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Ann Arbor’s software/IT sector continues to grow. More than 300 companies are working in nearly every aspect of software: Cloud computing, website development and hosting, network security, app development, bioinformatics, and more. Total employment is around 7000 in firms ranging in size from Thomson Reuter’s Professional and Software Services, with 1200 employees, to dozens of start-ups.
Downtown Ann Arbor anchors the area’s growing network security sector, anchored by Barracuda Networks and homegrown Duo Security.
Ann Arbor SPARK’s business incubators, located in downtown Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti, provide space for start-ups and out-of-state firms seeking an area presence.
Attractive campus style parks are locations for larger software firms. Google AdWords recently left downtown and relocated in an office park on the north side of town to accommodate its continued growth.
In 2015, the University of Michigan and Eastern Michigan University produced 550 grads in fields such as computer engineering, electrical engineering, and computer science and computer information systems.
The cost of living here, especially the cost of housing, is less expensive than the East and West coasts. Lease rates for Class A and B office space is lower as well.
Transportation from here to both coasts is easy: Detroit Metro Airport is about 30 miles from Ann Arbor, and offers many nonstop flights to cities around the US and the world.
Ann Arbor’s software community offers a wide variety of professional groups and networking opportunities: a2Geeks, Ann Arbor Computer Society, Michigan Python Users Group, CocoaHeads, and Girl DevelopIT are just a few examples.