No. 1: Chicago, Illinois
In 2008, VAR Staffing's data showed that Chicago posted 25,294 IT jobs and increased it to 38,261 by 2012 for a whopping 51 percent increase, making the Windy City the top city for IT job growth. What's more, according to CareerBuilder, from 2010-2012, there were 5,028 IT job postings and 3,045 active candidates, meaning there were about 1.65 jobs for every active IT candidate. What accounts for this job growth? According to VAR Staffing, it's the increased need for IT security. "Security is a huge solution delivery [in Chicago]," Bier said. Between the surge in cloud adoption, increasing the need for storage, security and data center, and the rise of BYOD, you've got a perfect security storm. "The average person is going to access 3-4 devices," he said, which means "the more mobile the environment, the greater the need for security. If networks are compromised, they can be firm ending." And, at the heart of Chi-Town's financial district sits the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. "There's a strong support around [CME] in that community; all of the security and the venture capitals, they want to rely on VAR partners to do some of that [security] for them."