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5 Emerging American Tech Cities in 2021

When you think of the tech industry, your first thought might be San Francisco, Silicon Valley, or maybe even Seattle. But these days, they are far from the only tech hot spots in the United States.

When COVID-19 hit in 2020 and many offices shuttered in favor of remote work, workers and companies began eyeing other cities. For some, moving was a way to try out a new place and become immersed in a new culture. For others, it was a way to save money and buy a home that wasn’t a minuscule million-dollar apartment.

As we approach 2022, we’re beginning to see many new tech hubs coming into the mix. If you’re interested in making a move soon, this list will help you figure out where the best new tech city is and what it has to offer.

1. Austin, Texas

If you’ve been following the tech scene, then seeing Austin, TX on this list probably doesn’t surprise you. Not only have huge tech giants — like Google, Facebook, Apple, and more — opened campuses in Austin, but it’s a hub for startups as well.

Workers are moving to Austin because not only is the cost of living more than 46% lower than in San Francisco, but the city is also buzzing with things to do and delicious food to eat. Austin, Texas is a city that promises lots of outdoor activities, delicious BBQ, and lively  bars — all things that attract young tech talent.

2. Tampa, Florida

Everyone seems to be moving to Florida! Maybe it’s the warm weather and the beaches, or perhaps it’s because Tampa has recently become a tech magnet. And while it’s true that Miami is a popular destination, Tampa is the city that rings in as Florida’s top tech hub by holding 25% of the tech industry jobs.

Tampa is popular with millennials, especially because it has everything that a hip, trendy city offers for a fraction of the cost. Florida is already known for being a cheaper state to live in, plus they don’t have income tax — something often griped about in California.

3. Atlanta, Georgia

People are calling Atlanta, GA the “Silicon Valley of the South,” and it’s no wonder. Major companies, including IBM, Amazon, Home Depot, Verizon, and Anthem Blue Cross, all have tech centers in the city. Atlanta is also home to the Atlanta Tech Village — a community formed twenty years ago that aims at nurturing startups and creating tech jobs in Atlanta.

Some of the factors attracting workers to Atlanta are that the cost of living is 47% lower than San Francisco. The median tech wages are still reasonably close to the same as they are in California — coming in at almost $89k. Plus, there’s a perfect mixture of outdoor activities, arts, and delicious food and drink.

4. Raleigh, North Carolina

Raleigh, NC, is home to North Carolina State University, where graduates have launched over 170 startups in the city — bringing in over $1.5 billion in VC funding. Raleigh also houses many monolith tech companies, like IBM, Cisco Systems, and Accenture, and  non-tech companies that house their tech sectors in the city, like Wells Fargo and Verizon.

For workers, Raleigh is attractive due to the incredibly low cost of living. According to Payscale, the cost of living in Raleigh is 5% lower than the national average, especially regarding  housing and utilities.  The outdoor activities in Raleigh are a huge pull. There are lakes, parks, trails, gardens, and more!

5. Huntsville, Alabama

The city of Huntsville, AL, has been a tech city under wraps for many years. It’s had a swath of IT jobs open to its 470,000+ residents for decades but also, due to the sizable military-industrial complex, there are jobs available in all forms of tech. With companies like Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, and Leidos/Dynetics, specialized engineers have no shortage of roles.

Of course, people are eager to move to Huntsville to take advantage of the fact that the cost of living is 53% lower than in San Francisco. There’s plenty to do to occupy your time in Huntsville, including Monte Sano State Park, golfing, the ballet, and more!

Work From Anywhere With Udacity

If you want a career that will allow you to work remotely from any location — including any of the top 5 emerging American tech cities — then you need to work in tech. With Udacity, it’s easy to learn in-demand tech skills online at your own pace, right from your home. Check out Udacity’s Nanodegree programs, ranging from artificial intelligence to cloud computing and more, today!

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Jennifer Shalamanov
Jennifer Shalamanov
Jennifer is a content writer at Udacity with over 10 years of content creation and marketing communications experience in the tech, e-commerce and online learning spaces. When she’s not working to inform, engage and inspire readers, she’s probably drinking too many lattes and scouring fashion blogs.