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Where the Internet Jobs Are, 2008

Published: July 17, 2008

Author: David Rodnitzky

I get a lot of recruiters contacting me these days asking if I know of any good online marketing candidates. Of course I know a lot of awesome online marketers – the problem is, none of them are on the market. Such is the dilemma of SF-based companies – too many jobs to fill, not enough quality applicants.
This conundrum got me to thinking about Internet job opportunities. If I was giving a speech at a college graduation (not likely!), and I had to tell aspiring Internet workers what city to move to after graduation, where would I recommend?
Well, without further ado, here’s my list of the top ten places to get a job at an Internet company. Note that this is a list of jobs for English speakers – I specifically am not listing places like Bangalore, Shanghai, or Russia – that’s an entirely different list for another time.
10. London. Any Internet company that has been around for more than a few years quickly runs out of growth opportunities in the US. The next logical step is to open an office in Europe. London is a popular choice and you’ll find plenty of US Internet companies with satellite offices over there.
9. Tel Aviv. I know, I know, I said this was a list of English-speaking locations. Truth is, almost everyone in Israel speaks English, and there are plenty of Israeli companies that basically focus on English-speaking markets like the US.
8. Dublin. Because of aggressive tax breaks the Irish government gave to tech companies at the start of the millennium, Dublin has offices for the likes of Google and Yahoo and other big Internet juggernauts. I hear that real estate prices have gone through the roof as a result.
7. Utah. I’m not sure what they put in the water in Utah, but there seems to be a never-ending parade of great Internet companies coming out of Utah (Omniture, BackCountry.com, Enhance Interactive, etc).
6. Boston. FaceBook aside, the bright minds at Harvard and MIT seem to create a continual flow of Internet start-ups that operate in the Boston area. It also helps that Boston has a very strong venture capital community.
5. Los Angeles. LA has been the birthplace of companies like MySpace and Overture, but also has a lot of Internet jobs in the entertainment space (i.e., Disney Online and the like).
4. Austin. Austin has emerged as the Internet city of the south, and like Boston, has a ready supply of smart kids and local venture capitalists.
3. New York. “Silicon Alley” as they call it has a lot of Internet companies mainly because there’s just a lot of everything in NYC. I think if I was rating cities on the number of Internet jobs per capita, NYC would not make the top ten, but I’m not so what are you going to do?
2. Seattle. Amazon and Microsoft have spun out hundreds of interesting companies and cities like Bellevue and Kirkland are now overrun with aspiring dot commers (or as my Mom says, “dot commies”).
1. San Francisco/Silicon Valley. Though there aren’t rampant launch parties every hour of the day anymore (we call them “open houses” now), you can still throw a rock and manage to hit someone looking to hire for their Internet start-up (heck, I may be hiring soon myself). And now that Google has hired every Stanford graduate with a pulse, that leaves a lot of opportunity for those non-Cardinal out there looking for a break.
And just for fun – here’s a couple of cities that are noticeably absent from the list – attention city leaders – you should be ashamed of yourself!

  • Chicago – Beyond 37Signals and FeedBurner, what have you done for me lately?
  • Sydney – I know I am going to make my Aussie friends mad by saying this, but I’m surprised at the lack of Internet giants that have come from down under.
  • Washington DC – AOL started near here and since then not much else happened.
  • Miami – The leader when it comes to email spammers, but little else.

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