Technology sector outside of Silicon Valley growing



People seeking work in the technology sector have traditionally gravitated toward one of the coasts, but that doesn’t mean that those are the only places to find a job in the industry. Recently, there have been reports that show regions not traditionally associated with high-tech work are beginning to emerge as major players in the industry.

Using data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Dice News showed that many of the states with the fastest-growing technology sectors are located in the South, Northeast and Midwest. Although traditional tech hubs such as California may still employ the most people, states such as Texas, New Jersey and Michigan have added workers at a much higher pace in the last year.

North to South 
Texas was the biggest performer in the tech sector last year, adding nearly 6 percent to its workforce, or 8,100 employees. According to Dice News, that makes it the country’s second-largest tech employer, next to California.

After Texas came Florida, which grew its technology market around 5.6 percent. With 3.8 percent growth, North Carolina rounded out the top three states, all of which were Southern. New York, Massachusetts and New Jersey showed that expansion is also occurring in the Northeast, while Michigan and Missouri represented the Midwest. Two Pacific states, Washington and Oregon also made the top 10.

Expansion in some states, such as Missouri, actually slowed from previous years, but in others growth picked up. Florida, for instance, hired more technology workers in the first half of 2014 than it did in all of 2013.

Challenging conventions 
Tech employment growth in these states may be due to a stronger economic environment in general, but some of the expansion could also be due to a shift in perceptions. IDG News Service reported on the growth of the Midwest technology job market, but said that some people still don’t view the region as a viable home for tech workers. Companies such as Madison, Wisconsin’s Epic Systems, an electronic health record manager, could be changing that, although technology jobs in the Midwest may still be different from those on the coasts.

“Consumer technology has taken root and grown on the coasts, but the opportunity for enterprise software is a differentiator for the Midwest,” Zach Brandon, president of the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce, told the source.

Tech workers interested in the business sector may find the Midwest an attractive source. IDG reported that many are drawn to the region’s growing startup scene and low cost of living.