From its vibrant red canyons to its incomparable river valleys to its soaring mountain peaks, Utah is blessed with scenic diversity. But don't be fooled into thinking the landscape is the only richly textured thing about the state: Utah has always had more than its share of technological innovators, and the number has been growing in recent years.
Utah is the world's second largest swathe of software and engineering firms and home to the founding of several notable companies. WordPerfect, Novell and Iomega were founded in Utah but now we're home to tech-giants Qualtrics, Ancestry, and Xactware. And that's just a tiny sampling of the more than 5,200 high-tech companies that have located themselves in the beautiful state. Of those, 79 percent are IT firms. These companies employ a total of 66,000 people, and pay salaries 58 percent higher, on average, than the statewide annual nonagricultural wage, according to data cited in the Deseret News. In 2008, Forbes magazine ranked Salt Lake City -- an area located in the Utah Valley's technology-rich center -- as the best city for jobs in the country, citing its technology abundance as one of the reasons for the flourishing job market. Click here to learn more or check out personal interviews with some of the Slope's top CEOs here.