Where to Look For IT Jobs in the United States
Where to Look For IT Jobs in the United States
| career | job search - Ross Heintzkill

Where to Look For IT Jobs in the United States

Editor's Note: The data in this post was aggregated from active job postings on major U.S. job sites and represents February 2019 to February 2020. Explore every single IT job in the United States on our interactive map, State of IT Certs. The map is updated weekly. 

The IT job market is arguably the hottest in the nation. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the IT job field is booming. The BLS reports that employment in information technology positions will likely grow 12% during the next decade. That's significantly more than the anticipated growth rate for all other career fields.

State of IT Certs Map

We've accumulated an enormous amount of data about IT jobs all throughout the country. With our added level of detail and context, we agree with the BLS findings. In addition to pulling details from job postings from all the major hiring sites, we've also scoured descriptions of existing jobs on professional networking sites.

While the data in this article represents a one-year snapshot, the State of IT Certs map is updated weekly.

With all that data, we've gotten a clear picture of all the available and existing jobs in the IT industry in every state – down to the ZIP code. The bottom line? IT jobs are on the rise. In nearly every single city and state, IT jobs are waiting for IT professionals to come and find them.

The Findings: A High-Level View

For new, aspiring or experienced IT professionals, there's never been a better time to play the field and shop around for the best job. Not only that, but depending on what job you hold or what you're eligible for, you can basically choose where you'd like to live.

But the demand for IT jobs isn't uniform throughout the country, and sometimes the demand for a specific position changes from state to state. In some states a job might have thousands of available positions, while the next state over might barely have a handful.

Take, for example, tech support specialists. In Nevada and Massachusetts, tech support specialist is a hot job. The position makes it on both states' lists of Top 5 IT jobs, and taken together there are well over 4,500 jobs that make reference to "tech support specialist" – that includes not just job postings but existing job descriptions. Meanwhile in Texas, Connecticut and Washington, tech support specialist is listed as job No. 20 on their list of Top 20 IT jobs – there are barely 3,000 jobs in the three states combined.

And not only do different states need different IT jobs, but the sheer volume of IT jobs varies a lot by state. Network engineer, for example, is Idaho's top IT job, but there are only 370 postings throughout the state. Meanwhile in Michigan, network engineer is the No. 9 IT job, but there are over 1,600 positions for it across the more populous state.

What we've done is gone through all that data, and figured out the country's Top 5 IT jobs. Then we figured out in which states they're most in-demand, and also in which states there are the most jobs. Then we worked out where in each of those states to find those jobs. And without further ado, the Top 5 IT jobs in the country based on demand and available jobs are:

  • Network engineer
  • Systems engineer
  • Data analyst
  • Systems administrator
  • Software engineer

Maybe one of those jobs sounds interesting to you, or maybe you're already working in the industry in one of those positions. Knowing how in-demand your skills are can be helpful to make decisions about where to take your career. So we've got everything you need to know about where to find those top 5 IT jobs.

5. Software Engineer

If you're a developer with experience creating custom programmatic solutions for end-users or you're capable of coding a business' internal computer network for complex interoperability, you're in luck: software engineer comes in at No. 5 on our list of Top 5 IT jobs across the country.

Whether focused on applications software or systems software, more and more software engineers are needed to keep companies' work moving in the digital age, and they're needed all over the country.

Our data suggests that there are more than 90,000 jobs for software engineers all across the country. From California to Pennsylvania to Texas, there's huge demand for software engineers at every corner of the country.

Which States Are the Best for Software Engineers?

Based on the sheer number of jobs, as well as the demand for other jobs in each state, software engineer is the No. 3 IT job in Oregon, Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Nebraska, and Alaska. Pennsylvania has over 8,000 jobs listed for software engineers and Ohio has over 3,000 – meanwhile the other four each have about 1,500 job postings for software engineers.

In Minnesota, software engineer is the No. 2 IT job. But it's in South Dakota where software engineer is the #1 IT job. Despite being neighbors, these two states are very different demographically. Both are very large states in square footage, but Minnesota has a state-wide population of over 5.5 million, and South Dakota doesn't even scrape 1 million. Despite that, South Dakota still supports 500 software engineer positions, and Minnesota has listings and descriptions of at least 3,000 software engineers.

If the Midwest is along the lines of what you're looking for, most of the IT jobs in Minnesota are clustered in the southern and eastern part of the state, near the border with Wisconsin. If you're a software engineer and you'd like to live in Minnesota, a huge number of the state's IT jobs reside in its biggest cities: Minneapolis and St. Paul (referred to together as "The Twin Cities"). The Twin Cities are among the biggest cities in the entire Midwest, and tech jobs are highly available in the cities themselves, as well as their suburbs, cities like Minnetonka, Hopkins, Eden Prairie, Zumbrota and Owatonna.

In addition to Minneapolis and St. Paul, Rochester and St. Cloud are the other cities in Minnesota that have many, many IT jobs where a software engineer would fit. Rochester is near the southeast corner of the state, while St. Cloud is closer to the center of the state. The far northern reaches of the state are sparsely populated, and don't have many hubs of high-concentration IT jobs like Minneapolis, St. Paul, Rochester and St. Cloud.

Over in South Dakota, Sioux Falls and Rapid City have the highest concentration of IT jobs. And it's the density of IT jobs in those areas that make software engineers highly valued in the state. While there are opportunities outside of those cities, they tend to be few and far between. The state of South Dakota isn't exactly known for being densely populated, and the IT jobs are fairly limited outside of the two interstates that bisect the state: I-90 and I-29.

Which States Have the Most Software Engineer Jobs?

Software engineer might be the No. 3 IT job in Pennsylvania, but there are also 8,000 listings for it in that state alone. If you're a software engineer and you wouldn't mind living in Pennsylvania, you should start your search in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh – where roughly half the state's IT jobs are concentrated.

In addition to the suburbs of those two large cities, cities throughout the state like Erie, Levittown, Harrisburg and Reading all have high enough IT job numbers to support lots of software engineers.

4. Systems Administrator

It should come as a small surprise to anyone who works in the IT field that systems administrator is near the top of any state's top IT jobs. Sysadmins are ubiquitous in most companies, and certainly all across the country their skills are in demand. Systems administrator comes in at No. 4 on our list of Top 5 IT jobs in the country because of how many positions are available in so many different states.

According to our data, there are over 115,000 positions nationwide for IT professionals who are trained and experienced in installing and maintaining servers and computer systems. Different organizations will need different things from their systems administrators, but generally speaking the core responsibilities needed throughout the country remain the same: user administration, monitoring system performance and troubleshooting common connectivity and traffic problems.

Which States are the Best for Sysadmins?

Many states list systems administrator in their top 3 IT jobs, and if you're looking to move to where demand is high, you've got a great number of places to choose from. In Virginia, Florida, Nevada, Maryland, Vermont and Hawaii, systems administrator is the No. 3 IT job based on demand and available positions. In Nebraska, New Mexico and Washington, D.C., it's the No. 2 IT job. But it's in Colorado that systems administrator is the top IT job.

Nebraska is a huge state with relatively few people in it, and most cities where systems administrators will find jobs are along Interstate-80 that runs directly through the state, west-east. Omaha and Lincoln are the best bets, as well as Omaha's suburbs like Bellevue and Papillion.

In New Mexico there are a few more options, as it has a slightly more spread-out populace. Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Las Cruces and – excitingly – Roswell are the IT job hubs of the state, and where a sysadmin should look.

Meanwhile, in Colorado, there are about 7,000 systems administrator positions, and you'll want to start looking for them in Denver and Colorado Springs. The overwhelming majority of the state's systems administrator jobs will be found in those two cities alone. Denver's suburbs like Littleton and Aurora have a lot of jobs too, as do the suburbs of Colorado Springs like Manitou Springs and Fort Carson.

Which States Have the Most Systems Administrator Jobs?

If you're looking for where there the sheer number of systems administrator jobs is highest, Virginia and New York top the list at 16,000 and 12,000 sysadmin jobs respectively.

With 16,700 job descriptions and posts that a sysadmin is eligible for, if you're looking for work in Virginia, a systems administrator's best bet is to start in the northernmost tip of the state: Arlington, Alexandria and Fort Meyer have the lion's share of IT-related jobs in the state.

The northern part of Virginia is a hub for all sorts of business activity, being so close to the nation's capital and other major cities, and systems administrators would have no problem finding work in what's often called the "NCR" or National Capital Region. Across the river from Virginia, Washington D.C. is a relatively small area to search for systems administrator jobs within, but by our count over 9,000 positions are available there.

3. Data Analyst

Data is king in the business world. Now more than ever, companies need to get access to enormous amounts of data, convert it into meaningful analysis, and then find ways to act on it. Data analysts are the people in a business who are the most involved at each of the various steps of that process.

Some data analysts focus on the collection of important data about a company – like figuring out how much it costs to staff a work shift and how much money can be made during it. Other data analysts might work on analyzing the data – like interpreting what costs can be reduced, or what makes a shift most efficient. Still, other data analysts work on converting numbers into action – like recommending how many new shifts should get opened up, or how many new employees should get hired.

The skills that data analysts need to be successful are evolving and expanding regularly. Because so much of what a data analyst does can be based on diverse inputs and very different data sources, more and more data analysts are getting pulled from professionals with an IT background. Some are coders and developers, and others are computer engineers or systems administrators.

Our data indicates that over 175,000 positions throughout the country are currently held by or waiting for data analysts. Every state has a need for data analysts, and with rare exception, they're some of the most in-demand IT jobs in every state.

Which States are the Best for Data Analysts?

A review of the data about data analyst positions throughout the country can be surprising: 15 states have data analyst as the No. 2 IT job in the state! And for six states it's the top job. If you're a data analyst, you'll find your skills in demand and second only to few other IT professionals in Rhode Island (where there are 500 positions), Oklahoma (1,000), Kansas (1,200), Utah (1,200), Oregon (1,700), Wisconsin (1,900), Indiana (2,000), Tennessee (2,100), Michigan (2,900), North Carolina (3,200), Georgia (3,800), Washington (4,000), New Jersey (10,600), California (24,000) and New York (28,700).

But it's in Vermont (with 300 data analyst positions), Maine (370), Connecticut (2,200), Illinois (8,700) Pennsylvania (9,600), and Massachusetts (12,600) where data analysts are looked for above all other IT professionals.

In Illinois, the overwhelming majority of all IT jobs in the entire state are located in one spot: Chicago and its suburbs. If you're a data analyst looking for jobs in Illinois, look in the metropolitan area as well as all its suburbs like Waukegan, Schaumburg and Glen Ellyn. We already mentioned above where many of Pennsylvania's IT jobs are centralized: Pittsburgh, Mechanicsville and Philadelphia.

In Massachusetts, the huge majority of the 12,600 data analyst positions in the state are in the eastern part of the city. Boston, its suburbs and the many outlying cities around them have the huge majority of all the IT jobs in the state. Worcester and Springfield have some IT jobs, but if you're an IT professional looking for a job in Massachusetts—especially a data analyst—Boston, Brookline, Brighton, Cambridge, and Somerville are where to start your search.

Which States Have the Most Data Analyst Jobs?

For the places with the most data analyst jobs by volume, look to Texas (where there are 10,300 data analyst positions), New Jersey (10,600), Massachusetts (12,600), California (24,000) and New York state (28,700).

The cities in New Jersey for a data analyst to start in would be the eastern cluster of cities near and around Jersey City and Hoboken. Newark, Weehawken and Union City are all pressed tight next to each other up there and it's where the state's IT jobs are concentrated, too. Camden has several hundred worth checking too, but it's quite a distance away from the cluster of New Jersey and New York IT jobs.

Speaking of New York, it shouldn't surprise anyone that New York City, Brooklyn and Long Island City all top the list of where to find data analyst positions in the state, as well as Astoria and the Bronx. But Rochester, Buffalo, Albany and Syracuse also have a huge number of IT positions.

Texas is a huge state, and if you're looking for a job as a data analyst there, you've got a lot of distance to cover, because all the major cities in the state have thousands of positions listed. Dallas, Houston, Austin, San Antonio, Fort Worth and Plano top the chart of cities in Texas with positions a data analyst would be qualified for.

In California, too, a data analyst looking for positions in the state could cover a lot of ground. There are positions available all up and down the state. From the far northern reaches of Northern California, down to the southern border, California's 24,000 IT jobs are spread out across the huge state. San Jose, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Santa Clara, San Diego, Irvine, Oakland and Sacramento have jobs for data analysts numbering in the thousands.

2. Systems Engineer

Based on how many jobs are available for systems engineers throughout the country, and how diversified that demand is, systems engineer is No. 2 on our list of Top 5 IT jobs in the country. It's no wonder that systems engineers are the second most in-demand IT job: it's a rare business that doesn't make use of complex computer systems.

For companies that rely on digital interactions to turn a profit, men and women who can optimize that traffic flow, identify bottlenecks, and come up with solutions for them while ensuring the highest levels of system availability are extremely valuable. Our data suggests that over 200,000 positions exist nationwide for systems engineers — and there's no reason to think that number won't keep climbing.

Many times, a systems engineer is well-versed and experienced with a wide assortment of operating systems, computer programs, programming languages and automation software. Because so many different operations for a company happen in independent environments, the most valuable assets to a company are often those IT professionals who know how to switch effortlessly between manipulating UNIX, Windows, Apache, and Python.

Where Are the Systems Engineer Jobs?

There are so many states where systems engineer is the No. 1 job that as we list them out, we'll describe them differently than we have until now.

Rather than separate the states that rank systems engineer as a top IT job from the states with the most positions available for systems engineers, here's a simple list of the top states and cities where systems engineer is the top IT job:

New Hampshire has over 630 positions available for systems engineers — and Manchester and Nashua are the state's two top cities for systems engineers to look.

Nevada's 900 systems engineer positions are overwhelmingly located in Las Vegas, but some can be found in Reno as well.

Utah has 1,400 systems engineer positions listed as available or currently being held, and if you're interested in finding them, Salt Lake City is where your search should start — the number of IT jobs drops off sharply outside of Salt Lake City.

Nebraska's 1,600 systems engineer jobs are found almost exclusively in two cities: Omaha and Lincoln. Systems engineer is the No. 1 IT job in the state, but the need for the position is not distributed around the state.

Wisconsin has 2,000 positions posted for systems engineers, and the demand for them is fairly evenly spread across Milwaukee and Madison, although Appleton has a good number as well.

Kansas also has about 2,000 systems engineer positions posted throughout the state. Kansas systems engineers should look to Kansas City, Overland Park and Wichita, but even cities like Leawood, Shawnee, Lenexa and Mission have many openings.

Arizona's 2,600 positions for systems engineers are spread out through the state quite a lot. Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tucson and Mesa are all competitive for the largest share of positions, and Tempe and Sierra Vista both could be attractive for a system engineer too.

North Carolina lists systems engineer in 3,200 positions of available and current job descriptions. There are only two cities in North Carolina with a large number of those listings, and that's Charlotte and Raleigh.

Minnesota's 3,500 systems engineer positions aren't very spread out throughout that state. Minneapolis has the huge share of the jobs, and Saint Paul comes in at a distant second, meaning the overwhelming majority of systems engineer positions are in the Twin Cities.

Missouri has 4,100 postings and descriptions for systems engineers, and they're almost exclusively in Saint Louis and Kansas City. Systems engineers looking outside of those two cities may struggle to find many opportunities.

Alabama also comes in at just nearly 4,100, and it also has a limited number of cities systems engineers will want to check: Huntsville, Birmingham and Montgomery.

Michigan's 4,500 systems engineer spots are in Detroit and Grand Rapids mostly. Lansing, Southfield and Ann Arbor are competitive, but one way or another, systems engineers will most easily find work in Michigan in the lower peninsula.

Washington state has 5,000 positions for a systems engineer, and they're spread out throughout the state decently well. If you're looking in Washington, Seattle, Tacoma, Bellevue, Spokane, and Vancouver all have hundreds of positions to look into.

Florida has 7,400 positions that are also spread out from one end of the peninsula to the other. Tampa has the state's majority of positions for a systems engineer, but Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando's and Jacksonville's shares of jobs number in the thousands.

Texas leaves most every other state far behind with 15,000 positions. Like we've mentioned above, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Austin and Fort Worth hold the huge majority of jobs — but it's a big, big state and there are many places to find systems engineer positions throughout the state.

Maryland leads the states who have systems engineer as the top IT job with 20,100 systems engineer spots, and despite it not being a very large state, the positions are spread out across Baltimore, Silver Spring, Hyattsville, Bethesda and Laurel.

1. Network Engineer

Network engineer tops our list of top IT jobs in the country, because what business doesn't need support for their voice, data, video and wireless network services? Network engineers aren't just capable of working in those realms, though – the most valuable network engineers are the ones who can get a top-level picture of everything a section or company will need from its network, and then plan and coordinate the entire network.

At smaller companies, network engineers may do maintenance and optimization. But at large, complex companies, network engineers have executive authority in the planning and design of digital network management. As more hardware components become digitized, anticipating how to incorporate technical needs with hardware and software availability is an increasingly valuable skill set.

In our national audit of IT jobs, we found 230,000 jobs for network engineers. In every state, in every major city, network engineers are in high demand. In the majority of states, network engineer is in the top 3 of most in-demand IT jobs.

Which States Have the Most Network Engineer Jobs?

Like systems engineers, network engineer is a top job in a lot of states, but what pushes it to the top position on our list of top 5 IT jobs in the country is the sheer volume of jobs that are available for network engineers.

It's in Idaho (where there are 370 network engineer positions), Hawaii (700), South Carolina (1,500), Oregon (1,700), Kentucky (2,000) Tennessee (2,200), Indiana (2,400), Georgia (4,900), Ohio (7,200), New Jersey (12,100), Washington, D.C. (14,900), Virginia (27,100) and New York (30,600) that network engineer is the top IT job in the state — looked for more than any other IT professional.

Those top three states deserve extra attention. Each of them have been described at previous points on this list, and for the most part our analysis indicates that the clustering of network engineer jobs is in line with the other positions.

What our job data shows is that IT jobs tend to cluster. In other words, it's rare to find a city or area where there's a large number of one IT job, but not others. Generally speaking, when there are many positions for one IT job, there are many postings for most other IT positions.

This is especially true for a position like network engineer. A network engineer represents a senior IT professional with experience in a number of different aspects of the job. Few companies would need a network engineer who didn't also need many other IT professionals in an array of responsibilities.

In California, a network engineer would have the length of the state to look for jobs in — and would have 24,700 positions to look through. San Jose leads the state in network engineer positions and is located in the center of the state. Los Angeles in southern California is also highly attractive for network engineers. San Francisco and Santa Clara are much farther north in the state, and San Diego abuts Baja California, Mexico. All have huge numbers of positions for network engineers.

Virginia boasts 27,000 positions that a network engineer would qualify for. Unlike California, these are much more concentrated in one section of the state. Alexandria and Arlington have the huge majority of network engineer positions in the state, and looking further west or south wouldn't be nearly as fruitful for a network engineer.

Last is New York state. As we mentioned before, the island of Manhattan and cities that are near it have a huge number of the state's IT jobs, and that remains true for network engineers. New York, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Astoria and Long Island City are all at the top of the state for network engineer positions. But Rochester, Buffalo and Albany are also near the top of that list, for those who want to be further away from the Big Apple.

Find Your Dream IT Job

IT jobs are highly available for those who are willing to look for them. The growth potential of the entire industry is staggering, and by knowing where the jobs are most densely populated as well as in which states they're most in-demand, IT professionals can make good decisions about where to take their careers.

Our interactive map of IT jobs throughout the country is called State of IT Jobs. If you're interested in seeing our data, visualized, you can navigate job densities as well as where certifications are looked for throughout the country. For IT professionals looking to advance their degree, it can serve as an invaluable tool.

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