4 Lower-Cost Cities Where Mid-Market Companies Can Find Tech Talent

Gone are the days when tech companies needed to set up shop in New York or Silicon Valley to access top talent. Mid-market companies are now just as likely to find highly-skilled tech talent in places like Des Moines, Iowa or Huntsville, Ala. And with a lower cost of living, these markets offer companies the ability to attract top talent for salaries that are significantly lower than those in large markets.

Robust startup activity and concentrations of big tech companies are attracting talent pools that also can meet the demands of mid-market firms. Here are 4 cities where your mid-market business can find high tech talent.

1. Charlotte, N.C. A new report shows that Charlotte has the highest growth rate of tech jobs in the country for a small market. The city has been propelling itself over the past few years with momentum from startups and established companies looking to tap the rich talent pool. AvidXchange, a payments software firm, raised $225 million from Bain Co. in 2015 and landed additional new investments in 2016.

“Nashville’s tech sector is growing at nearly 68%.

2. Lincoln, Ne. A low cost of living combined with high salaries has given Lincoln the nickname “Silicon Prairie.” Bellevue University is helping cultivate talent with both bachelors and masters degrees programs in cybersecurity, and it is home to the Center for Cybersecrurity Education, which is designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Assurance/Cybersecurity by the Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Agency.

3. Nashville, Tenn. Nashville’s tech sector is growing at nearly 68% and is providing robust talent for both large tech companies and startups. Harrison Johnson, senior vice president at CBRE Research’s Nashville office said there is now “significant investment in tech jobs.” Nashville is a top city for tech graduates with a community that values mentorship and growth in the industry.

4. Huntsville, Ala. Nestled in the hills of northern Alabama, Huntsville metro area’s population doesn’t top 500,000 but it has a big reputation for space exploration and technology. It is home to the U.S. Space and Rocket Center, Army’s Aviation and Missile Command and the NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center. Boeing recently announced it would move another 400 jobs here and tech startups are also fueling the sector. Nearly 6% of the city’s workers are employed in tech, earning an average salary that is nearly 18 times the average for all jobs.

Deciding where to expand or locate your business is not an easy decision. But economic development groups are working directly with businesses today to create the kind of talent pool and facilities needed to attract even more of the best companies. By networking with similar businesses, you can find out what kind of experiences your peers have had, and whose markets will best fit your needs.

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Craig Guillot
Craig Guillot is a business writer based in New Orleans, La. His work has appeared in Wall Street Journal, Entrepreneur, CNNMoney.com and CNBC.com. You can read more about his work at www.craigdguillot.com.

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