Technology is a crucial driver of economic growth. It raises the productivity of existing industries and creates new ones. Areas with booming high tech sectors often have thriving economies and strong socioeconomic indicators. The tech sector also generates high-paying jobs. (These are the best paying jobs in America.)
To determine the cities with the fastest growing high-tech sectors, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed employment data by industry from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages. Metropolitan statistical areas were ranked by the percentage increase in employment in “high-tech” industries from 2015 to 2020. The BLS defines high-tech industries as those with a high concentration of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) occupations.
It is important to note that high-tech is more than semiconductors and computers. It extends to chemicals, pharmaceuticals, aerospace products, and other industries. Also, as is clear from our list, U.S.’s high-tech industry is not all concentrated in Silicon Valley. There are cities with fast-growing high-tech sectors all across the country. In fact, the top three cities are not generally regarded as tech centers.
At No. 1 is Bend-Redmond, Oregon. Its fastest growing high-tech industry is management of companies and enterprises, which experienced 237.3% growth between 2015 and 2020. The No. 2 and No. 3 metro areas are both in Florida: Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, with strong growth in software publishing, and Crestview-Fort Walton Beach-Destin, with growth in scientific research and development services.
At No. 4 is Austin-Round Rock, Texas. “Silicon Hills” has been a nickname for Austin since the 1990s. The metro area is also home to the University of Texas at Austin, which has more than 50,000 students.
Many of the cities on the list are home to well-known educational institutions, which often underpin their high-tech sectors. These include Durham-Chapel Hill, part of North Carolina’s Research Triangle, and Boston-Cambridge-Newton, home to Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard. (These are the highest and lowest paying college majors in America.)
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