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The 10 best cities to find a big data job

It’s no surprise that Silicon Valley and the Washington, D.C. metro area are consistently the two biggest cities for finding big data jobs; tech startups drive the demand in California, while the U.S. government is the single biggest tech employer around.

Source for picture: March Madness by Facebook Data Geeks

But what about other US regions and cities? Are they data job no man’s lands?

Not at all. According to a year-over-year (January 2014–January 2015), survey put out by job site Dice, these are the top 10 cities/regions with the most growth in IT, and specifically SMAC (social, mobile, analytics, and cloud) hiring:

  1. Raleigh, NC
    Raleigh has been in the top 10 cities for big data jobs for a while, but it showed the most growth in hiring over the last year. The demand is being fueled by healthcare IT and high-tech research facilities. The area is also home to campuses for Citrix, Lenovo, Cisco, and others.
  2. Boston, MA
    Boston enjoys a high concentration of universities as well as large security, finance, and insurance industry players. The survey showed significant growth in hiring for security software engineers and developers.
  3. Portland, OR
    Portland’s tech scene has grown so much, it’s earned itself the nickname “Silicon Forest.” Intel, HP, Salesforce, and Yahoo! all have major offices here, but much of the hiring is driven by a major startup boom. The area and culture are popular with startup founders and employees.
  4. San Diego, CA
    If Portland and Northern California are a little cloudy for your taste, why not head to San Diego. Their tech hiring was up 9% last year, and the average salary for those jobs is the ninth highest in the nation.
  5. Dallas, TX
    Texas overall saw major statewide job growth in 2014, and Dallas is no exception. It already has a strong tech presence, with healthcare and finance driving much of the hiring expansion.
  6. Denver, CO
    Denver is emerging as a hotspot for mobile application development. It’s popular with startups because of the great weather and living conditions — and popular with IT professionals because it’s got the eighth highest average salaries in the country.
  7. Hartford, Conn
    Score one for the smaller cities: Hartford saw IT hiring up 14% last year — the same as the Washington, D.C. area. It’s especially popular with insurance and finance firms because of its proximity to New York City, and Aetna, MassMutual and Cigna all have offices there.
  8. Atlanta, GA
    Atlanta has a high concentration of Fortune 500 companies as well as plenty of firms in the business-to-business services sector, fueling strong big data job growth. The area saw hiring in the IT sector rise 7% last year.
  9. St. Louis, MO
    Surprised? St. Louis has strong big data needs in healthcare, biotech, and pharmaceuticals industries, as well as a strong university presence. These industries especially need data analysts and data scientists.
  10. Toronto, Canada
    Financial institutions are driving the big data hiring boom in Toronto, especially with needs around understanding their business and customers. It’s an emerging market with a big need.

While Silicon Valley is still the number one place for big data jobs in the US — and the place with the highest average salaries — it’s not the only big city with big data jobs.

Are there any other cities you would add? 

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Comment by Jude Calvillo on November 3, 2015 at 2:08pm

Great post, but I gotta' agree with Isaac Thompson here: It'd be great if the embedded image were tied to the post. Hey, can't one of us come up with that using GoogleVis (for R) and the source data? :)

Comment by Vincent Granville on August 7, 2015 at 2:57pm

I added the image, not Bernard Marr. 

Comment by Isaac Thompson on August 7, 2015 at 12:20pm

What does the image have to do with the post? May I suggest tying the two together in the future?

Comment by Vincent Granville on August 6, 2015 at 9:18am

I would add New York, London, Seattle and Singapore, at least for data science. Maybe big data (which includes many jobs that are not data scientists, such as industrial or mechanical engineer, astronomer or product development) has a different geographic distribution.. See also this article.

Salary are probably highest in the Bay Area, but when you factor in cost of living, Seattle (no income taxes, home prices 3 times below San Francisco) might be in top 5. What about Austin, TX?

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