Most ideal spot to live to start an IT Career?

Daneil3144Daneil3144 Posts: 152Member ■■■□□□□□□□
Ready to move for various reasons....

So, where is the state with an abundance of IT jobs and a low cost of living?

Currently live in Nashville...yes some of the entry jobs do pay around $18-20 an hour, yet cost of living is high, as it it a tourist trap and celebrities live here. (Which is why I live an hour away in the outskirts)

I've even looked towards Colorado and seen a few entry spots that pay higher than that, like in Denver.

Is the cost of living high in Colorado, since the drug laws have changed?

Have people rushed to live there?

I've even considered moving to North Carolina or Jacksonville, FL.

Any and all opinions is welcome.
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Comments

  • stryder144stryder144 Posts: 1,571Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    I can only speak for Denver...it is not generally worth it. Last I looked, which was about a year ago, the same size house I am living in now is between $50k to $200k more than the same size house in San Antonio. SA has over twice the number of people living in it as the Denver area. From what little research I've done, the pay scales are very similar. Add in that there is no personal income tax and the differences can be significant, in my opinion.

    I only used San Antonio as an example since I have a former coworker who posted a house for sale in SA during the time I was buying my house here in the Denver area.
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  • networker050184networker050184 Posts: 11,962Mod Mod
    If the CoL in Nashville is too high for you you're probably not going to find any tech areas significantly cheaper unfortunately.
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
  • MeanDrunkR2D2MeanDrunkR2D2 MCSA: Server 2012, MCITP: EDA KCPosts: 889Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    I'd probably take Jacksonville off your list, but NC, specifically Charlotte is a huge booming area. It really comes down to more of what you want in a city and what you do in your free time and what kind of weather you prefer. There are many great IT cities all over but will depend on what is most important to you.
  • Daneil3144Daneil3144 Posts: 152Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    I'd probably take Jacksonville off your list

    Yea, I never heard of Jacksonville, Florida as an IT hub...until I ran into this article...

    No. 6: Jacksonville, FL - pg.7

    Which is the reason I post these question, even after finding these articles...What is the truth
  • MeanDrunkR2D2MeanDrunkR2D2 MCSA: Server 2012, MCITP: EDA KCPosts: 889Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    If you want a higher risk of being stabbed, Jacksonville is a great city. Personally even though I have plenty of family that live in Florida I would never consider relocating there for an IT job. The market there is too far tied into tourism to feel stable for me. Dallas fort worth, Austin, Houston, and even San Antonio would be hotter it hubs. (San Antonio would possibly be a stretch though as rackspace hasn't been as hot as they used to be)

    I think you need to ask what you want in a city and then look for one that fits that mold to grow your career and enjoy life. When it all comes down to it, we want to be happy and we only work to live, not live to work. That's why my family relocated where we did in the past month because the IT market is hot, cost of loving is good and we just love the area. I've loved in many major cities and came back to the Midwest metro I love to give the best life for my boys and to be happy with it all.
  • Cisco InfernoCisco Inferno Posts: 1,034Member ■■■■■■□□□□
    If you want a higher risk of being stabbed, Jacksonville is a great city. Personally even though I have plenty of family that live in Florida I would never consider relocating there for an IT job. The market there is too far tied into tourism to feel stable for me.

    I would have to agree with R2D2 here, Florida's economy is based on hospitality and tourism. Many companies view IT as an expense, a liability, and outsource it hard. There are not as many tech companies or large corporate opportunities here than there are in other states. Have you read about what Disney did to their IT staff? absolutely disgusting.

    Anyhow, the job market in FL is bleek (I was in SoFL.) I also wouldn't disregard Denver at all. I actually moved here last month for this very reason. I've gotten waaaay more hits than I did in FL. The job market is also not controlled by recruiters. There are tons of tech companies and large hq's here. Denver was rated #4 in the country for tech positions! Lots of telco and datacenter presence here.

    If you are young, do it. Do not start factoring mortgage rates and property values. Factor bars and nightlife. Yes its true that property prices have gone up, but the cost of living index is slightly cheaper than Miami and definitely NYC (where i'm from).


    Lastly, what is your job experience? what positions are you looking for?
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  • GeekyChickGeekyChick CISSP, CEH, CCNA, Sec+ Posts: 312Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Another option in Colorado is Colorado Springs. Yes, we have seen a huge influx of people move to our area because of legalization of weed. CS is a big high-level military town and therefore the city is trying to make themselves a cybersecurity center. There are a lot of opportunities here especially for people with security clearances. The cost of living isn't quite as high as Denver but it's still higher than average. Another thought is Virginia, but I'm just throwing that idea out without knowing anything about the state but I think it's fairly high tech.
  • networker050184networker050184 Posts: 11,962Mod Mod
    Colorado Springs is already on par with, if not more expensive than, Nashville. I can't imagine it will stay that way for much longer though as the Denver area continues to expand and eat up affordable housing.
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
  • GeekyChickGeekyChick CISSP, CEH, CCNA, Sec+ Posts: 312Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Colorado Springs is already on par with, if not more expensive than, Nashville. I can't imagine it will stay that way for much longer though as the Denver area continues to expand and eat up affordable housing.

    I'm not sure about Nashville and their cost of living compared to CS but Denver is more expensive than CS. We've lived in CO for 22 years now and it's just continued to grow and get more expensive. I don't see it getting cheaper any time soon unfortunately. Midwest is definately a less expensive place to live but not sure if the opportunities are great there.
  • Cisco InfernoCisco Inferno Posts: 1,034Member ■■■■■■□□□□
    I have also noticed tech salaries being quite higher than average here.
    for example.
    Moved from Miami with higher cost of living to Denver with lower cost of living,
    Salaries are higher in Denver than Miami. Lots more jobs too!
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  • thomas_thomas_ CompTIA N+/S+/L+; CCNA R&S; CCNP R&S Posts: 881Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    GeekyChick wrote: »
    I hesitate to even mention it, because I hate to see even more people move to CO.

    GeekyChick wrote: »
    We've lived in CO for 22 years now


    It's always interesting that the people who aren't originally from Colorado seem to always be the ones that don't want anybody else to move to Colorado.
  • GeekyChickGeekyChick CISSP, CEH, CCNA, Sec+ Posts: 312Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    thomas_ wrote: »
    It's always interesting that the people who aren't originally from Colorado seem to always be the ones that don't want anybody else to move to Colorado.

    Lol...I think they should've shut the door after I moved here. :)
  • EANxEANx Posts: 1,041Member ■■■■■■■□□□
    GeekyChick wrote: »
    Another thought is Virginia, but I'm just throwing that idea out without knowing anything about the state but I think it's fairly high tech.
    VA is a good option for people with a security clearance but it's a bit rougher for someone who doesn't have one. Clearance or not, it's a good place for people with solid skills in networking, virtualization or storage but a bit less so for generalists. Someone working at the help-desk level probably would find better options elsewhere.
  • 80hr80hr Posts: 57Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    I am looking hard at VA once I pick up CEH I might make the move
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  • 80hr80hr Posts: 57Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Why not Try Texas: Dallas, Austin, San Antonio All good places if you are in IT and even better if you have a clerance. Cost of living is cheap too.
    Have: CISSP,CASP,MBA,ITILV3F,CSM,CEH

    2017- NEED PMP
  • pevangelpevangel Posts: 342Member
    DMV has an abundance of IT jobs. Live in cheaper areas of Maryland and commute to work. Get a job, learn as much as you can, then hop to another job. Rinse and repeat until you become marketable enough that you can move to wherever and easily get a great IT job.
  • CIOCIO Posts: 151Member
    Please skip Houston since the major industry (oil & gas) is in a downturn. Layoffs left & right causing oil & gas IT folks with 20+ years of experience to complete with other IT folks.

    Austin for startup and younger tech companies. Dallas for more corporate IT environments & SA for military tech jobs.
  • Muhammed HMuhammed H Posts: 93Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Strange... No one talking about NYC!
  • CIOCIO Posts: 151Member
    The OP was complaining about the COL in Nashville. I doubt NYC would be on the OP's list
  • tedjamestedjames Scruffy-looking nerfherdr Posts: 1,010Member ■■■■■■□□□□
    80hr wrote: »
    Why not Try Texas: Dallas, Austin, San Antonio All good places if you are in IT and even better if you have a clerance. Cost of living is cheap too.

    Austin has a cheap cost of living? That's the first I've heard of that. Housing prices (buying and renting) here are going up, up, up! You can find several cost of living comparisons/calculators online. Besides, Austin's full. I hear that San Antonio has some extra space...
  • QueueQueue Posts: 174Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    I would make your first move close to Nashville for family and friends sake. That way if you feel the need to visit it can be done cheaply and maybe even with a drive.

    I would look to SC (Greenville) NC (Charlotte, Raleigh) GA (Atlanta). I had a friend graduate and move to Jacksonville.

    Like most say if you make yourself indispensable with experience and certs it shouldn't matter too much where you end up. You will be paid what your worth. I like living in low COL areas myself though and enjoy the southern climate.
  • TechGromitTechGromit A+, N+, GSEC, GCIH, GREM, Ontario, NY Posts: 1,892Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    Muhammed H wrote: »
    Strange... No one talking about NYC!

    That's because NYC is far from affordable, unless he's open to a roommate situation. NYC is one of the most expensive places to live in the United States, with the exception of a few cities in California, including LA.
    Still searching for the corner in a round room.
  • networker050184networker050184 Posts: 11,962Mod Mod
    Queue wrote: »
    I would look to SC (Greenville) NC (Charlotte, Raleigh) GA (Atlanta). I had a friend graduate and move to Jacksonville.

    Greenville is definitely not a good place to have a tech career. Raleigh and Atlanta are good areas though your looking at more expensive than Nashville in ATL and at least on par in most areas of Raleigh.

    I don't have any experience with Jacksonville personally though.
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
  • QueueQueue Posts: 174Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    @networker050184

    I can't recall where I got my propaganda from, but the article said Greenville was a hot IT hub. The reasoning was it was on I-85 between Charlotte and Atlanta. I believe the big company there Windstream has fiber from previous two cities that runs through Greenville. Also area is close to the mountains if one desires outside activities.
  • networker050184networker050184 Posts: 11,962Mod Mod
    It does have a nice central location if you like commuting an hour and a half to either Atlanta or Charlotte..... Not something attractive to me. Windstream is a decent sized employer but really not much beyond that. That's the reason I left.
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
  • powerfoolpowerfool Senior Member Posts: 1,623Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    Quit worrying about COL. As a matter of fact, maybe worry about it in the opposite regard. Find somewhere this is very high COL and has pay to match. Stay there for a few years, even buy a house. After you have been there for 7-10 years, assuming you keep paying down your mortgage and socking away a standard percentage into retirement savings, you should have a decent amount of equity and could sell and outright buy a home in a lower COL area and have a nice retirement nest egg.

    Or, forget about COL and just find somewhere interesting to move. Unless you have something tying you to the US, what about finding work outside of the US somewhere you would like to visit and work there for 2-3 years and then come back?

    The sky is the limit, for now.
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  • flying_postmanflying_postman Posts: 15Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    I was now about to create a post about this topic but my situation is a bit different, last year I got my green card and will be moving to the US in March 2017. I visited the US for a "look and see" in May focusing on 3 cities Raleigh, Charlotte and Austin, TX. I researched Raleigh based on its' proximity to RTP and it's a great city (beautiful homes in the historic district) but as a single guy the pace is a bit slower and looks like a very family oriented town (If I had a wife & kids I would definitely settle in Raleigh).

    My top pick ended up being Austin with Charlotte being a close second using several tech job reports (JLL,CBRE tech outlook 2016). Austin has most of my "pros" and I really enjoyed my time there but I'm still concerned about the traffic and the steady increase in real estate/rent. Those cities look great on paper and even better when I visited but I don't have an idea how the job situation is on the ground. Can anyone from those cities can provide any feedback on the tech job market in those areas?
  • stlsmoorestlsmoore Posts: 515Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    I relocated to Austin 18 months ago, the city has a lot to offer but it as the cons that you mentioned. It's not just that the roads are congested, but the infrastructure was never meant to handle the amount of traffic that is has now. Also it's very easy to be priced out of buying a home and renting if you're not prepared for it. Expect rent to increase 5-10% a year, home values increase at about or above the same rate as well.
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  • 80hr80hr Posts: 57Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Hum.... in the 512 ( Austin) area ... you can pick up a nice place to live for 300-400K and @ 20% down seems reasonable to me. even if you don't make 100K a year
    Have: CISSP,CASP,MBA,ITILV3F,CSM,CEH

    2017- NEED PMP
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