Nothing is surprising about this list. Despite splashy claims that this place or that is the “new Silicon Valley,” the real Silicon Valley is still the place to be. According to the latest report from Burning Glass, California, by far, is still hiring the most AI experts in terms of real numbers, followed by New York, Texas, and Massachusetts. In relative terms, newcomer Washington State edges out California by a fraction of a percentage as the percentage of AI jobs increases in that area.
What Makes Tech Loyal to California? Why it’s Always Hiring the Most AI Experts
Soaring real estate prices. Traffic. Environmental issues and the perception of unfriendliness to business, and yet people still look to California as the nation’s supreme tech hub. Why is that? You have to look back at the history of the tech spread.
The East Coast was originally the darling of the tech industry with places like MIT in Boston and IBM in New York. Today, Silicon Valley is an almost $3 trillion neighborhood. Quite a few people look back at the history of the transistor, aka the computer processor.
William Shockley may not be a household name, but in the 1940s, he was the co-inventor of transistors. He started a company, Shockley Semiconductor Labs, and located near Mountain View California to be near his mother.
Eight of Shockley’s employees later left to form their own company, and through a series of events went on to help form Intel, Nvidia, Kleiner Perkins (a VC fund), and AMD. Soon after all this, Stanford University would become part of ARPANET, the very beginnings of the internet. In the 70s, Xerox opened the PARC lab, followed by Atari, Apple, and Oracle. The 90s brought Paypal and Google, among others, followed by Twitter, Uber, Facebook, and Tesla.
Companies continue to spark here because of the area’s connection to Stanford and the University of California, a ton of money available to fund ideas, and a lack of non-compete agreements allowing developers to change hats whenever they please. It’s still the biggest talent, ideas, and money. And as AI becomes the next biggest thing in tech, Silicon Valley and by proxy California, reign supreme.
The (Second) Rise of the East Coast
Both New York and Massachusetts still have tech roots. According to the report, California has roughly 93,000 jobs to New York’s 30,000, but those real numbers mean that New York is a viable place for aspiring AI developers.
Massachusetts has around 19,000, although this could be attributed to the smaller population sizes of the state. However, MIT’s involvement in the world of AI is undeniable with CSAIL and TX-GAIA’s support of MIT-Air Force AI Accelerator. Boston is home to a good many AI startups as well. Plus, Boston is home base for one of the biggest communities of data scientists around — ODSC. Catch us in Boston this April for ODSC East 2020.
They may not be California, but these places do have the talent, innovation, and access to capital—just in smaller numbers. And if you’re trying to make a name for yourself, Boston and New York are two places eager to take the tech crown from California. That kind of gumption could pay off as companies look to other places better suited for the business side of AI.
The Sleeper Hit—Texas
You may not think of Texas as an AI hub, but the numbers tell a very different story. Texas ranks ahead of Massachusetts in the number of AI job postings as companies quietly relocate to take advantage of Texas weather, business-friendly policies, and more appealing tax structure.
Austin is an up and coming city with significant players in the AI market making it home to its second headquarters, including Google and Amazon. Other tech companies like Zoho have left the Bay area entirely for the growing Austin skyline.
It’s not just Austin. North Texas also boasts significant growth in the tech field as the home to a number of Fortune 500 companies and 1 million square feet of space occupied by previous Bay area tech companies.
Companies are hoping to draw in Millennials, which will soon make up the largest segment of the workforce through updated benefits like healthier offices with fewer cubicles, more accessible real estate, and less expensive cost of living.
A Note about Washington
In relative numbers, Washington State is home to the most significant growth of AI jobs. While that number is promising for those hoping to expand out of the craziness of Silicon Valley, it still occupies a smaller space of the total AI pie. Those looking to make a name in less large areas might look to Washington instead of California, but don’t get your heart set yet.
AI is still mostly entrenched in California—California will probably always be the one hiring the most AI experts —so you’ll likely get your start out there regardless of what the “Next Silicon Valley” is. However, keep an open mind about other areas of the country as big tech begins to make its move out of the tech bubble of Silicon Valley and the Bay Area.
Ready to Get a Job in AI?
Regardless if your city is mentioned above or not, it’s still a good time to consider getting a job in AI. At ODSC East 2020, you can attend the AI Career Lab & Expo April 13-14 and meet with hiring partners, get your resume reviewed by managers, and even interview for a job in AI on the spot.