Tech Hubs



Tampa, Florida

The Big Guava

While Tampa Bay made its presence known in the national sports conversation earlier this year by winning NFL and NHL titles, for technologists and organizations alike, the city's more recent title is likely of greater import: In August 2021, Forbes ranked Tampa Bay as the top emerging tech city in the United States, edging out other contenders like Miami, Nashville and Austin.

Like many of the hubs on the rise, Tampa has a burgeoning startup scene, fueled by tech-related investment from names like Bill Gates and Jeffrey Vinik, as well as projects like the Embarc Collective, supporting at least 100 early-stage tech companies. And as with most vibrant startup scenes, VCs are also playing a big role in Tampa Bay's emergence, with Marc Blumenthal's Florida Funders serving as one prime example.

In addition to its tropical weather, proximity to the ocean and myriad tourist attractions, the city remains one of the more affordable metro areas in the country, sitting more than four points below the national cost-of-living average (COLI index). Tampa also offers a range of four-year universities, including the University of South Florida, rated by Niche as #16 on the list of Best Colleges for Information Technology in the U.S.

Photo: visittampabay.com

Neighborhood Spotlight:

The Channel District

“Just east of downtown, the Channel District, also known as Channelside, has undergone a rebirth, from a gritty warehouse zone serving the Port of Tampa to a hip, densely populated neighborhood of converted lofts, luxury apartments, and high-rise condos. Sparkman Wharf, perched along Garrison Channel, is a go-to dining-and-cocktail hub, with local-fave restaurants in kiosks serving takeaway that can be enjoyed in the open greenspace or at plentiful picnic-style tables.”

- Containing the Chaos

Living and Working in the Big Guava:

Population: 404,636

Size: 114 square miles

Growth Since 2010: +20.53%

QoQ Growth: -1%

Q3 Tech Job Posting Rank: 19

Top Hiring Organizations:

  • Citi
  • Verizon
  • Mettler Toledo
  • Infosys
  • Nielsen
  • Pfizer
  • Anthem Blue Cross
  • Hillsborough County
  • Teco Energy

Top Occupations:

  • Software developer/engineer
  • Cybersecurity engineer
  • Project manager
  • Network engineer/architect
  • Java developer
  • Business analyst
  • Application developer
  • IT project manager

Average Tech Salary: $87,809

Median Home Cost: $344,900

Average Rent (One BR Apt.): $1,647

Universities:

  • University of South Florida
  • University of Tampa
  • Strayer University

Boston, Massachusetts

City of Innovative Notions

Boston, one of the oldest cities in the U.S. and no stranger to “firsts” (first public park, first public school, first subway system in the nation), earned the nickname “City of Notions” in the early 19th century, which resonates just as soundly today. With more than 50 colleges and universities, including world-class institutions like Massachusetts Institute for Technology (MIT) and Harvard University, Boston and its surrounding areas are brimming with potential in the thousands of future technologists.

Bostonians pride themselves on a lot of things — beer, sports teams, their accent — but near the top of the list is being a hub of innovation. Boston has earned a reputation for innovation for many years, including this year, when Innovation Cities named Boston second on its list of World’s Most Innovative Cities. Events like Hubweek, in which more than 100 companies from around the area converge to share and discuss new technological breakthroughs, keep the city innovating.

That’s in addition to investments from innovative companies like Amazon, which announced earlier this year that it will expand its Boston Tech Hub and create 3,000 new jobs over the next few years (adding to the $6.2 billion investment in Massachusetts and 20,000 jobs created across the state in the last decade).

Neighborhood Spotlight:

The South End

"The pace of development-driven change in the South End, especially in the area toward where [the Massachusetts Turnpike] meets I-93, has been head-spinning since the Great Recession, adding millions of square feet of residential and commercial space and upending streetscape and vibe of much of the neighborhood. And it’s continuing with projects [that include] the Exchange South End, a 1.6 million-square-foot, four-building technology and life sciences hub carved from the demolished Boston Fower Exchange site."

- Curbed Boston

Photo: exchangesouthend.com

Living and Working in the City of Innovative Notions:

Population: 695,506

Size: 48.3 square miles

Growth Since 2010: +12.6%

QoQ Growth: +11%

Q3 Tech Job Posting Rank: 10

Top Hiring Organizations:

  • Liberty Mutual
  • Takeda Pharmaceuticals
  • Harvard Business School
  • Lookout
  • Iboss
  • Amazon

Top Occupations:

  • Software developer/engineer
  • Senior software developer/engineer
  • Network engineer
  • Project manager, business analyst

Average Tech Salary: $111,096

Median Home Cost: $725,000

Average Rent (One BR Apt.): $3,487

Universities:

  • Harvard University
  • Boston College
  • Boston University
  • Northeastern University
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Tufts University

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

City of Brotherly Love

Last year, the Philadelphia Mayor’s Office announced a sweeping initiative, backed by $500,000 in funds, to make the city into a diverse tech hub. This PHL: Most Diverse Tech Hub initiative couldn’t have come at a better time, considering the tech industry’s growing focus on issues of diversity, equity and inclusion. “Philadelphia has all the ingredients to become a national leader in fostering a diverse, innovative tech sector,” Mayor Jim Kenney wrote in a statement, “with a specific focus on ensuring more Black and brown Philadelphians are trained with the skills they need to succeed in one of the fastest growing and most lucrative industries."

The initiative will include funding for educational efforts such as Coded by Kids, Campus Philly and Venture for America; more money will go to a group called Technically Media, which will manage a partnership that seeks to connect local employers with a diverse talent base.

Long before the initiative, Philadelphia had already become a sizable tech hub in its own right, thanks in large part to big corporations (including Comcast, Deloitte and Accenture) that need tech talent, as well as a handful of prestigious colleges and universities to generate a steady pipeline of new technologists. Technologists living in Philadelphia also have easy access up and down the East Coast to major tech hubs such as Washington, DC, New York City and Boston — but with a lower cost of living, which is great news for any startups trying to bootstrap their way to profitability.

The hunger for tech talent is one key reason why, between the second and third quarter of 2021, tech job postings in Philadelphia stayed relatively flat while declining slightly for other tech hubs. Going forward, Philadelphia’s emphasis on expanding its tech community could translate into significant job growth.

Photo: visitphilly.com

Neighborhood Spotlight:

University City

University City is a West Philadelphia neighborhood that earned its moniker thanks to the presence of several nearby schools, including the University of Pennsylvania, Drexel University and University of the Sciences. It features cool museums (such as the Penn Museum and the Institute of Contemporary Art), great music venues, bookstores, farmers’ markets and more. There’s also a wide variety of breweries, restaurants and clubs to keep you fed and entertained.

Living and Working in the City of Brotherly Love:

Population: 1.6 million

Size: 142.7 square miles

Growth Since 2010: +5.1%

QoQ Growth: 0%

Q3 Tech Job Posting Rank: 17

Top Hiring Organizations:

  • Deloitte
  • Comcast
  • Accenture
  • VMware
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • Penn Medicine
  • IBM
  • Wells Fargo

Top Occupations:

  • Software developer/engineer
  • Project manager
  • Network engineer/architect
  • Cybersecurity engineer,
  • Business analyst
  • IT project manager
  • Systems engineer
  • Program manager

Average Tech Salary: $91,670

Median Home Cost: $329,900

Average Rent (One BR Apt.): $1,736

Universities:

  • University of Pennsylvania
  • Drexel University
  • University of the Sciences

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