Utah has long been known as the home to both world-class skiing and the Mormon religion, but today it's gaining a rep for something else – its burgeoning tech scene. A recent mention in Buzzfeed and a piece in Adweek note the rising number of tech startups in Utah, including several in Salt Lake City, earning the state the nickname Silicon Slopes.
According to the Dice Report (a report on tech salaries by career hub Dice), Utah currently tops the list of Fastest-Growing States for Tech Jobs, and Salt Lake City ranked fifth on Livability's list of Top 10 Best Downtowns. Add to that its low cost of living, which earned the city honorable mention in the budget category, and it's easy to see why IT folks are making a beeline to the Beehive State.
"I really love the juxtaposition of the urban city downtown environment with the arts, amazing music and food, and all these unique personalities, be it tech or other industries, " says Sabrena Suite-Mangum, director of public relations at Neumont University in Salt Lake City.
Neumont University offers bachelor's degrees in computer science, information systems, software and game development, technology management, and web design and development. It recently launched Helio Training to meet the growing need for technology professionals. The program offers hands-on training in tech skills to individuals and corporations, as well as a 13-week web developer bootcamp.
"The blueprint for Helio comes from speaking directly to businesses, understanding what their needs are and the type of people they want to employ, the skillsets necessary to be successful in the workforce today, and then tailoring a curriculum to meet those needs," says Suite-Mangum.
Other resources for tech include the Utah Technology Council and the Women Tech Council, and Meetup groups like SLC Tech Startups and Ladies that UX.
For Suite-Mangum, there are a lot of reasons for those in tech and IT to want to call Salt Lake City home.
"In Salt Lake City, you have the backdrop of these amazing, majestic mountains that are just in your backyard," says Suite-Mangum. "I don’t know where else you can get that much urban and nature together. It's a recipe that attracts people not just for tourism, it's a place that they want to live and be, and settle down long term."