News > Blog

Six States Have the Largest Tech Workforces, CA Isn’t One of Them

Bronwyn Flores, Specialist, Policy Communications, Consumer Technology Association (CTA)
In fact, Massachusetts, Virginia, Colorado, Washington, Minnesota and Maryland have the largest tech workforces per capita, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Popular TV shows such as HBO’s Silicon Valley, AMC’s Halt and Catch Fire and movies such as The Social Network, Jobs make it seem like all tech jobs are in the San Francisco Bay area. Although California is home to a high number of tech giants per capita, the state does not even make it into the top ranks for the most U.S. tech workers per capita.

Innovation Scorecard States with the Most Tech Workers Per CapitaIn fact, Massachusetts, Virginia, Colorado, Washington, Minnesota and Maryland have the largest tech workforces per capita, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. These states’ most common tech jobs include software developers, management analysts, computer systems analysts and computer user support specialists.


Massachusetts has the largest tech workforce per capita in the U.S., thanks in part to Boston’s ecosystem and pipeline of top talent. Incubators such as MassChallenge, a top accelerator in the U.S., and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which has one of the highest percentages of bachelor’s degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields, provide key ingredients to support the state’s tech workforce.


Even though Northern Virginia has a concentration of big tech companies, such as Verizon and SAIC, with job opportunities working directly with the federal government in D.C., the state overall is a top destination for tech careers. In Richmond, new incubators and local angel investors are helping to create startup job opportunities. And in Blacksburg, drone opportunities are taking off thanks to a partnership between Google and Virginia Tech. 


Colorado has “a vibrant economy for tech startups as well as the larger, more established tech companies,” said Governor John Hickenlooper. And the state’s tech job opportunities continue to boom. Denver was recognized last year as a top city for gaining new workers — especially in the health and medical skills — according to LinkedIn’s Workforce Report.


In the same LinkedIn report, Seattle was also a top city in the country to attract the most workers last year. "Washington State is home to so many companies that have been on the leading edge of technical innovation that spans the analog, digital and virtual worlds,” said Governor Jay Inslee about his state’s “incredible entrepreneurial culture."


Minnesota’s tech scene, also known as Medical Alley, houses large companies including 3M and Medtronic. At the same time, startup hubs are beginning to usher in a new generation of tech companies. “I’ve been really amazed at how many large companies here really embrace innovation from small companies,” said John Valiton, chief revenue officer of Minneapolis-based connected health startup Reemo.


Southern Maryland is home to notable biotech and software companies including Supernus Pharmaceuticals and WeddingWire.

“We can have some of the most important, critical meetings with the most important, critical organizations and we don’t even have to get on a plane,” said Adam Gross, CEO and Founder of Bethesda-based health tech startup RightEye. “The federal government, National Institute of Health, major hospital systems, and a lot of potential strategic partners have a presence in the greater D.C. area.”

And in Baltimore, Under Armour plans to build a 50-acre campus that will include manufacturing facilities dedicated to 3D printing.

How large is your state’s tech workforce? Check out CTA’s third annual Innovation Scorecard to learn how your state and the rest of the U.S. is supporting tech and innovation.