Swiss cities top ranking of best places to build tech careers


Bern and Zürich are the best cities in the world in which to pursue a tech career, based on data released this week by Scotland-based digital skills development organization CodeClan.

CodeClan’s study begins with the top 100 cities in the world based on Mercer’s Quality of Living rankings, and uses a combination of several weighted indices to determine their suitability for technology workers, including average salary, rent and broadband connection speed, as well as tech companies per capita.

Tech companies per capita a key metric

The results show the two Swiss cities atop the rankings, based mostly on the large numbers of tech companies per capita in each place, coupled with high available broadband speeds. US cities fill out the rest of the top 10, though only two of the country’s more traditional tech hubs—Seattle and Boston—made that particular cut. San Franciso ranked 36th, due in large part to its extremely high cost of living, and New York 68th, for similar reasons as San Francisco.

Meanwhile, the best US city in which to pursue a tech career, according to CodeClan, is Atlanta, which ranked third behind Zürich. A high concentration of tech companies, coupled with strong average broadband speeds, propelled it to third place, just ahead of Washington, D.C., in fourth. In respective order, Seattle, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Miami, Minneapolis and Boston rounded out the rest of the top 10.

Some patterns in the data are easy to see—Australian cities like Brisbane, Perth, Melbourne and Sydney were all heavily penalized for low average broadband speeds, while low salaries pushed Japanese cities like Osaka, Tokyo and Nagoya further down the list than their other scores might have indicated.

Broken out by categories, the data also show that CodeClan’s analysis used national data, rather than local, to rank internet speeds, as all cities in a given country were given identical figures. The rest of the categories, though, provide useful comparative data on cities around the world. The highest average salaries, for example, were found in San Francisco, at $108,096, while the largest number of tech companies per capita saw a statistical tie between Zürich and Atlanta, at 0.016.

Copyright © 2022 IDG Communications, Inc.

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