Last Updated: 18 May 2017


Author: dordal

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

  • Seattle, WA - The home of both Microsoft and Amazon, Seattle is almost a first-tier tech center in it's own right. Craigslist is a good place to post.
  • 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.
  • Boise, ID - Micron Technology calls Boise home, and HP has (had?) a large presence there.
  • 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.


East Coast

  • 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.


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