Chicago, the city with a skyline like no other, is also home to some of the most exciting innovations in the tech industry. Tech companies are surging in from the west coast and the ones already established in Chicago are booming. Chicago’s centralized location makes it a hot spot because it is just as easy to access from the east coast (New York) as it is to access from the west coast (California). Therefore, it is a very popular city for the transportation and manufacturing industry to set up in. These various manufacturing companies team up with experts in Information Technology (IT), which leads to a strong presence of the IT industry in Chicago as well.
Why Set Up In Chicago?
The home of the deep-dish pizza is a hot stop for tech giants to set up shop in for several reasons. For starters, Chicago is home to some of the most talented and hardworking individuals. The vibrant city is home to several of the most prestigious universities and engineering programs throughout America. Chicago ranks second in the country for undergraduate-level computer science degrees. The city also ranks in the top three cities of America when discussing the growing pool of tech talent.
Recent efforts have focused heavily on keeping these talented new graduates at home and from venturing to the east or west coast after college. The mayor of Chicago launched a citywide strategy in 2013 which aimed to improve Chicago’s technology industry by attracting tech giants, improve the city’s STEM education, improving the IT infrastructure, and creating an ecosystem that encourages tech talent to stay in the city. The Midwest is home to individuals with some of the strongest work ethics that you will not find on either of the coasts. Tech powerhouses such as Uber and Google have recognized this and opened up locations in Chicago.
Attracting Tech Talent
Apart from the tech giants that started in the Windy City, we have seen a huge migration of tech companies migrate from either the west coast or east coast to Chicago for several reasons. The cost of living and property is significantly less expensive in the Midwest than it is in California. Individuals in the tech industry are able to work hard and play harder with more money in their pockets living in Windy city!
Also, Chicago’s Public Transportation System is very organized and convenient to use. Locals that do not have a car can easily get to work using the city’s well-structured L system. The city also offers tunnels, bridges, and spectacular views for individuals that prefer to walk to work instead.
Job opportunities in the IT field are also steadily increasing in Chicago. The influx of tech giants such as LinkedIn and Uber setting up base in Chicago will create thousands of job opportunities for recent grads. Chicago is home to several established tech powerhouses as well as start-up companies. This creates a wide range of opportunities (i.e. entry-level, expert level) for job seekers. Also, Chicago being home to many major tech companies means that employers have a lot of competition when considering salaries and benefits for employees. IT pros have a great incentive to migrate to the Midwest where they have a better chance of being interviewed at multiple companies so they can decide which one offers the best compensation and benefits.
For those that do like to play hard, Chicago offers a great work-life balance! Home to several Michelin-starred restaurants, exciting nightclubs, and a vibrant art scene; IT professionals will be very excited to explore the fun adventures Chicago has to offer if they decide to migrate to the city. Sports fanatics will also love this city as the Chicago Bulls and Cubs are two of the most famous sports teams in basketball and baseball history.
American Success Between the Coasts
The west coast plays a huge role in the strong presence of tech companies in Chicago. Companies from the Bay area have been setting up shop in Chicago since 2013. According to the Chicago Inno Business Journal, the Bay area has contributed to the windy city’s tech-related office space growing by 4 million square feet in 2018. The River North neighborhood in Chicago is home to some of the most prestigious tech giants. Unlike the famous Silicon Valley (where all the tech giants are in one neighborhood), Chicago has dispersed their tech companies throughout the large city. This offers Chicago the advantage of being able to diversify their communities so that wealth is distributed more evenly throughout the city.
Truly, the lively windy city has a lot to offer to IT professionals and tech giants. While east coasters and west coasters may consider the Midwest to be a region they should simply fly over, the city is home to some of the most incredible views and growing industries. As the largest city of the “Heartland”, Chicago is proud to represent the nickname and capture the heart of tech powerhouses and tech professionals around the nation.
Individuals or companies considering a move to a growing hub like Chicago should reach out to One America Works for more information.