Columbus is the largest city (by population) in Ohio and is nearly triple the size of Cleveland, the second largest! It has also seen a remarkable population boom over the last 10 years, increasing by 15% from 2010 to 2021. Forbes celebrated other promising indicators of growth in the city such as its soaring housing market, downtown development activity, and per capita income growth rate.
Columbus is successfully transitioning from a rust belt manufacturing city into a midwestern tech hub by enticing skilled tech professionals, modernizing city infrastructure, and offering incentives to businesses.
For their commitment to developing “smart” infrastructure, Columbus was awarded the U.S. Department of Transportation’s first ever Smart Cities Challenge in 2015. The city won a $50 million grant, which city officials have put towards renewable energy, electric vehicle charging stations, self-driving transit, ‘smart’ street lights, public wifi, and modernized transit fare systems. You can read all about Smart Columbus’s continuing plans and successes on the Smart Columbus website.
Columbus’s commitment to modernization and technology makes it a desirable city for techies to flock to and also increases the demand for tech professionals with the skills to implement and plan these initiatives.
Large organizations that have chosen Columbus as a home base include L. Brands (the parent company of Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Bodyworks), Ohio State University, Big Lots, Quantum Health, Express Inc., and Harley-Davidson.
While some midwestern rust belt cities have struggled to keep pace with economic growth in the rest of the country, the overall job outlook in Columbus is good. Unemployment, at 5% as of March 2021, is lower than the average rate in the rest of the U.S. Wages for computer and tech professionals in Columbus are significantly higher than the average U.S. wage rate ($56,310 per year as of May 2020). Computer Programmers in Columbus make, on average, $92,700 a year, while Computer Systems Managers make, on average, $144,080!
At about 43 workers per 1,000, Computer & Mathematical workers in Columbus are the 11th-largest segment of the workforce, falling behind major sectors like healthcare and education, but beating out construction and engineering. Compared to the rest of the U.S., Columbus has a relatively high density of Computer Systems Analysts jobs – with a location quotient of 1.6 (where 1 is the average). Looking at specific roles, Software Application Developers rank as the second-fastest growing job in Columbus with job growth of 27% from 2014 to 2019. There are also significant populations of Software Quality Assurance Analysts, Computer Support Specialists, Network Administrators, Computer Programmers, Web Developers and Information Security Analysts in the city. Here’s how these roles stack up when it comes to employee earnings.
|Occupation||Average Yearly Salary in Columbus|
(as of May 2020)
|Computer Systems Manager||$144,080|
|Information Security Analyst||$93,740|
|Computer Systems Analyst||$91,890|
|Quality Assurance Analyst||$58,536|
|Computer Support Specialist||$55,930|