A bit of an outlier on a list of extra large cities, Huntsville nonetheless boasts the nation's second-largest tech and research park, Cummings Research Park, which houses 225 companies and 23,000 employees. Aerospace is the city's focus, as the area is home to the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center and the Army's Redstone Arsenal. That means firms like Northrup Grumman continue to build and expand in the region. More than 300 companies in the area are focused on designing and producing electronics and computer-related technology, according to the Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County.
It's a big city, so, sure, it has a lot of tech jobs. But according to data from Wanted Analytics, New York actually ranks well above the national average in terms of its ratio of job postings to employment in multiple tech occupations. There may be more to come if the city can find a way to benefit from the expanding healthcare industry. A new report from the Center for an Urban Future finds that New York's roster of healthcare providers, plus its flank of health technology companies, could make the city an ideal spot to capture health-IT dollars.
One caveat about New York: Although its average pay ranks fairly high on the Glassdoor list, its cost of living is much greater than that of cities with higher average pay, such as Seattle and San Diego.
According to one recent count, Phoenix has 4,200 high-tech companies and upwards of 81,000 high-tech jobs. Microsoft, Oracle, and Intel are among the major tech corporations with a presence in the area, but Phoenix boasts plenty of smaller—but still familiar—employers, such as domain registrar GoDaddy. The city ranks high in overall tech job openings and in the ratios of job openings to employment for several IT jobs. Credit goes, in part, to Arizona State University, which nurtures advances at its College of Technology and Innovation and Advanced Technology Innovation Center.
A good deal south of Silicon Valley, San Diego is home to the nostalgic Gaslamp Quarter, a picturesque coastline, and a thriving tech industry. Between the University of California-San Diego, San Diego State University, and the University of San Diego, research plays a big role in the community, and researchers draw funding—which helps nurture further innovations, according to Connect, a regional nonprofit. Connect's chief operating officer, Camille Sobrian, says new data collected by the organization show significant increases in the number of start-ups and the amount of venture capital funding in the second quarter.
City officials boast that the metro area has one of the highest concentrations of high-tech companies in the nation. San Diego also ranks fourth for tech salary pay, according to Glassdoor data—above the more expensive cities of Washington, New York, and Boston.
Northern California is an obvious focus for tech industry job seekers. Between San Jose and San Francisco, it would be impossible to find a more tech-savvy population. But San Francisco has a bit of an edge over San Jose in this recession, with an unemployment rate in July of 9.3 percent, below the national average. San Jose, on the other hand, is struggling with an 11.8 percent unemployment rate. Glassdoor's Hohman suspects that the large tech companies with manufacturing operations based in San Jose may have cut payrolls with a bigger hatchet than smaller start-ups and software firms in San Francisco.