8 Reasons to Pursue a Tech Career in Chicago

March 4, 2015 By admin

From Alaska to Greenville, South Carolina, thriving tech hubs seem to be popping up everywhere. One may be blinded by the bridges Brooklyn and Bay, but there’s lots happening beyond the Silicon Alley and Valley. This is perhaps most true in a city whose tech renaissance is far from a surprise, but certainly does not get its due: Chicago. Uncubed comes to Chicago twice a year to see who’s making the undeniably brilliant professional and lifestyle decision to work in tech in the Windy City. Here are eight reasons why you should too.

You can truly make an instant impact.

Flickr image via Tech Cocktail

Flickr image via Tech Cocktail

An inherent appeal of a startup career anywhere is the notion of instant contribution – but few cities encourage hiring fresh talent like Chicago. Illinois Technology Association President Fred Hoch says tech recruits have more opportunities for hands-on problem solving in Chicago, instead of being buried at giant tech firms in more established scenes.

Chicago’s manufacturing the future.

Recent history hasn’t smiled upon factory towns, but Chicago’s manufacturing sector is making a decidedly tech-enhanced comeback. A digital manufacturing institute on Goose Island received over $300 million in federal, private, and other government funding last year.

Hungry? You can get in the Loop.

Flickr image via Bobbi Bowers

Flickr image via Bobbi Bowers

The West Loop, that is. The West Loop/Fulton Market area might be tops for a good sandwich or slice in a city where culinary fiends really can’t wrong.

It’s easy to believe you can fly.

The process of a cross-country trip can be discouraging. Thankfully, that doesn’t exist for Chicagoans. Playing host to the world’s busiest airport bodes well for travel opportunities as well.

It’s an architectural mecca. 

Flickr image via Bert Kaufmann

Flickr image via Bert Kaufmann

From Frank Gehry to Frank Lloyd Wright, world famous architects have long treated Chicago’s skyline as their own personal canvas. After all, you can’t look at your laptop screen all the time.

Community matters.

There’s a sense of “we’re all in this together” in Chicago, and incubators and co-working spaces like 1871 enable the kind of collaboration and guidance that’s sure to continue vaulting Chicago’s tech scene to the top.

Lake Michigan’s at your fingertips.

Flickr image via Monika Thorpe

Flickr image via Monika Thorpe

OK, there’s a bit of a seasonal limitation here. But when the mercury rises past the point of beanies and gloves, you can bet you’ll find scores of swimmers, snoozers, and even surfers at the lake.

You can keep your arm and leg.

Meaning rent won’t fleece you quite like it would in San Francisco and New York – if you live in either of those places, Chicago’s obscenely reasonable prices might make you a bit queasy.

If you’re in the job market and want to enjoy these benefits and more, head to Chicago Uncubed on April 10 and meet 30 of the city’s most innovative ( and hiring!) startups.

View the full lineup and purchase tickets here.


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