North Carolina attracts some of the best app developers in the nation by offering competitive incentives.
App developers in North Carolina earn an average annual salary – $94,130 – that is higher than the national average as well as in most neighboring states. It also employs the 12th– highest amount of app developers – 21,190 – in the nation. According to numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), North Carolina added 6,410 professionals to its app developer workforce between 2010 and 2014. The Employment Security Commission of North Carolina projects that in the decade leading up to 2022, 660 app developer jobs will be created in the state, averaging out to an overall growth rate for these professionals of 21 percent.
Rural Northeastern North Carolina offers the highest average salary – $107,210 per year – of all non-metropolitan areas in the nation, while the Raleigh-Cary metropolitan area has the seventh-highest concentration of app developer jobs of all cities in the nation.
The significant growth rates of app developers and the app industry in the state as a whole has had important economic ramifications. The wireless industry trade group CTIA estimates that North Carolina’s app industry generates $415 million each year. Business and government leaders recognize that attracting talented app developers to North Carolina is a win-win situation. This reasoning underlies the state’s development of its internet infrastructure over the past decade.
Development of North Carolina’s Internet Infrastructure
Developing fast internet connections and expanding areas of coverage – especially in the realm of wireless networks – has been critical to the growth of smartphones, and subsequently apps, in North Carolina. In 2009 there were just 2.83 million residential internet connections in the state. At the start of 2014 that amount had ballooned to 7.03 million, according to reports released by the FCC.
This increase in total connections has also been paralleled by increasing internet speeds. In 2015 the FCC reported that over 70 percent of North Carolinians access the internet with a broadband connection. The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy calculates that up to 60 percent of rural North Carolina residents have access to broadband speeds of at least 25 Mbps.
Today residents of North Carolina have a choice of at least four wireless network providers, whose coverage extends throughout most areas of the state. The exceptions are pockets in the Great Smokey Mountains National Park and around the national wildlife refuges and nature reserves in the eastern coastal portion of the state.
These improvements in areas of coverage, speed, and connectivity have underwritten North Carolina’s present app industry. The most recent census figures show that one-quarter of all North Carolinians access the internet from a variety of locations, and the FCC estimates there are more than 5.15 million smartphones and other mobile wireless devices in circulation throughout the state.