10 Best U.S. Cities Under 50,000 for MCSAs
The Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) certification is Microsoft's credential for entry-level administration positions. The certification was revamped in 2019, as part of Microsoft's move toward role-based certifications.
Now, depending on the role of the admin professional — and the version of software involved — there is a relevant MCSA badge. Currently there are MCSA certifications for business intelligence reporting and development, database administration and development, Windows administration, web applications, and Windows Server administration.
If you search for job openings that require MCSA certification, you'll see that there are opportunities in every state of the Union. It's no surprise that there are many job opportunities in major cities — especially in areas like Silicon Valley and around financial hubs, and in major defense sector centers.
These data are pulled from the interactive State of IT map, which shows every single IT job posting in the United States for the last year.
In keeping with our goal of looking at the roads less travelled and the cities less visited, we looked at MCSA job openings in cities with fewer than 50,000 people across the United States. Let's look at the 10 cities we picked, starting in the Northeast:
10. Kittery, Maine
Kittery is a small town of 7,700 people situated across the river from Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Kittery is the home of the U.S. Navy's Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.
Companies hiring MCSA-certified IT pros in Kittery and the surrounding area include the Service Credit Union and local IT technical services firms like GreenPages Technical Solutions, Pledge Technologies, and TQI Solutions. Our job analysis revealed 86 job openings for MCSA professionals, with an additional 56 in nearby Kittery Point.
9. Euclid, Ohio
From the Northeast, we'll move to the shores of Lake Erie to Euclid, Ohio. A city of 42,000 people, Euclid is home to the Softball Hall of Fame. Employers in the area looking for MCSA-credentialed professionals include process automation company RoviSys, the Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals healthcare systems, and Accellis, the managed services provider for legal and financial firms.
Our job research indicated that there were openings for 118 MCSA-certified professionals, with 159 openings for MCSEs. Nearby Cleveland, OH showed a further 4,477 MCSA slots and openings for 5,550 MCSEs.
8. Bonita, California
Our next stop is across the country in California. Bonita is a city of 18,000 people just south of San Diego. The nearby U.S. Naval Base San Diego has a significant impact on the local economy, with numerous IT services and consulting firms having offices to service the base.
Companies such as Booz Allen Hamilton, Resource Management Concepts, and General Dynamics are searching for MCSA-certified professionals in the Bonita area. Our job analysis uncovered 134 MCSA opportunities and 146 for the next-level MCSE certification.
7. Dania, Florida
Back across the country we go from sunny San Diego to Dania in equally sunny southeast Florida. Dania is a city of 31,000 people situated between Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood, Florida — and is adjacent to the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.
Companies in the area that are looking to hire MCSA-certified professionals include Spirit Airlines, payment processing and merchant services provider TouchSuite, artificial intelligence specialists Alion Science and Technology, and healthcare companies like vitaMedMD and Jackson Health System.
Our research identified 233 job opportunities that required a MCSA certification and a further 324 jobs for the expert-level MCSE certification. For further career development, nearby Fort Lauderdale offered 3600 MCSA job opportunities, while a little farther away, Miami had over 10,000 MCSA openings.
6. Hopkins, Minnesota
Now let's travel from the Southeast to the Midwest and to Hopkins, a small city of 43,000 situated south west of Minneapolis. Companies with job openings for MCSA professionals include major systems integration firms such as Deloitte, Accenture, and SAIC, as well as local organizations such as energy company Open Access Technology International, hospital furniture manufacturer Hill-Rom, medical device design firm Ximedica, and the Ridgeview Medical Center hospital.
Our job data indicated that there were 268 MCSA positions in the Hopkins area, with an additional 8,947 in nearby Minneapolis. For career development in the area, we identified 312 next-level MCSE job openings in Hopkins and over 14,000 in Minneapolis.
5. Madison, Illinois
We're staying in the Midwest, but we'll move nearly due south to Madison in Illinois. A city of nearly 5,000 people, Madison is located just across the Mississippi River from St. Louis.
There were 268 MCSA positions available in the Madison area, with a further 6,044 job openings next door in St. Louis. Area organizations with MCSA job openings include ARCO – the petroleum company, the local St. Clair county government, managed services provider Karpel Solutions, carpet cooperative CCA Global Partners, and Spire Inc., a the public utility holding company.
4. Dumfries, Virginia
From the Midwest, we'll return to the East Coast, this time to Virginia. Dumfries is a town of 14,000 people in northern Virginia, just up the road from the U.S. Marine Corps base at Quantico. Not surprisingly, the majority of MCSA job openings are for defense contractors and IT services companies that are supporting the base. Examples of such companies include General Dynamics, ManTech International, Raytheon, and Leidos.
Our job survey showed open positions for 387 MCSA-certified professionals, with 573 for the next-level MCSE.
3. Manitou Springs, Colorado
Next, we'll go back across the country to Manitou Springs in the Rocky Mountain State of Colorado. Manitou Springs is a city of 5,500 people that sits just west of Colorado Springs. The area is home not only to the US Air Force Academy, but also the Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station (Stargate Command for you Stargate SG-1 fans). Other military installations in the area include Peterson and Schriever Air Force Bases, as well as Fort Carson Army Base.
As with our last stop in Virginia, the IT employer pool in the Manitou Springs area is dominated by defense contractors such as Valdez International Corporation, Davidson Technologies, CDO Technologies, and Leidos. Manitou Springs featured 447 MCSA job openings, with 392 for MCSE-credentialed candidates. Neighboring Colorado Springs had over 6,700 MCSA jobs and nearly 6,500 positions for MCSEs.
2. Spring Lake, North Carolina
We really hope this is not too tiring, but we're back off to the East Coast. This time we're going to Spring Lake, North Carolina, a city of nearly 20,000 people, which is home to Pope Air Force Base, as well as to parts of Fort Bragg. Fort Bragg is reported to be the largest military installation in the world.
Potential MCSA employers are defense contractors such as Technical Solutions and Maintenance, General Dynamics, RLM Communications, and Semper Valens Solutions. Our job research revealed 556 job openings for MCSAs and 322 opportunities for the next-level MCSE.
1. Sierra Vista, Arizona
We'll conclude our list with another area that serves a U.S. military installation. This time we're in southern Arizona, 70 miles southeast of Tucson and 15 miles or so from the US-Mexico border. Sierra Vista is a city of 50,000 people that is home to the US Army's Fort Huachuca.
Sierra Vista had 1,267 openings for MCSA professionals, while neighboring Huachuca City, and the Fort itself added an additional 1,012 openings. The three locations also had over 2,200 MCSE job opportunities. Potential employers are familiar defense sector services firms such as General Dynamics, ManTech International Corporation, Quality Business Engineering, Link Solutions, and Archimedes Global.
We highlight just a few of the small cities across the U.S. that offer great job and career opportunities for Microsoft MCSA-certified professionals. There are hundreds more locations that are away from the well-known tech job hubs