Washington University, St. LouisEngineering

St. Louis: Top 5 metropolitan area in the country for IT start-up jobs


By: Allie Lockhart

A recent article published by CNN Money reports:

Everybody knows that, if you want your pick of interesting IT jobs, Silicon Valley is the place to look. Right? Well, no.

"Communities across the country are coming together to encourage startups, court big employers, and fund STEM education initiatives," notes Tom Silver, senior vice president of tech job site Dice.com. "So tech hubs are rapidly being redefined."

Tech openings have jumped 25% in the past year, and pay is rising, too. Average IT salaries are up 13% over the past year, to about $81,000. "St. Louis is becoming a startup town," says Silver. That's partly thanks to the St. Louis Technology Entrepreneur Network, which helps new companies write business plans, find mentors, get funding, and more.[1]

Co-founder of Square and St. Louis native, Jim McKelvey, heads the advisory board of Arch Grants, an organization seeking to establish a flourishing start-up culture and infrastructure in St. Louis. In 2012, Arch Grants awarded $750,000 in grants to 15 tech start-ups. The 15 companies were chosen from over 400 applicants worldwide, and are all relocating to St. Louis.[2]

Also a major factor in establishing St. Louis as a tech hub is the St. Louis IT Entrepreneur Network (ITEN). ITEN provides resources, programs, and events to help new companies find mentors, get funding, create business plans, and more. As of 2012, ITEN is involved in 230 companies and has almost 120 mentors. These companies raised $20 million from investors in 2012 alone and increased monthly revenue by about $1.4 million.[3]

Techies are a hot item on the job market right now, and Washington University graduates are being employed in St. Louis, doing IT work with companies like Boeing, Anheuser-Busch, KB Technologies, Riot Games, and more.

On May 20, 2013, columnist David Nicklaus of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch wrote, “St. Louis is starting to show up in statistics as a growth market” in the technology sector. “Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers confirm that in one key category, computer systems design, Missouri led the nation in percentage growth last year.” Nicklaus also wrote, “Then there is the anecdotal evidence. Boeing announced last week that it will develop a ‘center of excellence’ here for information technology, moving as many as 600 jobs here from Seattle.” [4]


1. Fisher, A. (2013). "100 fastest-growing companies, 2012: Fastest growing cities for tech jobs." CNN Money [Online]. Accessed April 2013 via the Web at: http://money.cnn.com/gallery/pf/jobs/2013/03/20/best-cities-tech-jobs.fortune/2.html

2. Arch Grants. (2013). Arch Grants Homepage. [Online]. Accessed April 2013 via the Web at archgrants.org

3. Information Technology Entrepreneur Network. (2009). Information Technology Entrepreneur Network Homepage. [Online]. Accessed April 2013 via the Web at itenstl.org

4. American Society for Engineering Education. 2013, (May). First Bell. ASEE Newsletter.


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Washington University in St. Louis School of Engineering & Applied Science, Department of Electrical & Systems Engineering

Green Hall, CB 1042, 1 Brookings Drive, Saint Louis, MO, USA 63130
Phone: (314) 935-5565, Fax: (314) 935-7500

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