Main image of article Google: Top 10 Cities Where It's Hiring, and the Tech Skills It Wants

Google’s public image is forever bound with its sleek Silicon Valley campus, the Googleplex, with its offices full of geniuses and its over-the-top amenities. However, the company hires in cities across the country. If you’re interested in working for the search-engine giant, it’s worth knowing where it’s hiring.

To uncover that information, we turn to Burning Glass, which collects and analyzes millions of job postings from across the country (including Google’s). Based on data from the past 90 days, it’s clear that Google’s hiring is primarily concentrated in some of the nation’s largest tech hubs:

This hiring pattern should come as no surprise, as Google has long-established presences in these cities. Despite the economic uncertainty unleashed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Google has been rapidly hiring technologists and acquiring office space in New York City, locked in a local battle for talent with Amazon, Apple, and Facebook. (In 2020, all four companies collectively hired 2,600 employees, raising the combined total to 22,000.) Google, which already has a huge office footprint in the city’s West side, recently secured an additional 1.7 million square feet of space.

If you don’t live in one of these major cities, are you shut out of ever landing a job at Google? That’s a huge question. Historically, the company has greatly preferred having its technologists in-office, but things might change in the wake of the pandemic. Google has extended its work-from-home mandate until at least July 2021, and plans on embracing a flexible-work model after that point

“We are testing a hypothesis that a flexible work model will lead to greater productivity, collaboration, and well-being,” stated an internal staff memo written by Google CEO Sundar Pichai, as quoted in The New York Times. “No company at our scale has ever created a fully hybrid work force model—though a few are starting to test it—so it will be interesting to try.”

Of course, “flexible work” means heading into the office for a certain portion of the week or month. But does that open the door to Google hiring more fully-remote workers? Again, it’s hard to tell, but with arch-rivals such as Facebook offering a fully-remote option to their employees, the pressure may soon build on Pichai to allow his people to work from anywhere—which would be good news for any technologist who doesn’t want to move to these huge hubs.

In the meantime, which skills does Google want its technologists to have? According to Burning Glass, some of the world’s most popular programming languages will serve you well at the search-engine giant, including Python, Java, and JavaScript. Check out the full list, also based on 90 days’ worth of job postings:

As with any technologist role, it bears mentioning that “soft skills” such as communication and teamwork are just as vital as hard technical skills. You can master lots of technical concepts and tools, but hiring managers at Google will also want to see how effectively you can interact with teams and work together to accomplish shared goals.