Wednesday, October 10, 2007

America's Techiest Cities

Hat-Tip to BDPA Philadelphia for pointing us to this ComputerWorld article. I imagine that it is easy to guess that the highest concentration of IT professionals in the U.S. is in Silicon Valley. But naming the No 2 spot isn't as easy, and the answer might surprise you.

The runner-up isn't a well-known tech center like Boston or Seattle; it's the Washington DC metro area.

"It kind of belies some of the perceptions of where the hiring is, where people work in this field," said John Challenger, president of Chicago-based outsourcing firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. "[Many typically] think that most people in IT work in Silicon Valley, and they might add in Washington state, Seattle and maybe Austin," he said.

Data for 2006 from the U.S. Census Bureau's annual American Community Survey (ACS), released just last month, reveal what could be called a metropolitan area's "TQ" (technology quotient) -- how "techie" a region's overall workforce is, based on the number of self-reported computer professionals. And some of the results turn stereotypes upside down. (See the interactive national map, or query the database for a specific metro area.)

Roughly 6% of the D.C. metro area workforce is made up of "computer specialists," compared with 8.3% in Silicon Valley. The third-highest concentration of IT workers is in Raleigh/Cary, N.C., at 5.3% of the workforce, followed closely by Boulder, Colo., and Huntsville, Ala., each at 5.2%. The remainder of the top 10 technology worker areas is rounded out, in order, by Bloomington/Normal, Ill.; Trenton-Ewing, N.J.; Austin-Round Rock, Texas; Manchester-Nashua, N.H.; and Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Wash.

The Census Bureau data also shows that IT worker pay tends to reflect the percentage of techies in the workforce. The annual average salary for computer and information systems managers in Silicon Valley as of May 2006 was $139,460, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In the D.C. metro area, that figure was $122,950. Around Raleigh, N.C., it was $102,880.

Click here for the full article

Did you see where your city ranks? You can use these figures to determine a membership goal in your chapter city. For example, there are 22, 000 IT workers in Cincinnati. Doesn't that mean that Cincinnati should have at least 2,200 African American IT workers to approach about membership?


Villager said...

Where does your city rank? Does the ranking from this article feel right to you based on your knowledge of your own town?

Villager said...

All - This is great census information for planning purposes. Let us know if it is ever updated!