotics process automation projects take off more recently,” he adds.

Top three technical skills in demand by Atlanta CIOs:

  • Cybersecurity, 51%
  • Database Management, 51%
  • Web development/Website design, 46%

Starting salaries for Atlanta tech professionals: 6% above the national average.

Livability Ranking (No. 50):

  • Overall Score: 6
  • Quality of Life: 5.8
  • Value: 7.0

Atlanta’s population is 5.5 million, with the median age 35.7 years-old. The median home price is $195,727, while an apartment’s average monthly rent costs $977.


NEW YORK

What is your company's plan for hiring full-time employees in the first half of 2018?
Expanding, adding new positions26
Maintaining, only filling vacated positions62
Freezing, not filling vacating positions and not creating new ones8
Reducing, that is, eliminating positions3
Don't know/Refused2
[Source: Robert Half Technology]

Tech Expansion Hiring Ranking (No. 3):

CIOs in the tristate area are ready to hit the ground running with new projects, says Jason Deneu, metro market manager for Robert Half Technology in New York.

“But, in specific areas of IT security and application development, the demand far outweighs the supply, making it extremely difficult for leaders to find these professionals for their teams. The need for top talent or augmented staff solutions is paramount these days,” Deneu says.

Top three technical skills in demand by New York CIOs:

  • Database management, 51%
  • Virtualization, 51%
  • Telecommunications support, 49%

Starting salaries for New York tech professionals: 40.5% above the national average.

Livability Ranking (No. 80):

  • Overall Score: 6.1
  • Quality of Life: 6.1
  • Value: 3.8

New York City has a whopping 20.9 million residents, with the median age 38 years-old. The median home price is $384,181 and the average monthly rent for an apartment is $1,266.


AUSTIN

What is your company's plan for hiring full-time employees in the first half of 2018?
Expanding, adding new positions25
Maintaining, only filling vacated positions49
Freezing, not filling vacating positions and not creating new ones16
Reducing, that is, eliminating positions6
Don't know/Refused4
[Source: Robert Half Technology]

Tech Expansion Hiring Ranking (No. 4):

Over the past 44 years, long-time Austin resident Leslie Martinch, president of Competitive Focus and chair of IEEE Central Texas Section, has seen a number of changes in this Southwest city that ranks No. 1 for its livability factor.

In the 1980s, Austin had its ups and downs but it was relatively easy to find a job, recalls Martinch, who has 25 years of experience working with software and compilers. And back then, women comprised roughly 50% of the software programmers and computer science professionals, she added.

“Austin is a very close knit and collaborative community, more so than Boston or San Jose,” Martinch says. “It’s because it started as a small tech community and everyone knew everyone else, so it was very collaborative.”

That collaborative environment remained, even during and after the dot.com era imploded and the region suffered massive layoffs, she notes.

“The best thing about working in Austin as a tech person is the collaborative community. Everyone here will help you figure out a problem. I never saw this in California,” she says.

Fast forward to today, Austin’s hiring environment for technology professionals is expected to remain strong throughout 2018, says Tim Matteson, branch manager for Robert Half Technology in Austin. He added that expansion of local interactive agencies, start-ups and healthcare companies are contributing to the growth.

Top three technical skills in demand by Austin CIOs:

  • Wireless network management, 48%
  • Network administration, 45%
  • Database management, 45%

Starting salaries for Austin tech professionals: 8% above the national average.

Livability Ranking (No. 1):

  • Overall Score: 7.8
  • Quality of Life: 7.3
  • Value: 7.3

Austin’s population is 1.9 million and the median age is 33.6 years-old. The median home price is $265,363 and the average monthly cost to rent an apartment is $1,044.

Martinch, who attended UCSD for her undergraduate studies, says, “I would take San Diego over Austin in a heartbeat. San Diego is paradise for me. I know most people who live in Austin love it here, but California has flowers, beaches and fresh fruit. The beach is big for me.”


CHARLOTTE

What is your company's plan for hiring full-time employees in the first half of 2018?
Expanding, adding new positions25
Maintaining, only filling vacated positions61
Freezing, not filling vacating positions and not creating new ones10
Reducing, that is, eliminating positions2
Don't know/Refused3
[Source: Robert Half Technology]

Tech Expansion Hiring Ranking (No. 5):

“Companies in many industries – such as manufacturing, healthcare, distribution and logistics – are growing and thriving in Charlotte, and in turn, investing in tech hiring,” says Lucy Marino, regional manager for Robert Half Technology in Charlotte. “Many of these organizations are beefing up their security initiatives, cloud infrastructure and IT management departments, which is driving demand for talent.”

Top three technical skills in demand by Charlotte CIOs:

  • Wireless network management, 49%
  • Desktop support, 47%
  • Telecommunications support (VoIP), 46%

Starting salaries for Charlotte tech professionals: 2% above the national average.

Livability Ranking (No. 14):

  • Overall Score: 7.1
  • Quality of Life: 6.5
  • Value: 7.4

Charlotte’s population is 2.3 million, with the median age at 36.9 years-old, and the median housing price $190,404. The average monthly rent for an apartment is $863.


MINNEAPOLIS

What is your company's plan for hiring full-time employees in the first half of 2018?
Expanding, adding new positions25
Maintaining, only filling vacated positions56
Freezing, not filling vacating positions and not creating new ones15
Reducing, that is, eliminating positions3
Don't know/Refused1
[Source: Robert Half Technology]

Tech Expansion Hiring Ranking (No. 6):

Tech hiring has been sustained by the strong Minneapolis economy, growth of local companies and a focus on automating existing processes, says Kathy Northamer, district president for Robert Half Technology in Minneapolis.

She added that the region is seeing an increase in demand for web developers; help desk and security professionals, especially within the healthcare, marketing and SaaS industries.

Top three technical skills in demand by Minneapolis CIOs:

  • Network administration, 51%
  • Database management, 51%
  • Cybersecurity, 42%

Starting salaries for Minneapolis tech professional: 7% above the national average.

Livability Ranking (No. 17):

  • Overall Score: 7.0
  • Quality of Life: 6.9
  • Value: 7.8

The Minneapolis-St. Paul area has 3.5 million residents, with a median age of 36.6 years-old. The median home price is $223,957 and average monthly rent for an apartment is $931.


PHILADELPHIA

What is your company's plan for hiring full-time employees in the first half of 2018?
Expanding, adding new positions24
Maintaining, only filling vacated positions66
Freezing, not filling vacating positions and not creating new ones7
Reducing, that is, eliminating positions1
Don't know/Refused1
[Source: Robert Half Technology]

Tech Expansion Hiring Ranking (No. 7):

In Philadelphia, demand for developers, information security professionals and, in particular, skilled network and telecommunications candidates who can help with upgrading hardware and software across the organization are in high demand, says Maria Incollingo, division director for Robert Half Technology in Philadelphia.

Top three technical skills in demand by Philadelphia CIOs:

  • Network administration, 54%
  • Telecommunications support, 53%
  • Virtualization, 51%

Starting salaries for Philadelphia tech professionals: 15% above the national average.

Livability Ranking (No. 77):

  • Overall Score: 6.2
  • Quality of Life: 5.7
  • Value: 6.1

Philadelphia’s population encompasses 6 million residents, with a median age of 38.3 years-old. The median home price is $222,578 and the average monthly rent for an apartment is $1,018.


DES MOINES

What is your company's plan for hiring full-time employees in the first half of 2018?
Expanding, adding new positions23
Maintaining, only filling vacated positions67
Freezing, not filling vacating positions and not creating new ones8
Reducing, that is, eliminating positions0
Don't know/Refused2
[Source: Robert Half Technology]

Tech Hiring Ranking (No. 8):

Big data initiatives, new software implementations and app development are a few of the driving forces behind tech hiring in Des Moines, says Dawn Mann, metro market manager for Robert Half Technology in Des Moines.

“Demand is high for professionals with C# and .Net expertise, as well as Java developers, systems engineers and senior systems administrators, particularly in the professional services, financial services and software sectors,” Mann added.

Top three technical skills in demand by Des Moines CIOs:

  • Desktop support, 57%
  • Business intelligence/Reporting services, 52%
  • Network administration, 52%

Starting salaries for Des Moines tech professionals: Similar to the national average.

Livability Ranking (No. 9):

  • Overall Score: 7.1
  • Quality of Life: 6.8
  • Value: 8.5

Des Moines has a smaller population of 601,187 residents, with a median age of 35.4 years-old. The median home price is $168, 873 and the average monthly rent on an apartment is a mere $802.


MIAMI

What is your company's plan for hiring full-time employees in the first half of 2018?
Expanding, adding new positions23
Maintaining, only filling vacated positions57
Freezing, not filling vacating positions and not creating new ones16
Reducing, that is, eliminating positions2
Don't know/Refused1
[Source: Robert Half Technology]

Tech Expansion Hiring Ranking (No. 9):

“Miami CIOs are looking for tech candidates with experience in web and software development, and database engineers and help desk professionals,” Matthew Bourdeau, senior regional manager for Robert Half Technology’s  Miami office, says, adding, “Local healthcare and insurance companies are seeking systems administrators as well as professionals to take on cloud-based projects and initiatives.”

Top three technical skills in demand by Miami CIOs:

  • Network administration, 52%
  • Business intelligence, 46%
  • Telecommunications support, 46%

Starting salaries for Miami tech professionals: 6.5% above the national average.

Livability Ranking (No. 92):

  • Overall Score: 5.8
  • Quality of Life: 6.8
  • Value: 2.9

Miami’s population is 5.9 million and, as expected, its median age is older at 40.4 years-old. The median home price is $232,626 and average monthly rents are $1,149 for an apartment.


CLEVELAND

What is your company's plan for hiring full-time employees in the first half of 2018?
Expanding, adding new positions22
Maintaining, only filling vacated positions61
Freezing, not filling vacating positions and not creating new ones12
Reducing, that is, eliminating positions2
Don't know/Refused2
[Source: Robert Half Technology]

Tech Expansion Hiring Ranking (No. 10):

Cleveland is one of the few cities where the starting salaries for tech professionals are below the national average, the Robert Half Technology survey found.

Nonetheless, employers continue to seek top IT talent.

“Cloud-based technologies continue to have a significant impact on tech hiring in Cleveland. Additionally, Windows 10 upgrades, custom application developments and ERP/CRM migrations are all driving hiring as employers seek to acquire top IT talent – from systems administrators and engineers, to web and application developers and service desktop support professionals,” says Jill Crowe, district president for Robert Half Technology  in Cleveland.

Top three technical skills in demand by Cleveland CIOs:

  • Desktop support, 52%
  • Database management, 51%
  • Wireless network management, 50%

Starting salaries for Cleveland tech professionals: 4% below the national average.

Livability Ranking (No. 84):

  • Overall Score: 6.0
  • Quality of Life: 6.1
  • Value: 7.2

Cleveland’s population is 2.8 million, with the median age surprisingly higher than Miami at 40.8 years-old. The median home price is $137,280 and the average monthly rent for an apartment is $747.

“While technology hiring is particularly strong in these (10) U.S. cities, we’re seeing a lot of activity in the employment market overall. The need for IT professionals with specialized skills continues to increase and companies are bringing on full-time and project professionals to help with key business initiatives, like cybersecurity projects and digital upgrades,” says Jeff Weber, executive director of Robert Half Technology.


Dawn Kawamoto is a freelance writer and editor. She is an award-winning journalist who has written and edited technology, management, leadership, career, finance, and innovation stories for such publications as CNET’s News.comInformationWeekTheStreet.com, AOL’s DailyFinanceThe Motley Fool, and Dice.com.


Leave a Reply