America's fastest-growing tech cities aren't on the coasts

  • 1. Huntsville, Alabama

    A view of Big Spring Park in Huntsville, Alabama, during springtime. gatorinsc

    One-year tech job growth: 309 percent
    Median tech salary, early career (up to five years' experience): $59,500
    Median tech salary, mid-career (more than five years' experience): $96,400

    Located in northern Alabama, near the Tennessee border, Huntsville has been a tech center since the 1950s, when the U.S. Army put a group of scientists there to boost the country's space program. The presence of what became NASA has served as a constant draw for the area.

    It now has the third most technical workforce in the country, according to a Bloomberg analysis, with nearly 17 percent of the workforce in a science, technology, engineering or math job, abbreviated as STEM.

    "Compared to Silicon Valley, the edge in Huntsville lies in the comparison of the cost-of-living to the [typical] salary," said Barrera.

    The most listings, per ZipRecruiter, are for software engineers and systems engineers. Listings for tech support specialists, which are typically lower-paying, are also high.

    With the median early-career job paying $59,000 and median rent just $950 a month, it's easy to live comfortably in Huntsville.