It’s no wonder that Portland topped Forbes’ list of best places for businesses and careers across the nation. Since 2010, Portland has grown by over 60,000 residents, and it shows no signs of slowing down. Between rising household incomes and a low state unemployment rate (just 3.5%), the city is one of a kind. Aptly named the “Silicon Forest”, Portland’s renowned for its prevalence of tech jobs and corporations and some of the city’s largest employers are tech companies – Intel and Nike, just to name a couple. Here’s what IT professionals need to know about America’s newest tech hub.
As popular tech regions like the Bay Area price out startups and young creatives, innovators and investors are opting to move to Portland instead, making it a tech hotspot. Some of the most enterprising start-ups in the country call Portland home. Cozy, a property management solution for landlords juggling multiple tenants, has raised nearly $20 million since its inception in 2012. Simple, a user-friendly banking app that helps individuals meet their savings goals, was acquired for $117 million – and recently brought an Amazon executive on as CEO. Start-ups are flourishing in Portland’s unique tech landscape, allowing for opportunities that simply aren’t available in other regions of the country.
On top of the incredible job prospects that Portland has to offer, the city also has unparalleled networking opportunities for IT professionals. There are numerous groups in the Portland area that hold free events to bring the tech community together, such as Women Who Code Portland, AgilePDX, and NewTech PDX. These events range from expert speakers and discussion panels to bar meet-ups for local techies to network. The Technology Association of Oregon also coordinates a variety of “communities and labs” that allow like-minded IT pros a space to share ideas and build connections. With such a dense population of tech talent in one region, there’s bound to be a niche group for you.
Beyond meet-ups, Portland is the site for informative tech conferences, such as the Portland Technology Leadership Summit and Global Tech Jam. For those working remotely, there are a number of great co-working spaces throughout the city where you can connect with other tech minds. Whether you’re searching for a new role, interested in learning more about your craft, or hoping to make connections with more members of the tech community, Portland has countless networking avenues for exactly what you’re looking for.
Ranked as one of the top 10 best places to live by U.S. News, Portland is one of the most desirable regions in the country – and for good reason. The city is home to a high concentration of highly educated millennial workers, mostly thanks to the fact that there are 36 universities within 150 miles. Its large population of young professionals keeps the area youthful and refreshing, often ahead of the latest trends in the country. Local coffee houses, craft breweries, and food trucks have inspired similar cuisine across the nation, while making Portland a mecca for great food and drink. But, despite having over 600,000 residents, the Silicon Forest retains its small-town feel. The city boasts bike-friendly ordinances, multiple annual art fairs, and municipal golf courses that make the large metropolis feel like a tight-knit community. Additionally, within an hour of both the Pacific Coast and Cascade Mountains, Portland has something for every lover of the outdoors. Your free time can be spent taking an adventurous snowboard down Mt. Hood, a leisurely kayak through downtown, or visiting one of the fertile local vineyards.
1 out of every 10 Portland area employees works in the tech sector, and last year nearly $24.3 billion was pumped back into the city’s economy from the industry alone. The incredible Portland tech community has endless professional and personal growth opportunities for tech talent ready to take the next step in their IT careers. So, what are you waiting for?