Last Updated: 18 May 2017
Second Tier Tech Centers
If you're trying to hire technical folks, and you have a virtual company or don't care where they work, you might want to look at recruiting from somewhere other than the big tech centers such as San Francisco & New York. There are a lot of absolutely fantastic technical people who live in what I call 'second tier technical cities'… places like Boise, ID or Raleigh-Durham, NC.
Here's a list of my favorite second tier tech centers in the US; comments are welcome with either US or international additions.
West Coast / Mountain States
- Portland, OR - Seattle's little sister, Portland has a lot of technology and a lot of really smart people. Craigslist again gets the nod.
- Santa Monica, CA / Los Angeles, CA - Although I cringe at the name Silicon Beach, the western part of the Los Angeles basis (Santa Monica, etc.) has a growing number of tech startups and VCs.
- Sacramento, CA & Davis, CA - The neighboring cities of Sacramento and Davis are just north of the Bay Area. UC Davis has an excellent engineering program, and Sacramento is home to a lot of tech companies looking for proximity to San Francisco but a cheaper locale.
- Salt Lake City, UT - Home of BYU, and more smart folks.
- Albequerque, NM
- Boulder, CO - A progressive city just south of Denver, and home to several major tech companies as well as aerospace defense players such as Space Systems Loral.
- San Diego, CA - San Diego is known primarily as a military town, but has some big name tech, such as Qualcomm, as well as a number of smaller startups.
- Vancouver B.C. - Canada's largest west coast city.
- Madison, WI - Home to the University of Wisconsin at Madison, an engineering player.
- Ann Arbor, MI - Home to the University of Michagan, Ann Arbor, another engineering player.
- Urbana-Champagin, IL - University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign is another great midwest tech school, currently ranked #5 on the US News & World Report of top computer science schools.
- Minneapolis/St. Paul, WI
- Raleigh Durham, NC - home of Research Triangle Park, which itself is home of IBM, Cisco, and a number of other notables. Like Seattle, RTP could almost be considered a first-tier tech center in its own right.
- Providence, RI - Brown University is located here.
- Pittsburgh, PA - #1 Computer Science school Carnegie Melon is in Pittsburg.
- Charlotte, NC - Like sister city Raleigh, there's a lot of tech here.
- Nashville, TN - One of Tennessee's most tech driven cities.
- Columbus, OH
- Baltimore, MD - Far enough away from Washington that not everybody goes there for a job, but close enough to get some of the benefits of being near the nation's capitol.