Want a Good Tech Job? Look to the Silicon Prairie
The next high tech boom won't stamp a big footprint on consumer culture the way the Internet and smartphones did. The impact will be on infrastructure, the behind the scenes stuff we all use but never notice, some of which badly needs an upgrade and some of which has yet to be invented. Pipes, trucks, trains, and the electric grid will all need efficient data infrastructure utilizing AI and big data technology in order to service future needs.
The Midwest will need high tech companies to service the expansion of agriculture, energy, and transportation companies. Right now, smart entrepreneurs are setting up shop in the Silicon Prairie, an area more or less composing the small and medium-size cities along Interstate 29.
From Omaha to Fargo, the quiet business districts of once-struggling communities are seeing dilapidated structures brought back to life by an influx of high tech businesses. Along with these companies come even more pronounced local development - the craft beer restaurants, Starbucks, and art-house movie theaters bringing entire cities back from decades-long declines.
According to a Kaufman research study, almost 87% of first-time Iowa entrepreneurs started their business since 2015. Talent has been easy to attract to the Silicon Prairie with low housing costs, ease of commute, and the chance to participate in the next tech revolution being the main reasons employees cite for taking jobs that required relocating to the Midwest.
Des Moines is one of the Silicon Prairie's leading cities. Since as far back as 2012 it has been winning awards for its quality of life. In 2017, US News and World Report voted Des Moines one of the best places to live.
For a future in tech, the Midwest offers a chance to break new ground, in an environment with much less stress than the traditional centers of technology.