It's a promising time for tech in the region. In Utah, 1 in seven jobs is in the industry, while Wyoming leads the way with blockchain technology. According to a new report by the University of Montana, the high-tech sector is growing faster than any other part of Montana's economy.
Christina Quick Henderson is with the Montana High Tech Business Alliance. She said the ability to work remotely is giving today's generation more choices about where they live.
"All of these technologies and the way that we work in modern culture have removed geographical barriers to growth," she said.
In the mountain west, she said workers are gravitating towards college towns since they already have good amenities and infrastructure. Another thing that attracts the tech industry and its workers to the region, "access to outdoor spaces, public lands, national parks," she said. "And so states like Montana that have those assets and have college towns are going to see the creative class moving in."
Henderson added it will continue to be important for communities to plan ahead in order to avoid problems that have plagued other tech hubs, like income inequality and tightened housing markets.
This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, KUER in Salt Lake City and KRCC and KUNC in Colorado.