Which states boast the highest concentrations of technologists? The question is more than academic: states with higher concentrations present more opportunities for networking and jobs.
CompTIA’s new State of the Tech Workforce report offers that breakdown, comparing the tech industry employment to each U.S. state’s overall employment base. As you can see, Washington state leads the pack overall—but the multi-state tech hub of Washington, D.C., northern Virginia, and southern Maryland also boasts a hefty concentration of technologists, thanks in large part to the federal government and local outposts of large tech sector companies like Amazon:
For comparison’s sake, the national average is 5.7 percent; some 16 states beat that average. States with the lowest concentrations of technology industry opportunities include North Dakota, Wyoming, Mississippi, Louisiana, and West Virginia.
Those concentrations could increase: the tech workforce may add more than 178,000 new jobs in 2022, the CompTIA report also predicted, with 48 states seeing gains.
Over the years, multiple studies have demonstrated how high concentrations of technologists can yield significant results for companies and individuals. Take mature tech hubs like Silicon Valley or New York City: clusters of talent attract companies and investment. More companies and investment, in turn, lead to more job opportunities and higher tech salaries. There are more factors in play, of course; for a tech hub to sustain over the long term, it needs a pipeline of fresh talent from local schools, housing and amenities, and office space. But if everything works out right, you see the creation of a virtuous cycle.
Whether or not you live in a mature tech hub, it always pays to network with the technologists around you. Sure, it can be intimidating to reach out to strangers; but connections can lead to all sorts of nifty opportunities, from new jobs to cool “fun” projects.