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Two Colorado cities ranked as 'resilient' tech hubs

Robert Davis | The Center Square contributor

(The Center Square) – Colorado has two of the most resilient tech hubs in the country, according to recent research by LinkedIn.

The report by LinkedIn’s Economic Graph team found that Colorado Springs and Denver are two of the country’s top-10 most resilient tech hubs. Colorado Springs ranked second overall while Denver came in 10th.

The rankings reflect metro areas with at least 20,000 LinkedIn members who have identifiable tech-related job experience, according to LinkedIn, which included more than 3,000 relevant skills ranging from machine learning to aircraft design in their criteria as well.

Colorado Springs has slowly been turning into a cybersecurity hub, according to the Smart Cities Council. The city’s website says the industry employs approximately 3,000 people in the city. There are approximately 125 cybersecurity employers in the Pikes Peak region as well. 

Utah-based cybersecurity firm Ivanti recently announced that it is expanding its operations to Colorado Springs. The company plans to add another 50 to 75 industry jobs to the area.

At the same time, the city is home to the U.S. Air Force Academy and one of four University of Colorado campuses.

The report suggested that Denver's high cost of living compared to neighboring Colorado Springs could play a factor.

The report added that small metro areas across the country showed “surprising resilience.” One reason for the resilience is the number of tech workers fleeing traditional hubs like New York and San Francisco for cheaper places to live.

These metros are considered “resilient” if they showed year-over-year growth in their technical talent pools between December 2019 and March 2021.

For example, the tech talent pool in top-ranking Madison, Wisconsin grew by 4.6% while Denver’s talent pool broke even.

Another reason for the resiliency is that many of the metros on the list are bolstered by local universities with strong engineering programs.

Madison is home to the University of Wisconsin, whose engineering school boasts over 6,000 students. Roughly 1,500 of these students complete their degrees and enter the workforce full-time, the report found.