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British Airways Magazine

History, hospitality, natural beauty and a diverse economy are the foundations of this growing tech hub.

Quality of life has been the driving force behind Charleston’s tech and startup scene: people who cut their teeth in Silicon Valley and other major tech centres have come here in search of greener pastures. After all, it was Anthony Bakker’s decision in 1989 to move Blackbaud, the software company he founded, down from New York that first put Charleston on the map as a potential tech town. But the 40,000 students in its colleges and universities, its bustling port, and its robust healthcare and advanced manufacturing sectors are also reasons why it has grown in such a healthy and sustainable way.

Charleston is home to more than 300 tech companies, and its tech wages are twice the regional per-capita average. There are currently more than 9,250 IT jobs (an 80 percent increase over the past five years), and more than 20,500 jobs in science, technology, engineering, and maths. Every day, 28 people move to the area. It was ranked the number one mid-sized metro area for job growth in the US between 2010-2015. And it’s been ranked America’s number-one mid-size metro for Millennials, and for IT job growth. (Credit: Charleston Regional Development Alliance)