Location, Location, Location. The 3 tech cities you haven’t considered for Tech..

15 August 2018

Toronto, Texas, Utah

The tech scene has always traditionally been in either New York or San Francisco. New York is dominated by the Financial Service market and boasts names such as Bloomberg, Two Sigma and Goldman Sachs, whereas, San Francisco is full of your tech giant’s like Uber, Google and Facebook. However, things are changing, and innovation and the rise of technology is now happening everywhere.
The “Silicon Hills” (Austin), the “Silicon Slopes” (Utah) and the “Silicon Forrest” (Portland), are all new tech hubs, seeing fast growth in the areas of data science and machine learning. All these cities are fighting tooth and nail to win the power at the top of the tech talent pool. Add in Amazon’s announcement of its new second HQ in Boston and the demand for tech talent will be increased across the country.

So, should you still go for the obvious choice – New York or San Francisco?

Well, the obvious answer is yes, you get to live in one of the greatest cities in the world and work for one of your dream companies. However, this will all comes at a cost and yes that’s the actual cost. The cost of living and rental prices will all have an effect on your disposable income. The average house price in San Francisco is now $1.62 million. So, if you can hack living in a box for $4K a month then go full steam ahead. However, once you take the average salary for a data scientist and adjust it to the city’s cost of living, New York and San Francisco will fall behind the likes of Seattle, Portland, Texas and Phoenix. Adjust the average salary from the bay area to the likes of Texas and you’d be making far more by making less.

So here are the 3 tech cities that should be on your check-list if you are considering a move.

City                                Average House price
San Francisco              $1.62M
New York                      $788,529
Toronto                         $736,783
Texas                            $348.800
Salt Lake City               $310,300


1. Toronto, Canada

Toronto, yes you heard it right. Toronto is now being called the NYC of the north with several multinational organizations open offices like Uber, Amazon, Boston Consulting Group, State Street and DataRobot. Despite being a big city, Toronto has a comfortable small city feel with friendly and electric neighborhoods. It has a rising number of tech start-ups and giants given plenty of opportunity with beyond reasonable living costs. Also, the city is home to the University of Toronto, which is ranked top 10 in the world for computer science and has one of the most advanced AI schools in the world.

In recent years, a data scientist or tech company would never imagine themselves in Toronto, but now with investment in artificial intelligence and areas such as fintech, the city is now an emerging leader in machine learning and deep learning. With over 300 fintech firms, 4000 start-ups and additional expected 700 fintech start-ups by 2023, it has become the next tech giant in the making. The likes of Uber, Google Brain and Deep Mind are already expanding their research capacity to Toronto.


2. Austin, Texas

Austin is one of the fastest growing tech scenes in America right now and is home to a combination of tech start-ups and multinational organizations. Multinationals like Dell, HP, Cisco, IBM, Apple, eBay, Oracle, Goldman Sachs and Two Sigma all have large operations there along with 5,500 start-ups like RetailMeNot, Big Commerce, Trend kite and Conde Nast. Forbes has also recently listed Austin as the leading tech scene in America right now, ahead of the likes of Raleigh, San Jose, Houston, San Francisco and Salt Lake City.

So, this could be the best of both worlds. Work for an exciting tech startup, doing exciting machine or deep learning (just as you would in San Fran or NYC) and have a better standard and cost of living. The average house price in San Francisco to Austin is 4x higher, that’s right. Your average house now in the bay area is $1.62M whereas your average house in Austin is now $348,800 (you could save a fortune). For the Cherry on the cake, there is also no income tax whatsoever. So, you have an up and coming tech scene, a great opportunity for data scientist, great cost of living and no income tax.


3. Salt Lake City, Utah

Salt Lake City in Utah has come out of nowhere in recent years and is the next rising tech scene, now labeled as the “Silicon Slopes”. It offers great careers prospects, great cost of living and a more outdoor adventurous lifestyle (for those who don’t like the claustrophobia of NYC). With the likes of Overstock, Degreed, Splunk, Workday, Ancestry, Goldman Sachs and Thomson Reuters all expanding and opening new offices in the Silicon Slopes. On top of that, the list of startups is everlasting; Infrastructure, Qualtrics, Domo, Podium. 

Similarly, for Austin, the cost of living is very similar, and the average house price is $310,300. With the same opportunities within the data science and machine learning field, you could again get the best of both worlds.

If you have any questions or are a data scientist looking for a next role or a data-driven company looking for your next data scientist, then please get in touch - alex@campbell-north.com  

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