Austin, Texas (1/8)
More than 3,700 high-tech firms employ 91,000 people in Austin. The capital city of the Lone Star State draws its work force from the 122,000 students in the area. Higher education, especially the renowned research centers at the University of Texas at Austin, propel the high-tech sector.
Baltimore, Maryland (2/8)
Charm City is emerging from the shadow of Washington, D. C. with its formidable biotech sector. The city uses its strategic location to attract companies that need access to metros such as New York and Philadelphia. Lauded research centers at Johns Hopkins University keep the cluster's innovation fresh.
Huntsville, Alabama (3/8)
Huntsville's roots in aerospace and defense run so deep it's earned the moniker "Rocket City." Its tech landscape includes more than 300 defense and aerospace firms, and more than half of jobs in the area are within those industries. Now the city is expanding its high-tech cluster beyond its traditional sectors.
Orlando, Florida (4/8)
Disney's influence extends far beyond the eponymous amusement park. Orlando's Disney Entrepreneur Center helps innovators turn their visions into reality. Coupled with universities such as the University of Central Florida and a booming population - of which a third is between 18 and 44 years old - the city is poised to rapidly expand its high-tech cluster.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (5/8)
Pittsburgh is shaking off its Rust Belt identity and preparing for a high-tech future. The city is focusing on green technology, research and development, and investing in education. It's particularly competitive in robotics, and was dubbed "Roboburgh" by the Wall Street Journal. Even President Obama has lauded the city for its ability to transform in the midst of economic difficulty.
Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina (6/8)
Some of the nation's top research institutions anchor this region known as the Triangle - Duke University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and North Carolina State University. Research Triangle Park, one of the country's oldest and largest research parks, gave the Triangle its nickname when it was founded in 1959. Today it houses more than 170 companies that employ over 42,000 workers.
Next: San Antonio
San Antonio, Texas (7/8)
With its large military presence, San Antonio is quickly becoming a hub for cyber security research and operations. The U.S. Air Force selected the city for its new Cyber Command at the 24th Air Force. Universities and private entities are also joining in the high-tech investments.