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Digital Leaders: top cities for digital education and careers

A new ranking explores which cities have the highest concentration of top universities in digital and tech education 

April 13 2021
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When it comes to thriving tech sectors, certain cities and locations spring to mind: London, San Francisco and Tokyo, maybe. 

However, have you considered Mumbai or Frankfurt or the US state of North Carolina? According to a new series of Digital Leader rankings, these are among the top locations for a digital education. 

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The rankings, put together by French consultancy Emerging and published exclusively by Times Higher Education, allow students to explore which universities have a good reputation in providing a digital education and encouraging tech skills and entrepreneurship. 

The ranking was put together from data collected from two surveys conducted in the past year. Among the 3,400 participants were corporate executives, start-up executives and young digital professionals. Participants were asked to vote for up to 10 institutions, from a base of 1,000 universities, that they believed excelled across six digital and tech categories. Additional data was provided by Crunchbase. The full methodology can be found here. 

Top cities for a digital education

These are the hubs with the highest number of universities in the main Digital Leaders ranking. Alongside the expected digital hot spots in the US and the UK, four cities in India make it the joint most represented country alongside the US. 

Rank Hub
1 New York City, New York, United States
2 Greater Boston Area, Massachusetts, United States
3 Los Angeles, California, United States
4 London, United Kingdom
5 Paris, France
6 San Francisco Bay Area, California, United States
7 Greater Chicago Area, Illinois, United States
8 Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
9 Madrid, Spain
10 Greater Atlanta Area, Georgia, United States
11 Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
12 Washington D.C, United States
13 Greater San Diego Area, California, United States
14 Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
=15 Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
=15 Greater Miami Area, Florida, United States
17 Seoul, South Korea
18 Singapore
19 Greater Seattle Area, Washington, United States
20 Frankfurt, Germany
21 Tokyo, Japan
22 Greater Denver Area, Colorado, United States
23 New Delhi, Delhi, India
=24 North Carolina, United States
=24 Greater Baltimore-Maryland Area, United States
26 Austin, Texas, United States
27 Budapest, Hungary
28 Barcelona, Spain
29 Hamburg, Germany
30 Berlin, Germany

Top cities for retaining digital graduates

For students looking to study and settle down in the same place, these cities might be of interest. These are the cities that are the best at retaining tech graduates, according to the data collected by Emerging. While London and New York take the top two positions, cities in South American countries such as Brazil and Argentina feature frequently throughout the ranking. 

African cities Nairobi, Cairo, Cape Town and Johannesburg are listed, while European cities include Paris, Stockholm and Barcelona. 

Rank Hub
1 London, United Kingdom
2 Greater New York Area, New York, United States
3 São Paulo, Brazil
4 Buenos Aires, Distrito Federal, Argentina
5 Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
6 Paris, France
7 Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
=8 Cape Town, South Africa
=8 Los Angeles, California, United States
10 Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
11 Tel Aviv, Israel
12 Bogotá, Colombia
13 Belo Horizonte, Brazil
14 Beijing, China
15 Santiago, Chile
=16 Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
=16 Mexico City, Mexico
=16 San Francisco, California, United States
19 Seattle, Washington, United States
20 Johannesburg, South Africa
=21 Stockholm, Sweden
=21 Austin, Texas, United States
=23 Nairobi, Kenya
=23 Barcelona, Spain
=23 Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
=26 Stanford, California, United States
=26 Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
=26 Cairo, Egypt
=26 Atlanta, Georgia, United States
=26 Singapore

Cities with the highest percentages of female tech managers

These cities had the highest percentage of female tech managers, according to the participants of the Emerging survey and the Crunchbase data. 

Hub Percentage of female tech managers 
Brasil, São Paulo, Brazil 23.90
Washington D.C, United States 22.50
New Haven, Connecticut, United States 19.40
New York City, New York, United States 18.50
New Delhi, Delhi, India 18.30
Austin, Texas, United States 18.10
Bogotá, Colombia


London, United Kingdom 17.10
Buenos Aires,  Argentina 16.70
Monterrey,  Mexico 16.70
Rio De Janeiro,  Brazil 16.70
Atlanta, Georgia, United States 16.20
Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States 16.00
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


Cambridge,  United Kingdom 14.90
Stanford, California, United States 14.10
Boston, Massachusetts, United States 13.90
Greater New York Area, New York, United States 13.60
Oxford, United Kingdom


São Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil 11.80
Tel Aviv, Israel 11.80

Paris, France

Berkeley, California, United States 11.40
Los Angeles, California, United States 11.10
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States 8.70
Cape Town, South Africa 7.70
Mumbai, Maharashtra, India 7.50


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