Forget the ‘Motor City,’ Detroit is the new tech job haven

At first glance, Detroit and Silicon Valley could not be any more diametrically opposed. Detroit, a banner city of the blue-collar worker is best known as America’s automotive hub. Silicon Valley, on the other hand, has gained recent fame for being home to tech companies like Apple and Google and having a much more relaxed atmosphere. The one thing the two have in common might come as a surprise to many: a booming tech jobs market.

Indeed, the city known for its hard labor and automotive pedigree was recently named one of the best areas for tech jobs, which makes working with technology recruiters an important goal for many growing businesses in Greater Detroit.

First in several key categories
Automation Alley’s Technology Industry Report found the Greater Detroit region ranked first in a long list of important categories.

When benchmarked against the 14 other regions considered by the report, the southeastern Michigan hub of tech employment came out on top in the number of people working in architectural and engineering occupations, the number of advanced automotive industry establishments, total architectural and engineering industry employment and advanced auto sector employment.

Compared to its fellow Midwestern regions – including Chicago, Grand Rapids and St. Louis – Detroit came out first in share of tech industry employment, total advanced auto employment and overall architectural and engineering employment.

Detroit also made great strides in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education, placing third in the total number of STEM degrees completed at state institutions behind Chicago and Boston.

Automation Alley, based in Troy, Michigan, said a confluence of factors makes Detroit an immensely attractive locality for tech firms and engineering recruiters.

“The entrepreneurial spirit in our region is thriving,” said Ken Rogers, Automation Alley executive director. “Our colleges and universities are training the high-tech workforce of tomorrow. Our companies are innovating the technologies that will define the future. And our reputation as a place of opportunity, excellence and innovation is attracting talent and investment from around the world.”

Despite the progress Detroit has made in tech employment, Chicago recruiters and Windy City businesses can still take solace in knowing the metro Chicago area placed first in STEM degree completion, utility patents issued and Midwest total tech employment numbers.

Some of the other regions included in the study were Boston, San Jose, Minneapolis, Pittsburgh, Atlanta and Cincinnati.