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The Best Global Cities For Working In Tech

Source | FastCompany : By Lydia Dishman

Silicon Valley is known across the globe as the cradle of tech innovation. Currently, it’s home to startups and the establishment, from Apple and Google to Uber and Slack. More hopefuls beat a path to this locus in the hopes that thecluster effect will bolster their chances of success.

But analysts at Expert Market, a U.S.-based B2B marketplace, posit that Silicon Valley may not be the best place to live and work, even if your dream is to be in the tech industry. Turns out, they weren’t the only ones exploring alternatives.

“The world is full of people who aren’t realizing their potential, in large part because their cities don’t provide the opportunities and living conditions necessary for success,” wrote Adora Cheung, a partner at Y Combinator. In a blog post on the accelerator’s site, Cheung cites “untenable” housing prices in San Francisco, even for highly paid tech workers.

Apartment search startup RadPad mined its rental data and combined it with salary reports from Anthology’s tech jobs platform. They found that the current median price for a one-bedroom apartment within a half-mile radius of companies like Uber, Twitter, Google, and Airbnb in San Francisco is chewing up between 42% and 54% of software engineers’ salaries. The prevailing wisdom from the Census Bureau suggests that only 30% of income should be spent on housing in order for it to be considered affordable.

The analysts at Expert Market looked at the most recent ranking of cities in the global startup ecosystem as determined by Compass, a management reporting software company. Compass’s data was taken from polling 11,000 startups, investors, and other stakeholders.

Expert Market analysts pulled the top 20 global cities on the list and scored them according to eight factors:

  • Time to start business
  • Seed funding
  • Startup output
  • Average salary
  • Cost of living
  • Average rent
  • Paid vacation
  • Average commute

Scoring was on a scale from 1-20 (1 being best, 20 being worst) and all factors were weighted equally. Additional data was provided by World Bank and Numbeo’s cost of living index.
“Our idea was that often tech hubs are ranked based on purely economical factors, with people forgetting that you have to actually live in these cities,” Expert Market’s researcher Bobbi Brant tells Fast Company. “That is why we added in quality of life factors to find a more balanced ranking of the top 20 tech hubs.”

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