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Education

Tech jobs in Columbus: Why Ohio is a great home for a tech career

With a low cost of living and a booming tech sector, Ohio's capital city is a great place to launch or advance your tech career.
Written by Genevieve Carlton, Contributor on

Home to the Scioto River, a bustling college football scene, and one of the top zoos in the country, Columbus also makes a great home for tech professionals. The Midwest's second-largest city reports a high number of job openings and a strong earning potential for tech careers.

A young, growing city, Columbus also ranks as one of the most affordable major cities in the country. A mix of startups plus established companies make for a strong tech job market. Our guide looks at the city's tech sector, average salaries, and the best ways to build a career in Columbus –– even if you're working remotely.

Columbus at a glance

How big is Columbus?

898,553 people live here

How young is Columbus?

19.4% of the population is in their 20s, while the median age is 32.4

Is Columbus a growing community?

Signs point to yes: The metropolitan statistical area added 13,439 new residents from July 2019-July 2020.

How much do people earn? 

The mean annual salary was $52,130 in 2019.

How does the cost of living compare to the rest of the United States? 

The COL is 10% lower than the national average.

Tech employment in Columbus

Ohio ranks among the top ten states with the most tech jobs. But what does the tech sector look like in Columbus? And how does it compare with the rest of the country?

Columbus's tech sector is booming. The number of tech jobs in Franklin County has shot up 38% in the past decade. That's because companies already established in the city have expanded their tech presence. New startups are also hiring tech professionals in the area. Columbus is home to the headquarters for corporations like Wendy's, Nationwide Insurance, and Abercrombie and Fitch.

Tech jobs in Columbus include software developers, web developers, and information security analysts. These professionals earn above-average wages –– according to CompTIA, Ohio tech professionals earn 77% more than the median national wage. 

Tech salaries in Columbus

Tech jobs tend to offer above-average salaries. But how do national tech salaries compare to salaries in Columbus? The following table breaks down the earning potential in different tech careers. 


Columbus annual mean wage (May 2019)National annual mean wage (May 2020)

Computer and information research scientists

$109,280

$130,890

Computer systems analysts

$90,840

$99,020

Computer network architects

$107,870

$119,230

Software developers, QA analysts, and testers

$97,580

$114,270

Computer programmers

$86,600

$95,640

Computer user support specialists

$55,680

$57,000

Building a tech career in Columbus

Columbus job-seekers benefit from a below-average unemployment rate. In November 2021, the national unemployment rate was 4.2%. The unemployment rate in Columbus during the same time period was 3.0%.

You can launch or advance your technology career in Columbus with a few simple steps. First, know your target career path and research companies hiring in that field. Second, network and connect with recruiters to learn about job openings. Finally, keep your resume and tech skills current so that you're ready to apply as soon as positions become available.

Remote work

The COVID-19 pandemic has made remote work more common in the tech field. That trend will likely continue. For example, information security analysts and web developers have a growing number of remote work opportunities.

Remote work helps people who are considering information technology careers in places like Columbus. Instead of relocating to an expensive city, tech professionals can work for major tech companies while benefiting from the lower cost of living in Columbus. 

Consider the cost of living in an expensive city like San Francisco. Columbus has a 50.3% lower cost of living than San Francisco. That means your paycheck goes twice as far. 

Conclusion

With over 122,000 tech job listings, Ohio is a great place for tech workers breaking into the industry or looking to advance their careers. And Columbus offers the perfect mix of career opportunities, affordability, and an urban environment. With both remote work opportunities and major companies based in the area, tech workers might just find their next career move in Columbus.

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