- Modesto, California has become a tech hub.
- "We've seen more and more tech companies move into the Sacramento region over the last 2-3 years,"
- This is not to say San Francisco won't continue to thrive.
Typically known for its farming and produce, the Central Valley of California is a wide open space that is now meeting the technology world. Cities like Modesto, Fresno and Stockton have seen a large increase in technology related jobs like IT, coding, computer programming and process analysis.
The Shift from the Bay Area
The Bay Area, home to technology giants like Facebook, Twitter and Google, is easily one of the most expensive places to live. Because the cost of living is so high, employers are expected to pay a premium for talent.
For this exact reason, many tech companies have been expanding into other areas of the state, like the Central Valley, to source new talent. If the talent is just as good in the Central Valley and demands a salary that is far less than that of Oakland or San Francisco, why not? Companies are poised to save money, while also helping talent and the local economy of areas traditionally known agricultural work.
What Is Fueling the Change?
While Covid-19 presented a number of problems for employers in the last year, it also presented a number of opportunities for people looking to expand their skillset or find a new career. And one of the most in-demand careers now is in information technology. Information technology (IT) encompasses a number of fields including computer programming, software engineering, website design, mobile app development and much more. These skills proved to be necessary in the last year as many businesses and state-run departments had to shift their operations online, quickly adopting new technology and requiring talent to remain successful.
Recognizing this shift, the instructors at Bay Valley Tech in Modesto began ramping up their operations to teach more students by offering extensive online programs. Bay Valley’s free coding program is a 7-month course taught by live instructors who work in the field of IT. The curriculum covers computer programming, software development and a variety of languages used in web development. Since transitioning the program to being fully online last year, the non-profit school has taught more than 100 students. And best of all, Bay Valley Tech works directly with employers in the Bay Area and beyond to provide them with the talent they need. Students find career opportunities and companies find talent with real-world experience.
Helping the Local Economy
Not only does a cohort of trained students help companies in San Francisco, Oakland and beyond, it also sheds new light on the local economies in the Central Valley. As more employers adopt the idea of hiring talent outside of the Bay Area, they will also begin moving offices into cities like Modesto. This has been the trend not only in the Central Valley, but also in Sacramento as well.
“We’ve seen more and more tech companies move into the Sacramento region over the last 2-3 years,” says Tom Bacon of Bacon Commercial Real Estate. “Companies in San Francisco know they can save by operating in Sacramento or even Stockton, and they are saving a lot of money by doing so.”
The shift of moving outside the Bay Area will likely continue into the Central Valley and up into Sacramento as long as schools like Bay Valley Tech can continue to produce the talent. This is not to say San Francisco won’t continue to thrive. But we’ll likely see a number of companies realize they can operate outside of Silicon Valley and for much less. Keep an eye on inner cities of Northern California to become the next tech hub(s) in the coming years.