San Jose may be in Silicon Valley, but a couple of other cities took top spots in different categories of a study produced by the NASDAQ Stock Market and the American Electronics Association.

The study showed San Jose as the top provider of jobs in the high-tech sector, with 252,900 people in industries ranging from computer and office equipment to semiconductor manufacturing. It was followed by Boston; Chicago; Washington, D.C.; and Dallas.

Colorado Springs' 77 percent growth in high-tech employment topped that category, followed by San Francisco, Houston, Denver and Sacramento.

Seattle's high-tech workers got the highest pay, with an annual salary averaging $129,300. San Jose was next, with an average of $85,100. Middlesex, N.J.; San Francisco; and Austin, Texas, also were in the top five.

In some areas in the country, high-tech wages were as much as 220 percent higher than private-sector wages.

The study indicated that Boulder, Colo.; San Francisco; Denver; Raleigh, N.C.; and Minneapolis-St. Paul are the most desirable places to live based on six quality-of-life factors: air pollution, crime, unemployment, commute times, arts and culture and climate.

San Francisco, it said, is the leading "cybercity" for venture capital investments at $9.3 billion in 1999, followed by San Jose, New York, Boston and Oakland.