Best Cities to Break into Tech


Silicon Valley is the mecca of tech companies, startups, and coding bootcamps. But this doesn’t mean it is the only place where you can thrive in your tech career. Technology has grown so much that you can find great opportunities in other parts of the country. 

Tech hubs are growing more and more each year, which translates to more job openings and opportunities to get the skills you need. When choosing a place to start your tech career, you should consider the average salary and the cost of living in that place. For example, the country’s average rent is $800 for a studio and $1791 for a four-bedroom house. With that said, here are some cities that are excellent to break into tech. 

Atlanta, Georgia

Atlanta is a hotspot right now for tech professionals. It has a growing tech scene with companies like Microsoft, SAP America Inc, Waystar, and American Process Inc. It also has the Atlanta Tech Village, a community that provides tech startups with the optimal environment to grow. 

These are the tech careers with the highest salaries in the city:

  • Security engineers make $85,000 per year.
  • Mobile developers make $89,000 per year.
  • Full stack developers make $85,000 per year.
  • Data warehouse architects make $109,000 per year.

The costs of living in Atlanta can vary from $1,500 to more than $2,000 dollars. It depends on whether you rent a studio apartment or a four-bedroom house, how much you spend in utilities and groceries, and other expenses. So, tech salaries will be more than enough to support a comfortable lifestyle.  

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Atlanta is also home to great coding bootcamps where you can start your tech career. They have schools like Kenzie Academy, Georgia Tech Bootcamps, and Thinkful. You can learn in a few months how to be a full stack developer, data scientist, or UX designer. 

Baltimore, Maryland

Baltimore is also an excellent choice to start a tech career. The small city makes a perfect environment for a supportive tech community. People here want to help grow their city, and they have an entrepreneurial mindset that is ideal for startups. Baltimore also has tech companies like Lockheed Martin, Deloitte, and Abacus. 

These are the tech careers with the highest salaries in the city:

  • Data engineers make $105,000 per year.
  • Web developers make $100,000 per year.
  • Security engineers make $105,000 per year.
  • Cloud engineers make $115,000 per year. 

The cost of living in Baltimore is below the US’s average, and you can spend anywhere from $800 to $1000 in rent for one person or a couple. So, you will have a high salary and live in a cheaper place with fewer expenses. 

In Baltimore, you can become a tech professional by enrolling in Lambda School or Betamore Academy. Baltimore is also a one-hour drive from Washington DC, which has a Flatiron School campus. Flatiron School was named Career Karma’s Best Coding Bootcamp and Best Online Bootcamp 2020. 

Flatiron School also offers a wide range of courses like software engineering and data science. And they offer some free classes if you want to try out their curriculum before enrolling. 

Seattle, Washington

Seattle is home to many of the best tech companies in the industry. It is ideal in terms of career development opportunities because you will have the chance to work for Google, Microsoft, Getty Images, Expedia, Amazon, and many others. 

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Microsoft has its headquarters there with a campus for over 30,000 employees. Who wouldn’t want to work at Microsoft? Plus, the headquarters are always the best office spaces and with the best perks. 

These are the tech careers with the highest salaries in the city:

  • Machine learning engineers and data scientists make, on average, $133,000 per year.
  • Cloud architects make $128,000 per year.
  • Software engineers make $124,000 per year.
  • DevOps engineers make $115,000 per year. 

However, Seattle is an expensive city to live in. It is way above the national average. So, even though you will be making more money, you will spend it too. For example, a studio apartment costs, on average, $1,500 per month, and a four-bedroom house up to $3,500 per month. 

But being a big metropolis, Seattle has many opportunities to get the skills too. It is home to General Assembly, Metis, Thinkful, Data Science Dojo, Product School, Hack Reactor, and many more. All of these are some of the best coding bootcamps in the country. You will have a wide range of education choices and career opportunities when you look for your first job. 

In Summary

Breaking into tech can be challenging because the industry is very competitive and demanding. But if you have the necessary skills and qualifications, you will find a job soon because the industry is suffering a shortage of talent. 

Seattle, Baltimore, and Atlanta are just some of the cities challenging the monopoly of Silicon Valley. Do your research and choose the one that aligns best with your career goals.

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