14 of the Best Cities to Live in for Tech Jobs
Despite massive layoffs in the tech industry, tech-skilled workers still have much to celebrate.
According to CompTIA, although tech hiring has slowed down in 2023, the demand for tech workers remains strong, just perhaps not where you expect them to be. While Big Tech companies such as Meta, Google, and X (previously Twitter) have had to lay off thousands of workers earlier this year, companies in non-tech sectors such as healthcare, retail, finance, and even the government have seized this opportunity to recruit tech talent.
It’s true what they say: every company is a tech company. Put another way, every company needs tech workers like you.
Of course, when it comes to finding tech jobs, location matters. For instance, some cities have a more extensive tech community, providing stronger job markets for tech workers. If you’re looking for the best cities for tech jobs, we’ve compiled a list of the best cities to live in for tech jobs in the US and around the world, where you’ll have the best chance of finding exciting opportunities.
- Cities ideal for tech workers boast a flourishing tech industry, affordable living expenses, excellent quality of life, a skilled workforce, reliable infrastructure and connectivity, and favorable government policies.
- San Jose, San Francisco, Seattle, Austin, Boston, and New York are among the best cities for tech jobs in the US.
- The US is one of many hubs for tech jobs. Several cities around the world are in the running for the next Silicon Valley, including Berlin, Shenzhen, Bangalore, Singapore, and Toronto.
Common Characteristics of the Best Tech Cities
When it comes to the best cities to live in for tech jobs, few have established themselves as major players in the industry, providing plenty of opportunities for those with the right skills and expertise. But what exactly makes a city ideal for tech workers? We’ve narrowed it down to the following metrics.
- Thriving Tech Ecosystem. Unsurprisingly, the best tech cities have a booming community of tech companies, startups, investors, and entrepreneurs, as they work together to birth new ideas and a culture of innovation.
- Affordability and Quality of Life. For a city to be considered a tech hub, it should also be livable. This means considering factors such as the cost of living, quality of life, availability of affordable housing, and access to transportation, healthcare, social activities, and inclusive opportunities. After all, if a city is too pricey and inefficient, no one would want to stick around, no matter how many tech jobs are available.
- Access to Education. Access to traditional and non-traditional learning resources is vital in cultivating a strong talent pool. For instance, universities, research institutions, coding bootcamps, and tech skills workshops should be readily available in the city. By making these accessible, both tech workers and companies can enjoy the benefits of a skilled workforce.
- Infrastructure and Connectivity. Reliable and uninterrupted Internet connectivity is, without a doubt, an absolute must-have for a city to attract tech companies and tech workers. Other essential infrastructure includes co-working spaces, research centers, and public transportation.
- Supportive Government Policies. Government support through policies, regulations, and incentives can significantly impact a city’s tech economy. Examples include tax breaks, grants, data privacy laws, and initiatives that promote innovation and entrepreneurship.
When these elements come together, it can create the ideal environment for tech professionals like you to thrive and succeed.
5 Best US Cities for Tech Jobs
If you’re interested in finding well-paying tech jobs in the US, it’s important to know where to look. Fortunately, the job market looks promising, with around 700,000 openings for tech workers between 2021 and 2031.
To help you get started, here is a list of the best US cities for tech jobs. Note that the total number of tech jobs and average salaries below are based on data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics and the 2023 Dice Tech Salary Report, respectively.
- San Jose, California
- Seattle, Washington
- Austin, Texas
- Boston, Massachusetts
- New York City, New York
1. San Jose, California
San Jose is considered the capital of Silicon Valley, the world’s biggest tech hub. This makes it an ideal location for tech workers looking for opportunities in Fortune 500 companies like Cisco and Adobe. San Jose also has a thriving startup culture, with nine percent of all US startups based in the city. The combined presence of established tech giants and emerging startups has cemented San Jose’s position as one of the best cities for tech jobs in the US.
2. Seattle, Washington
Seattle may have a higher cost of living than the national average, but it’s still considered one of the best places to live in the US. One of the city’s biggest draws is its lush greenery and proximity to nature, which is how it earned its nickname, the “Emerald City.”
But that’s not the only thing that makes this city a gem. For tech workers, Seattle is the place to be. For one, big names like Expedia, Microsoft, and Accenture call this city home. Other sectors like healthcare, aerospace, biotech, and even gaming also flourish in the city. That means if you have tech skills, you can explore different industries and expand your skillset in Seattle.
3. Austin, Texas
Austin hits that sweet spot of offering a low cost of living and a high quality of life. Compared to expensive cities like New York, Austin can save you up to 55 percent of your living expenses. The city is also an excellent place to network since it’s a popular spot for hosting conferences and meetups. And when you’re not working, you can indulge in the city’s arts scene and recreational activities.
But that’s not all. Austin’s tech industry is booming, with an expected increase of 4.4 percent or more than 38,000 tech jobs in 2023. Many Cali-based businesses like finance giant JPMorgan Chase, software company Oracle, and automotive company Tesla have already expanded or relocated to Austin for its affordability and convenience. No wonder some call Austin “the new Silicon Valley.”
4. Boston, Massachusetts
Before Silicon Valley came onto the scene, Boston was the nation’s leading tech city for decades. With prestigious universities like Harvard and MIT, Boston has produced brilliant minds who spearheaded biotech, healthcare, and technology innovations.
Notable figures include Facebook’s ex-CEO Sheryl Sandberg, Tableau’s ex-CEO Adam Selipsky, Buzzfeed co-founder Jonah Peretti, and Intel co-founder Fred Noyce. And let’s not forget the infamous Ivy League dropouts Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, who disrupted the tech landscape.
Moreover, the city boasts an established network of venture capitalists, tech companies, incubators, and a list of amazing coding bootcamps to support the local tech sector.
5. New York City, New York
With many cities reeling from the COVID-19 pandemic, NYC was able to hold its fort and come out as a top contender for establishing or expanding companies. Thanks to its thriving economy and a steady stream of skilled talent, the city has attracted billion-dollar investments from leading companies. Take Google, which allotted $2.1B in 2022 to purchase the St. John’s Terminal as it grows its presence in New York.
New York City also has a wide range of industries hiring tech professionals, including finance, media, entertainment, fashion, and more. Suffice it to say, the city’s resilience makes it an ideal playground for up-and-coming businesses and tech professionals alike.
Of course, you can’t talk about New York City without mentioning its diverse community and bustling arts and culture scene, making it an attractive place to live and work.
Related read: Learn more about the Best Tech Companies in NYC
10 Best Cities for Tech Jobs in the World
- London, United Kingdom
- Berlin, Germany
- Bangalore (Bengaluru), India
- Tel Aviv, Israel
- Shenzhen, China
- Stockholm, Sweden
- Singapore, Singapore
- Lisbon, Portugal
- Toronto, Canada
1. London, United Kingdom
London is arguably the Silicon Valley of Europe for so many reasons. Firstly, the city boasts one of the largest startup ecosystems globally, coming second only to Silicon Valley. In 2021 alone, over 18,000 tech startups were established in London, creating countless opportunities for tech workers to explore.
London’s multiculturalism also makes it an attractive destination for tech firms seeking to expand their global reach. With a third of its population comprising foreigners, the city is a melting pot of diverse talents from all over the world. This diversity brings a wealth of skills and experiences to the city, driving innovation in the tech sector.
2. Berlin, Germany
Berlin is hot on London’s heels as one of the best tech cities in Europe, powered by its startup community and high level of interest from investors.
Tech entrepreneurs in Berlin also benefit from favorable government policies and initiatives. Over the past few years, the government has launched programs such as the “Startup Visa” and “Berlin Startup Scholarship” to strengthen Germany’s position as a top startup location. So far, these efforts have paid off in Berlin, where one out of every five startups in the country is located.
3. Lisbon, Portugal
Lisbon may have a smaller tech industry than cities like London and Berlin, but it makes up for this by offering a high standard of living at a reasonable cost. In fact, the quality of life in the city is so exceptional that many foreigners are choosing to move to Lisbon for work.
As a result, Lisbon has earned a reputation as one of the world’s top remote capitals, thanks to the low living expenses, thriving networking culture, an abundance of cafes and co-working spaces, and government-sponsored visa schemes.
These factors have set the stage for Lisbon to establish itself as an up-and-coming tech city. Plus, with the tax incentives for tech firms, low real estate costs, and a relatively simple business setup process, Lisbon’s tech industry is definitely booming and currently hiring.
4. Bangalore (Bengaluru), India
Bangalore is India’s very own Silicon Valley. The city has everything you need to build innovative tech solutions, from a skilled workforce to advanced infrastructure to relatively low operating costs. The spirit of entrepreneurship is also alive and strong in the city, with it being recognized as India’s top startup hub and the city with the most women-led startups.
5. Tel Aviv, Israel
“Silicon Valley of the Middle East” and the “Startup Nation” are only some of the titles Tel Aviv has earned over the years, thanks to its thriving tech industry. Behind the industry’s success is the strong support system for tech companies, evidenced by government-led programs and incentives that encourage entrepreneurs to set up shop in the city.
Research institutions and universities in Tel Aviv also contribute to a skilled workforce, making it an attractive location for IT pros. The city even launched the Back to Tech Incentive program to encourage Israeli tech professionals living abroad to return.
According to US research firm Startup Genome, Tel Aviv ranks fifth among the most appealing startup ecosystems in the world. If you’re considering moving to Tel Aviv, we recommend brushing up on your cyber security, AI, and data science and analytics skills, as these are the key growth areas in the city.
6. Shenzhen, China
Once a fishing village, Shenzhen has remarkably transitioned into a tech powerhouse in just four decades, making it one of the fastest-growing tech cities globally. According to Inc., 90 percent of the world’s electronics are manufactured in Shenzhen. Given the sheer volume of electronic components produced in the city, it is no surprise that the demand for manufacturing and electrical engineers continues to soar in Shenzhen.
The city is focused on more than just building hardware, though. It’s also working on advancing other tech initiatives, such as building “ChatGPT-like technologies.” To achieve this, Shenzhen is proactively drawing in talented individuals with international backgrounds to help its tech industry grow even bigger and faster.
Shenzhen is home to major high-tech companies, including Tencent, DJI, Makeblock, and Huawei.
7. Singapore, Singapore
With Singapore regarded as the smartest city in Asia, it’s only natural for it to be part of this list. The city-state’s tech sector continues to go from strength to strength as more and more tech companies seeking to expand in the East opt for Singapore. In fact, 80 of the world’s top 100 tech firms have already established their presence in Singapore, signaling the city-state’s appeal as a tech hub and the rise of tech hiring.
If you’re looking to build a tech career in Asia, you can’t go wrong with Singapore. Plus, Singaporeans are known for their proficiency in English, with nearly half of the population being fluent in the language. This makes it easy for expats to adjust to life there, as communication is not a barrier.
8. Stockholm, Sweden
Stockholm’s impressive tech industry can be traced back to the late 90s when the government provided a million households with their own computers through an initiative called “Home PC Reform.” Since then, interest in tech has grown and spread throughout the city. Today, two of Stockholm’s most common job titles are “software developer” and “systems developer.”
The city also hosts numerous tech events and conferences throughout the year, like Brilliant Minds, Stockholm Tech Meetup, Stockholm Entrepreneurs, and Data Innovation Summit. These events provide more avenues for tech leaders and practitioners to network and advance their careers.
Of course, it goes without saying that Stockholm is one of the best cities to live in for tech jobs due to its excellent quality of life. The city consistently ranks among the top cities in terms of safety, cleanliness, and healthcare.
9. Toronto, Canada
If the US has Silicon Valley, Canada has Toronto. Leveraging its open immigration policies, Toronto has seen an influx of diverse tech talent, surpassing even major US tech hubs like Los Angeles, Seattle, and Chicago in terms of the number of tech workers. This large pool of skilled workers has created a fertile environment for innovation and progress in the city.
But it’s not just tech workers who are moving to Toronto. Over the years, big-name tech companies such as Netflix, Wayfair, Reddit, and Cloudflare have also established a presence in the city, further solidifying Toronto’s status as a tech city.
Where the Tech Jobs Are
If there’s anything we’ve learned over the past few years, it’s that tech workers can achieve a better work-life balance, even if it means relocating to cities with a higher standard of living and potentially lower living expenses. If you want to do the same, our guide above can provide helpful suggestions. As long as you know the best cities to live in for tech jobs, you’ll never run out of opportunities to explore.