1. Sunnyvale, CA — In the hub of the intellectually stimulating Silicon Valley, Sunnyvale is home to some of the brainiest companies, including Yahoo!, Palm, Inc., and several aerospace/defense companies. Sunnyvale is one of the few U.S. cities to have a single unified Department of Public Safety (where all personnel are trained as firefighters, police officers and EMTs), so they can respond to any of these types of emergencies from a single department. Now that’s smart!
2. Cambridge, MA — Cambridge is home to two highly esteemed and prominent schools, Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.). The city is also noted in history as the birthplace of the U.S. Army by the scholarly George Washington.
3. Somerville, MA — Cambridge’s nerdy neighbor, Somerville, is home to the private research university, Tufts. As one of the most densely populated municipalities near Boston, there are many clever minds to be found within a compact area.
4. Berkeley, CA — This San Francisco treat is the site of the University of California at Berkeley, the oldest institute of higher learning within the revered University of California systems. The state-of-the-art Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory also calls this city home.
5. Santa Clara, CA — Resting in the center of Silicon Valley, Santa Clara hosts the headquarters for Intel, Sun Microsystems and many other high-tech companies. It’s also the home of Santa Clara University (the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of California) and Mission College.
6. Ann Arbor, MI — In Ann Arbor, the University of Michigan employs about 30,000 people — which equals roughly 26% of the city’s population. The city’s economy mostly depends on developments in high technology, as many companies are drawn to the area due to the educated alumnae that have matriculated there.
7. Boulder, CO — Not only serving as the home base for the University of Colorado, Boulder is also a burgeoning hub for high-technology, electronics and aerospace companies. Five of every six adults in the Boulder area (82.5%) have attended college.
8. Columbia, MD — The nearby National Security Agency and Fort Meade Army base account for more than 8,000 highly educated jobs that can be found in Columbia. On another nerdy note, the city takes its street names from famous works of art and literature. In 2010, Columbia was ranked #2 on Money Magazine’s list of the top 100 “Best Places to Live” in the United States.
9. Fairfax, VA — In May of 2008, Forbes commended Fairfax for its strong public school system, high median salary, and financially fit employers in the city, which include SunTrust and Federal Technology Services.
10. Rockville, MD — Situated at the core of the Interstate 270 Technology Corridor, Rockville is home to numerous software and biotechnology companies as well as several federal government institutions. Its per-capita venture capital investment is the highest of any town outside of California.