For companies seeking a professional to take charge of social media, it can be a huge challenge to find the right person to hire. There are few programs offering formal training in the field, and when new tools and best practices change so quickly, a traditional degree isn’t always the best indicator of ability.
One way to start your search is to look at a person’s current hometown. Some cities have developed reputations as centers that attract talent in the social media field. Pair that with some past experience and some proven skills on the resume, and you can safely bet that you’re looking at the real deal.
Here are seven cities that, based on their industry strengths and cultural base, have a high likelihood of turning out great social media talent.
1. San Francisco
What better place to find social media talent than the home of so many networks and tech companies focused on this field? Twitter and Pinterest have headquarters in the City by the Bay, not to mention countless startups coming up the social media ranks.
Game developer Zynga, the company behind Farmville and other lucrative free-to-play games, is one of the many businesses that have chosen to tap the amazing employee pool that San Francisco has to offer.
Not only is Chicago the home of Sprout Social, but it has a growing tech and startup community to foster social media talents.
The city has a great base of marketing and advertising agencies, and many of them, such as Social Katy, specialize in social media services. Those firms help make Chicago a great draw for social media talent.
3. San Jose
Just a few miles south of San Francisco is another major seat of Silicon Valley with tons of talent. The influx of tech companies and tech talent to be a part of the California boom since the 1990s has kept San Jose an attractive place for people with relevant skills.
Plus, with several large companies in the city, from Cisco Systems to IBM to Adobe Systems to eBay, you can bet there are more than a few people with social media savvy looking for opportunities.
4. New York City
In a city of more than 8 million, the odds are good that you can find somebody with whatever set of job skills and qualifications you want. Along with a huge population, New York City also has the distinct mantra of “If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere.”
It’s a city that thrives on excellence, and people who live there are usually ready to give their all to their careers.
Massachusetts’ capital has been dubbed ‘the next Silicon Valley’ at several points over the past few years, and it’s still a strong contender. Boston has many well-established industry hubs in education, health care, and finance, plus it’s still seeing booming growth in technology.
With so many top colleges and universities in the city, Boston sees a flood of intelligent, ambitious, and employable young people every spring at graduation time.
California isn’t the only West Coast center for social media. Further to the north, Seattle offers another haven for teach and social media jobs. It’s also the hip place that Microsoft and Amazon call home.
The combination of laid-back lifestyle and strong industry presence make it attractive for social media professionals and companies alike.
Every year, Austin draws many of the country’s best thinkers and creatives for South by Southwest, but the city is a hub of great talent year-round. It’s another center of a variety of industries, from music to technology.
The combination of fun culture, good job prospects and a low cost of living have made Austin a great alternative to professionals who don’t want the crazy pace or cost of life on the coastal cities.
What other cities have a great pool of social media talent? Let us know in the comments!