Top Cities for Software Engineers That Aren’t Silicon Valley (Updated 2022)

top cities for software engineers | app academy

Silicon Valley has long since been the place where tech professionals go to live and work. But as the industry has evolved, so has its remote-friendly nature. The pandemic also largely influenced where tech employees — and, in many cases, their companies — chose to relocate to. Folks are moving out of Silicon Valley in droves in search of cheaper cost of living, more living space, and the ability to work remotely or asynchronously.

These are just a handful of the many cities (and small towns, even) that tech professionals are relocating to.

For software engineering salary by city, click here.

Top cities for software engineers that aren’t Silicon Valley

Austin, Texas.

Few cities have seen the influx of people and business the way Austin has. The population has grown a staggering 13% just in the last four years alone, but its charm, bustling food and music scene, and promise of outdoor activities aplenty make it a great place for software engineers to lay roots. Major companies like Dell, Oracle, and now Tesla call Austin home, so there is ample opportunity for work.

BuiltIn clocks the average software engineer salary in Austin at $112,809.

New York City, New York.

New York is expensive. Arguably more so than Silicon Valley and its other Bay Area counterparts. But where New York has long since thrived on finance, fashion, and pop culture, technology is finally catching up as a New York-bred industry. With the amount of companies that lay roots in New York, there are more than enough roles for software engineers in the Big Apple. With an average salary of $132,562, it pays to make your way East.

San Diego, California.

San Diego is NorCal’s more laidback sibling, but don’t let the chill-ness fool you: it’s ripe with tech companies and open roles for software engineers. According to salary.com, the cost of living in San Francisco is over 37% higher than it is in San Diego. If you enjoy year-round warm weather, coastal living, and a more relaxed lifestyle (that you can afford better), San Diego may be the place for you.

Indeed notes the average base salary for a software engineer in San Diego is somewhere north of $100,000, prior to cash bonuses and other compensation.

Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina.

The Carolinas have been eyed by top tech founders for decades: wide, open land for building office space, affordable cost of living, and great tax benefits. Many companies have already or are making that migration, and the folks that live there to work in-office or remotely enjoy the same benefits. The average base salary of $95,284 is generous for how affordable housing and living is compared to Raleigh-Durham’s tech counterparts. Charlotte is another booming tech city in North Carolina, making both locations some of the top cities for software engineers to live.

Atlanta, Georgia.

Atlanta is often overlooked in the tech hub conversations, but it absolutely holds a candle to the likes of Seattle or Austin. BuiltIn even dubs it “The Silicon Valley of the South,” with schools like Georgia Tech churning out incredible tech talent. The city’s rich history and diverse culture makes it a great place for anyone in software engineering. The base salary nears $100,000, which gives folks in tech a lot of wiggle room in cost of living.

Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Minneapolis may be an unassuming choice to some. Harsh winters make it less desirable than other climates, but the city is undergoing a bit of resurgence. It’s diverse, affordable, and has what Bloomberg calls “regional advantage”:

“But, fortunately, some cities have succeeded in the modern economy without being tech hubs or following anything like the standard game plan. One of these is Minneapolis-St. Paul, the urban agglomeration known as the Twin Cities.”

Minneapolis boasts all of the resources of a tech hub without oversaturating itself with massive companies or countless startups. 

Average base salary? $99,696.

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

“From Steel City to Smart City,” claims visitpittsburgh.com.

They’re right — Pittsburgh has undergone a massive transformation, welcoming tech professionals to enjoy the resources that have been created by massive cash infusions:

Pittsburgh is now an advancing leader in medicine, education, health care, robotics, software engineering and high-tech industries. In fact, the Pittsburgh tech sector generated $22B in the last decade according to some reports. More than $687M was invested in Pittsburgh tech companies in 2017 alone.”

What was once a true blue-collar city backed by industrial workers has become a hub for sports fanatics, foodies, and culture enthusiasts. Pittsburgh has a rich history and continues to fund its new lease as a bustling tech scene.

Cost of living is still quite affordable, and an average salary of $94,077 can go a long way.

Software engineering is the high-earning job you can do anywhere

There are so many incredible cities to choose from, and software engineering allows you the flexibility and the financial freedom to lay roots down where you choose.

Are you ready to make the switch so you have your pick of the top cities for software engineers? Learn more about App Academy’s bootcamp programs and find the course that’s right for you here.

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Written by Dev App Academy

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