Best Places if You’re on a Budget
Raleigh gets a lot of love on "best places to live" lists, and for good reason. It has a moderate climate, lower-than-average cost of living, hundreds of miles of walking and biking trails, and easy access to both the beach and the mountains. It was recently rated the Best Big City in the Southeast by Money Magazine, and according to Forbes, Raleigh ranks second for both the Easiest City to Find a Job Right Now and American's Top Spots for Tech Jobs, with a 38.5 percent increase in technology-related jobs between 2010 and 2015. It also has one of the largest concentrations of game developers in the country, including those at Epic Games.
In addition to being an easy place to snag a tech job, Raleigh is great for IT folks who want to go their own way. In fact, Uncompany is dedicated to playing matchmaker for freelancers and the businesses that love them.
"Raleigh has a very strong networking community that supports entrepreneurship and tech," says Tim Rosenberg, co-founder of Quillor, a brand agency that helps small businesses and startups communicate their story on the web. He is also a community manager for Nest, one of several co-working spaces serving the freelance and entrepreneur community in Raleigh. Others include HQ, Industrious, and Loading Dock.
"These spaces help support local startups who need a low barrier to entry to bring their ideas to life, while still getting high-quality resources, business development, and networking to help grow their business," says Rosenberg. "Because Raleigh is large enough to provide these resources, it's a great place to start a business in the tech industry, and yet it's small enough to where it's accessible to develop relationships with different key players in the Raleigh entrepreneurship area."
Other resources Rosenberg recommends for those looking to connect with Raleigh's tech community include Verge, RTP 180°, and Creative Mornings.