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How to Successfully Break Into the U.S. Tech Industry


The tech industry is a hot market for young graduates across the globe. Not only does the tech sector pay well and feature an innovative work culture, but it is also a fast-paced sector with a lot of development potential. From 2010 to 2020, computer-related occupations are expected to grow 22%, compared to the 14% projected growth of all other occupations.

The following infographic provided by InternMatch points out that:

  • On average, the number of jobs created by one-year-old tech startup firms combined is nearly one million, while ten-year-old firms generate roughly 300,000.
  • America’s fastest-growing tech companies are: Facebook, Apple and LinkedIn.
  • 60% of Internships at Tech companies lead to a permanent job, 40% of all hires come from employee referrals.
  • Participating in Hackathons is crucial in landing a scholarship, expanding network or even getting a full-time job.

Employment Prospects for Tech Graduates are Better in the U.S.

According to the KPMG 2013 Technology Industry Outlook Survey, the United States is likely to provide the highest percentage of employment growth over the next to two years. The U.S. at 61% remains the leading market for employment growth, followed by China at 49%. 

Austin, Texas’ job market is experiencing tremendous growth and it is ranked second in the nation for high-tech employment as it has more than 485,000 tech jobs, according to the TechAmerica Foudation. It is a major technology hub, with each of its major companies – Dell and IBM – employing more than 6,000 people.  The city has numerous resources for job seekers and working professionals, including the Bronze Pages guide, as well as a chapter of the American Society for Training & Development, which provides professionals with workshops, study groups and networking opportunities to help further their careers.

San Antonio, is another city which is seeing massive growth in the technology and energy industries. This is partially due to the area's major employers: Southwest Research Institute and Valero Energy.

The Hottest U.S. Cities for Tech Startups

The hottest U.S. cities for tech startups appear to Boulder CO, San Jose Sunnyvale, Santa Clara CA, Seattle, WA, Denver, CO and San Francisco, CA. Brad Feld, co-founder of the Boulder-based Foundry Group argues that "A thriving startup community that's creating jobs typically attracts vitality and cash to a region.  In the case of Boulder, a startup community whose evolution I've observed and participated in closely over the past many years, the cultural and economic transformation has been extraordinary”.

Top Universities That Grant STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Degrees

According to the Academic Ranking of World Universities, the leading US universities in the field of Engineering, Technology and Computer Sciences are:

  1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)                            
  2. Stanford University                
  3. University of California, Berkeley                     
  4. The University of Texas at Austin                     
  5. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign                  
  6. University of California, Santa Barbara                           
  7. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor                 
  8. Carnegie Mellon University                
  9. Georgia Institute of Technology                       
  10. Purdue University - West Lafayette

Pay in Tech Sector

Many of the universities above provide internships and work placements in renowned tech companies which in turn generously compensate interns. Among the top 20 tech companies that pay (average monthly salary) their interns the most according to Glassdoor are:

  1. VMW $6,536
  2. Facebook $6,056
  3. Microsoft $5,936
  4. LinkedIn $ 5,808
  5. Adobe $5,757
  6. Google $5,678
  7. Amazon $5,366
  8. NVIDIA $5,215
  9. Yahoo $5,191
  10. Apple $4,914

As for permanent jobs, dice.com reports that the highest salary jumps are anticipated to be in engineering, software development and programming, with nearly 8% increase in pay in those areas.

As the U.S. continues on its path of economic recovery, there are certain occupations that will be a driving force behind the strengthening of U.S.’s economy. The technological innovations, new products and discoveries that come from STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) occupations help fuel economic growth and keep the U.S. competitive in a global marketplace. These occupations, which have been a major focus in the past several years, will continue to remain center stage, with more than one in four employers (26 %) planning to create jobs in these areas over the next 12 months.

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