Smaller Cities, More Opportunity
When you think about top tech hubs around the world, locations like Silicon Valley, San Francisco, and New York are top of mind. While these locations are a big draw for talent, getting started in a major city can come at a steep price. According to Rent Jungle, the average rent for an apartment in San Francisco, CA is $3621 as of May 18, 2018. That's a pretty steep expense for a new tech employee, even when accounting for a salary boost.
For bootcamp grads, well-known tech hubs are far from the only option. In fact, CNBC's Money Watch reports that the fastest growing tech cities in America aren't even on the coasts. "A lot of younger people are looking to move to more manageable cities, and these cities fit the bill. With populations between 100,000 and 1.5 million, in most of them a median house can be had for $200,000 -- affordable on a tech salary." Instead of struggling to keep up with the most popular places like NYC or the Bay Area, why not consider alternative locations and their coding bootcamp training? Dev Mountain, for example, is a top-rated bootcamp with locations in Salt Lake City, Dallas, Phoenix, and Provo, UT. While these cities may not be the most obvious locations to begin a tech career, DevMountain alumni have found that the program leads to to a much higher salary, in a city with a far lower cost of living.
Below, we highlight a few emerging tech hubs, and talk about why you should might consider them for your next career move.
Think Smaller, Live Bigger
Salt Lake City, UT
Salt Lake City, UT
In contrast to the average rent for an apartment in San Francisco, Salt Lake City sits at an average of $1,026 a month, with studio apartments costing as low at $780 a month. Some of the top tech companies have made their way to Salt Lake due to lower taxes and more reasonably priced office spaces, including Adobe, Electronic Arts and Twitter. According to Forbes, "Three-quarters of Salt Lake area households can afford a median-priced house, compared to 45% in Silicon Valley and about half that in San Francisco."
Although Salt Lake is known for its Mormon influence, you may be surprised to learn that there is also a huge punk-rock, alternative subculture movement that has resulted in a surge of arts venues, bars, nightlife and performance spaces. A grunge music movement has brought in some highly popularized and nationally recognized record stores as well. If you are looking for affordable, alternative and also tech-centered, Salt Lake City may fit the bill.
LGBTQ friendly, Craft Beer, Cheap Living, Great Nightlife.
Although Phoenix is not full of stereotypical tech companies, with high-tech offices or a concentrated millennial population, it is considered a budding technology hub. In March, 2018, Bisnow hosted a convention discussing the growth of the tech sector in this part of the United States. They asked that software developers and other professionals think outside the box when considering what a career in their respective field may look like. "USAA announced plans to add 1,000 new software development jobs at its Phoenix office by the end of 2020 — a major influx of tech jobs by a company that does not fit the standard perception of a tech company."
In Phoenix, the median wage for STEM and STEM related jobs currently sits at $75,000, nothing to scoff at when you consider the the median home value in Phoenix is currently $229,000.
"There are about 12,000 software developers in Phoenix, and that is still considered an emerging occupation in the market. The number of tech companies in the region has increased from 67 to 281 over the last five years, a growth of more than 300%." At this rate, Phoenix is due to explode with opportunities, and a desert move may make sense for you.
Water Parks to Beat the Heat, Amazing Food, Houses You Can Afford to Buy.
In the past decade, Dallas has become startup central! Technology workers in the Dallas metropolitan area make 10 percent more than the national average, according to Robert Half International Inc. CIO's in the Dallas area have a median salary of $223,000, ranging from $188,000 to $316,000 while CTO's earn anywhere from $160,000 to $273,000 a year. According to Dallas News, "tech firms now account for almost 20 percent of total office leasing in North Texas. Almost 140,000 people in D-FW work in the tech sector, making this area one of the top five locations in the country for such workers."
According to Smartasset, a studio apartment in Dallas carries an average price of $992. A one-bedroom apartment has an average rent of $997. A two-bedroom apartment has an average rent of $1,433, and three-bedroom apartments cost around $1,824. If you think back to those San Francisco prices, it starts to become an appealing place to call home.
Millennials consider the social scene of Dallas to be lively and liberal, with a large bar and nightlife sector, as well as a continually growing arts center. Although it is off the coast, it is never lacking in fun things to do.
LGBTQ Friendly, Sports Centered, Great Shopping, Lots of Live Entertainment
The best news? Dev Mountain is a coding bootcamp that offers training courses in all three of these locations. Dev Mountain offers in-person and online courses ranging from 6 to 26 weeks in a variety of subjects including web development, mobile programming, user experience design, software quality assurance, and salesforce development. The school was founded in Provo by Cahlan Sharp, Tyler Richards, and Colt Henrie in 2013. Dev Mountain provides free housing to its full-time students for the length of the program to help them accommodate long hours of work.
Dev Mountain currently has a 4.66 out of 5-star rating on SwitchUp, with students celebrating their career support and strong technical training. Students warn that this is a difficult and intense program, so don't enroll if you aren't ready to work!
Review highlight: "Dev Mountain: Your first step to success"
I had a great experience at DevMountain. I was able to polish the skills I already had as well as learn a ton of useful skills for the web industry. DevMountain focuses on relevant technologies and practices that are actually used in the industry. It is the best way to jump into making web apps. I highly recommend DevMountain to anyone interested in starting a career as a web developer.
If you are interested in learning more about the advantages of working outside of major tech hubs, check out this article by Dev Mountain: It's Not Just What You Learn, It's WHERE You Learn.