Baltimore ranks 16th of 20 best cities for IT workers

The Baltimore region is one of 20 U.S. metro areas where demand for tech workers is greatest. But it falls toward the bottom of that list in a ranking of the best places for those professionals to live and work.

That’s the finding of CompTIA’s 2018 Tech Town Index, which ranked metro areas based on cost of living, number of open IT jobs and projected employment growth over 12 months and five years.

Baltimore came in 16th, behind Lansing, Mich., Madison, Wis., and the Durham/Chapel Hill in North Carolina. Baltimore beat out only Boston, Trenton, N.J., Boulder, Co., and Colorado Springs, Co.

CompTIA released its survey as Baltimore officials and developers are working to establish the massive Port Covington re-development project in South Baltimore as an East Coast cyber-security hub. Developers announced last week that three cybersecurity industry firms would open headquarters in the first phase of development by 2020.

The IT trade association’s survey looked at job posting data from August 2017 through July. It considered how far IT wages go in tech hubs and factored in job opportunity and job growth.

The Baltimore area had more than 42,000 open tech positions posted in the survey’s 12-month period. It has an expected 8 percent job growth rate over five years, with especially strong hiring in healthcare, biosciences, higher education and government. The area’s median income for tech professionals is $93,080, a slightly lower salary for the East Coast, where cost of living is higher than the U.S. average.

“But salary isn’t the only consideration when searching for a Tech Town to call home: Young professionals find Baltimore’s bustling night life and sports scenes attractive,” the report said. “Plenty of live music venues, Camden Yards for an Orioles game, M&T Stadium to cheer on the Ravens, and the best Maryland blue crabs and crab cakes make the metro area a hot spot for the next tech generation.”

The Baltimore area came in 10th in three areas: the number of IT job ads, job growth rates for one year and job growth rates for five years.

North Carolina is home to the survey’s top two ranked areas, Charlotte and Raleigh, while southern tech hubs Austin, Dallas, Atlanta and Huntsville, Ala., also made the top 10. San Jose and San Francisco came in 4th and 5th despite high costs of living, the survey found, as job opportunities in those California communities continue to outpace housing costs.

lorraine.mirabella@baltsun.com

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