IT growth in Ann Arbor and Asheville

March 27, 2015

The tech sector continues to find new locales as startups seek young talent and affordable real estate. While major cities on the coasts tend to have the reputations as hubs of innovation, small cities and large towns across the country are also gradually expanding their IT scenes.

A college town with a rising tech atmosphere
Ann Arbor, Michigan, home of the state’s university, is known across the country for strong academics and “The Big House,” the school’s epic football stadium. However, the town’s tech sector is also gaining plenty of notoriety. The Ann Arbor News reported that Washtenaw County, which comprises the college town, will create approximately 2,020 jobs in the tech sector by 2017. That figure marks almost 17 percent of all new jobs in the county.

The publication added that tech employment, which often require a certain level of educational progress, often lead to higher paying jobs. The media annual salary of a worker in the county is $41,740. However, an employee with a bachelor’s degree earns approximately $46,829 per year and a graduate degree results in about $72,207 per year.

Many tech workers believe that the school helps fuel the strength of the sector.

“We’re born and bred here,” Sally Lanier, the public relations manager for Duo Security, told the publication. “Our co-founders are U-M graduates who put their entrepreneurial training and skills behind Duo Security. We love the fantastic group of candidates we have available at our fingertips from the university. Ann Arbor is just a smart city filled with innovation, particularly in the technology sector.”

A growing tech hub in the South
Meet the Geeks, a tech networking group in Asheville, North Carolina, recently celebrated its 10th birthday, the Citizen-Times reported. Seeking a local gathering to celebrate not just the birthday, but also the small city’s tech scene, group co-founder Trevor Lohrbeer was pleased to find 400 to 500 tech companies in the region that he could invite. The news outlet added that Meet the Geeks has an email list of approximately 1,200 recipients.

If nothing else, the figures mark solid tech progress in Asheville.

“No, it’s not San Francisco or Boston,” Bradley Cain, board president of Meet the Geeks and vice president of ERC, an Asheville-based broadband provider, told the news outlet. “But we don’t need to be. We can recruit incredible individuals because we live in an incredible place – without the commute.”