PrincePerelson & Associates

7 Reasons Salt Lake City Has Become a Technology Hub

What inspires a company to establish its headquarters in a specific location? While the answer is unique for every company, for most the answer boils down to, “Does the location make good business sense?”

Perhaps there is a large pool of highly qualified individuals in the area, or business tax laws are lenient. Maybe the economy is booming, or there is high customer demand for their product or service. The motivation will vary from one company to the next.

However, it has become clear over the past decade that Salt Lake City tops the list of great locations to live, work, and do business for many tech companies and IT professionals.

Let’s examine why Salt Lake City has become a hub for technology.

1. Rapid Growth

There is a well-established connection between population growth and job growth. Over the past decade, Utah has grown on both fronts. During the 11-year period between 2010 and 2021, the state of Utah saw a 20.3% increase in population. This number is even more astounding when compared with the population growth nationwide of 7.3%. Much of the rapid growth and expansion has been in the Salt Lake City area.

The state’s ability to support this growing population is indicative of a healthy, growing economy. Indeed, Utah has become home to many leading technology companies and startups in the last decade. These companies bring new job opportunities for those with skills, training, or experience in technology fields.

2. Silicon Slopes

A term mimicking the name given to Silicon Valley in California, it refers to a geographical area spanning Salt Lake and Utah counties that is home to many technology companies. Established leaders in their space, these organizations attract top technology talent. Silicon Slopes companies include household names such as Micron, Intel, Microsoft, and Adobe. Many smaller technology companies can boost their prospects of success by leveraging Utah’s established tech workforce.

Utah’s population is also younger than the population in many other areas of the country. 21% of residents are between the ages of 23 and 28. People in this age group grew up with technology and are well-versed in its applications. Additionally, more Utahns have formal training in a tech-related field, making Utah a great place for IT recruiting for new, growing, or established technology companies.

3. High Demand for Technology Professionals

In 2018, one out of every seven job postings in Utah were for positions in the technology sector. Driven by the establishment and growth of Silicon Slopes, as well as technology conferences in the Salt Lake City area, there are always opportunities to work for successful Salt Lake City companies.

According to Indeed, the positions in the highest demand are engineer and developer roles. While many of these positions require significant training and job experience, technical support positions are also plentiful and offer opportunities to gain skills and experience. Technical support positions can prepare individuals for jobs in engineering, software architecture, or DevOps.

4. Competitive Compensation

Do salaries for technology positions in Salt Lake City rival those offered in San Francisco? The short answer is no. However, comparing the two markets is a bit unbalanced. Salt Lake City’s cost of living is much lower than San Francisco’s. Thus, employees can live comfortably on a lower salary. The average salary for a technology position in Salt Lake City is $127,000, although more experienced positions pay more.

5. Business-Friendly Atmosphere

California is known for its beautiful weather, varied landscapes, diverse population, and, yes, high taxes. Unfortunately, this means that businesses in California will pay more as well. The tax burden on Utah businesses is much lower. With the lower salaries required to hire talented individuals and lower taxes, businesses come out ahead of the game by doing business in Utah. Business laws and regulations are more flexible in Utah as well, making it easier to operate a business in the Beehive State.

6. Great Place to Live

The move to remote work in 2020 allowed employees to relocate to more desirable locations, and overwhelmingly people moved away from busy cities to less populous areas of the country. They moved out of flats and apartments in favor of single-family homes with a fenced-in yard.

Although many employers are asking employees to work in the office, many employees still crave the open spaces and outdoor activities they grew to love outside the city. The varied landscape and weather in and around Salt Lake City provide a plethora of opportunities. Whether you love skiing, shopping, fine dining, rock climbing, off-roading, camping, or sightseeing in Utah’s five national parks, there is something for everyone.

7. Expected Job Growth

Between 2015 and 2020, technology employment in Salt Lake City was up 30%. While this growth may seem unsustainable, those familiar with Utah’s economy believe it will continue. A report compiled by CompTIA stated that they expect the technology workforce in Utah to increase 32% over the next decade–a rate that will exceed the available in-state workforce.

Salt Lake City’s Future in Tech

From humble beginnings, Salt Lake City has quickly risen to become one of the West’s leading technology centers. Home to several technology giants and many more startups, it is clear that technology growth and innovation will continue to fuel Utah’s strong economy. Despite the constant influx of graduates from top Utah universities into the workforce, the needs of Utah’s tech companies will require hiring skilled individuals from out-of-state. Salt Lake City IT recruiters can help Utah companies hire applicants nationwide with the right skills and experience to achieve your company’s long-term goals.