States with Good IT Markets?

N7ValiantN7Valiant Senior MemberPosts: 360Member ■■■■□□□□□□
Left my job today, as it was a total bait and switch.  I already started applying a week ago, but I suspect even an MCSA in Windows Server isn't worth a damn over here because I never got any calls or emails back.  IT market feels dry in Hawaii if you're not DoD, and I don't have any appetite to go back to it.  I suspect a large reason why this bait and switch was pulled on me is because people know IT is a dry market and people don't have a lot of options if they want to go somewhere else.

So I figure in order to get out of this dead-end, I need to move State side, preferably in a low cost of living area (kind of rules out California, New York, Chicago, and Washington DC for me).  I was thinking big city in a Red State, which would give a good mix of low taxes but not enough population density to get stuck in traffic for an hour.  Any suggestions?  I'd prefer to be somewhere with more IT jobs than there are people to fill them.
MCSE: Core Infrastructure
MCSA: Windows Server 2016
CompTIA A+ | Network+ | Security+ CE

Comments

  • mikey88mikey88 CISSP, CySA+, Security+, Network+ and others Posts: 471Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    edited March 14
    Charlotte, NC
    Austin/Dallas TX
    Denver, CO

    You'll need to narrow your focus to specific IT hubs and not just states in general. One thing I want to point out is that having a clearance and DoD 8570 certs does give you a bit of a false sense of the job market. 

    If you want to find work outside of DoD, don't be surprised if it takes you much longer than what you're used to with contracting.
    Certs: CISSP, CySA+, Security+, Network+ and others | 2019 Goals: Cloud Sec/Scripting/Linux

  • NetworkingStudentNetworkingStudent Posts: 1,400Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    This is a start.  This map is more geared toward Cyber Security jobs.  https://www.cyberseek.org/heatmap.html
    When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened."

    --Alexander Graham Bell,
    American inventor
  • Pmorgan2Pmorgan2 CISSP, A+/Net+/Sec+/Project+, ITIL v3, CIW SDA & WSP Posts: 98Member ■■■■□□□□□□
     NetworkingStudent said:
    This is a start.  This map is more geared toward Cyber Security jobs.  https://www.cyberseek.org/heatmap.html
    Wow, that's a great map.  I think it's telling me to move to Hawaii.

    It also backs up what I've heard on the street:
    Washington DC
    Baltimore, MD
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Raleigh-Durnam, NC
    Charlotte, NC
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Austin, TX
    San Diego, CA

    Some others I was surprised to see:
    Honolulu, HI
    Sierra Vista, AZ (although this is the U.S. Army IT Mecca, so it makes sense)
    San Antonio, TX
    Atlanta, GA
    Tampa, FL
    Omaha, NE
    Des Moines, IA
    Bangor, ME

    2019 Goals: ITIL Foundation, Project+CIW Site Development Associate, CIW Web Security Professional, CCSP, ECIH, ECES, WGU BSCSIA
  • N7ValiantN7Valiant Senior Member Posts: 360Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    This is a start.  This map is more geared toward Cyber Security jobs.  https://www.cyberseek.org/heatmap.html
    Eh, which would follow pretty closely where military bases are.
    MCSE: Core Infrastructure
    MCSA: Windows Server 2016
    CompTIA A+ | Network+ | Security+ CE
  • JDMurrayJDMurray Certification Invigilator Surf City, USAPosts: 11,450Admin Admin
    I like the "Metro Areas" selection on that heatmap. It's much more helpful than looking at jobs by state, which makes no sense for very large states like CA and TX. Yes, there are a lot of state-level things to consider (state income tax, sales tax), but also a lot of county- and city-level considerations as well (city/county taxes, property values, insurance rates, political climate).
  • MontagueVandervortMontagueVandervort Senior Member Posts: 399Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    Just a thought...

    People congregate around big cities for jobs, but that also means there is more competition.

    You may wish to consider a medium-sized city instead. This has served me very well so far. You have "almost" the same need but with far fewer skilled applicants = less competition.

    I've been able to move up a lot faster than had I been in a big city and thankfully, as I'm extremely pressed for time.
  • N7ValiantN7Valiant Senior Member Posts: 360Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Yes, it's why I think again, big city in a Red State would be less of a Metro area compared to typical locations like NYC, San Francisco, Los Angeles.  Even a simple search for Junior Systems Administrator positions in Texas alone yielded 5+ pages of results on Indeed.

    After sifting out DoD positions, I basically sent out 10 applications between Indeed, LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and direct company websites before I ran out of places to apply that either wasn't lower level (Help Desk, Desktop Support) or well beyond my reach (Senior Systems Administrator, Senior Systems Engineer).

    What gets me is that the cost for a studio apartment in Texas is from $300-$500/mo, which is less than the $600/mo I pay in maintenance costs alone(no pool, no gated parking).
    MCSE: Core Infrastructure
    MCSA: Windows Server 2016
    CompTIA A+ | Network+ | Security+ CE
  • MontagueVandervortMontagueVandervort Senior Member Posts: 399Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    Yes, I understand your logic and thought process. I live in a smaller city and commute to a medium-sized city. I prefer the quiet and lower cost of living where I am.

    Just to test I ran a search on Indeed for both "Junior Systems Administrator" and "Systems Administrator" in the city I commute to and came up with 19 pages of results for Junior Systems Administrator and 138 pages of results for Systems Administrator.

    It doesn't usually take long to get employed here (there), and if I apply to 5 jobs I usually end up with 3-4 interviews as a result and in the end 1 or 2 offers.

    The jobs pay well especially for the cost of living. I'm uncertain what studio apartments go for in that city, but I know houses (decent areas, 1 acre,  2000-3000sq. ft.) are mainly in the $180-250k range.

    In the city I live in you can rent an entire house for $750-$900/month (lower if you know someone). Utilities, food, and gas are also cheap so for now I'm content. That said, for clarity ... I don't rent. I own my own home.

    Crime is low where I live too. I can leave my doors unlocked 24/7 if I choose to. Have left many a valuable outside in various locations, nobody touches anything. It's highly frowned on here. (Also, most people are armed so you could end up shot. :D )

    Overall, I'm very content. I'm trying to save for retirement and had a bit of a late start but because of the area I live in, I'm already "ahead" of most people my age because I can save a lot more, a lot faster.

    I'm very lucky to have found a place like this, and I wish that you will be able to do the same for yourself.
  • N7ValiantN7Valiant Senior Member Posts: 360Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Well, I've applied to a few Junior Sysadmin positions in Texas.

    Hoping someone will either be willing to offer relocation assistance or at least provide me with a webcam interview.
    MCSE: Core Infrastructure
    MCSA: Windows Server 2016
    CompTIA A+ | Network+ | Security+ CE
  • MontagueVandervortMontagueVandervort Senior Member Posts: 399Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    Yes, hopefully you will get an interview or two. I always leave my location off of my resume. It helps.

    Best of luck!
  • N7ValiantN7Valiant Senior Member Posts: 360Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Ack, didn't do that.  I might be gullible, so I just felt like it was better to be upfront about something like that if I'm going to be asking for relocation assistance.

    It's a bit of an emotional roller coaster.  Since there are so few IT jobs here, there aren't exactly a lot of new positions in between this week and the last.  It also makes me a bit anxious and impatient waiting for a response even though it's technically only been 1 week since I started seriously applying.

    I just feel a bit put down when recruiters and hiring managers are telling me "thanks, but you lack the experience, here's a Help Desk position you'd be better suited for".
    MCSE: Core Infrastructure
    MCSA: Windows Server 2016
    CompTIA A+ | Network+ | Security+ CE
  • MontagueVandervortMontagueVandervort Senior Member Posts: 399Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    Yes, I fully understand what you're saying.

    And while I don't like to hand out negativity or discouraging information, I think you're really swinging far and wide in your attempt to get relocation assistance. I believe it may serve you a lot better to let that one go and just save up (if you haven't already) for the move instead.

    I only say this so you won't end up getting further discouraged.

    If I were in your position, I would save up and then move and take any job (even non-IT, waiter, anything) I could get my hands on while I applied. It seems a lot easier to me to do it this way.

    Since you're so far from where you want to go, it's really all quite a stretch to not be able to hide your current location (so they won't auto-disqualify you) and just show up to interviews in person. Any time you're farther away than about 6 hrs. from your target location it all becomes much more difficult to proxy being someone local.

    That all said, I wish you the best of luck in your pursuit. Giving up isn't the answer but perhaps having a bit more patience is.





  • tedjamestedjames Scruffy-looking nerfherdr Posts: 1,039Member ■■■■■■□□□□
    Austin's full! I hear that San Antonio and Dallas have room...
  • N7ValiantN7Valiant Senior Member Posts: 360Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Lol, I suppose patience is one of those skills they don't have a certification for.

    Like our Engineer was telling me, I'm decently certified, but having only 1 year of experience means no one will give me the time of day.
    MCSE: Core Infrastructure
    MCSA: Windows Server 2016
    CompTIA A+ | Network+ | Security+ CE
  • MontagueVandervortMontagueVandervort Senior Member Posts: 399Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    There is a life certification for patience, but it's earned through blood and sweat. :D

    Right, I guess if you live in that tight of a job market, most are still only considering you entry-level with "only" 1 year of experience.

    For a combination of reasons that's not how it all worked out for me. The market where I live is different, plus I started working before I graduated. Once I graduated, I moved out of entry-level.
  • yoba222yoba222 Posts: 1,041Member ■■■■■■■□□□
    Ten wasn't enough and 1 week is way too fast. I'd consider applying to corporate websites in the area too (e.g. Bank of Hawaii, HMSA, etc.).
    2017: GCIH | LFCS
    2018: CySA+ | PenTest+ |CCNA CyberOps
    2019: VHL 20 boxes
    2020: OSCP | CISSP
  • N7ValiantN7Valiant Senior Member Posts: 360Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    yoba222 said:
    Ten wasn't enough and 1 week is way too fast. I'd consider applying to corporate websites in the area too (e.g. Bank of Hawaii, HMSA, etc.).
    Lol, do we live in the same State?  I've checked pretty much all of the local sites.  They're all looking for senior roles like app developer, database administrators, engineers, etc.  I did try for Server Administrator I at American Savings Bank, but I think even for that I don't have enough experience (they seem to really want that Bachelor's Degree).
    MCSE: Core Infrastructure
    MCSA: Windows Server 2016
    CompTIA A+ | Network+ | Security+ CE
  • N7ValiantN7Valiant Senior Member Posts: 360Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    I was going to take a change of strategy.

    https://imgur.com/0VAtM6f

    This is what I'm using right now, I was going to send that to higher-level positions where it might not go through ATS (i.e. email or Indeed direct applications).


    https://imgur.com/Xtea0h8

    This is what I've tailored.  Intended target is for ATS, Lower-Level positions such as Help Desk or Desktop Support (probably the latter for me, given my introverted tendencies).  It includes my prior experience in retail as well as my internship, emphasizes the customer service aspects, and almost entirely drops all the higher-level work.

    I was going to make a 3rd to apply for higher-level positions, but would be more ATS friendly.
    MCSE: Core Infrastructure
    MCSA: Windows Server 2016
    CompTIA A+ | Network+ | Security+ CE
  • MontagueVandervortMontagueVandervort Senior Member Posts: 399Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    Would fix up that second resume (verb tenses, alignment, information, etc.) and use it for the higher-level attempts instead.

    That first resume is artistic but difficult to quickly sort out. This increases the likelihood of it being dismissed.

    Recommend taking the header from the first one and using it on the second one after fixing the second one up.

    Also, get your edu and certs higher up on the resume.
  • N7ValiantN7Valiant Senior Member Posts: 360Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    edited March 25
    https://imgur.com/SUtmkLS

    Made this one for high-level ATS.  Not sure I can justify moving certs or education up (not a Bachelor's) unless it becomes relevant.
    MCSE: Core Infrastructure
    MCSA: Windows Server 2016
    CompTIA A+ | Network+ | Security+ CE
  • MontagueVandervortMontagueVandervort Senior Member Posts: 399Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    Education is almost always relevant, especially if you lack experience.

    You have great edu. Don't underestimate it. Putting it on top of the resume will highlight it. Keeping it on the bottom, some may never even see it since the resume may get ditched for the lack of experience on the top.

    Always put your "best" foot first so that the initial impression of yourself is higher.

    Remember, you've got barely a minute or two to make the impression as you're one of many resumes a person has to look at. You want to stand out right from the start.

    Most people do not read everyone's entire resume. Most people do not have time for that nor the desire. The only way the entire resume usually gets read is if something on the top (because that's where people look first) stands out.

    This is the same reason why you don't want to use confusing formats that make a person's eyes go all over the place. If it's too tedious to read ... "Next!"
  • EANxEANx Posts: 1,062Member ■■■■■■■□□□
    Spot on except you can't depend on the reviewer giving your resume a full minute and two would be a luxury. I personally will usually break the pile into three groups: "No", "Maybe but unlikely" and "For more thorough review". Some positions will end up with me having 30-50 resumes that made it through and if I have that many, I'll typically look at the top half of the first page before deciding which pile it goes in. The pile for further review gets just that, maybe 5+ minutes per resume, with some always removed in that process. The middle pile gets touched if I decide the "yes" pile wasn't big enough when I finished.

    Sort of a long way if saying that if you haven't made me aware of your strengths right up front, you risk being placed in the "no" pile. A resume is a marketing tool, it should be treated like one.
  • N7ValiantN7Valiant Senior Member Posts: 360Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Hmm, just trying to figure out the mentality of HR.  It seems nowadays it's more important to get through HR instead of any technical appeal to an IT Hiring Manager.  Especially since they often seem to have opposing opinions.  My supervisor at my old MSP gig tells me he's seen people with the degrees and certifications but didn't know how to do anything, hence the expectation that both are paper tigers most of the time.

    I'd also expect there to be some level of elitism from HR where some people think having a Bachelor's Degree makes you smarter, and actually had people talk down to me essentially saying that an Associate's from a community college doesn't mean anything even if you averaged a 4.0 GPA.

    I'm thinking skills first(AD, DNS, DHCP, Group Policy, etc), then education, then certs, then work experience.
    MCSE: Core Infrastructure
    MCSA: Windows Server 2016
    CompTIA A+ | Network+ | Security+ CE
  • Jon_CiscoJon_Cisco Posts: 1,772Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    Experience is always an issue. Anyone will take someone with experience if they can find them for the right price.

    I have done several certs now and I can tell you they don't translate into how to do the job. What they do is give me exposure to the technologies that I can later use to gain experience with. You have to start somewhere.

    Keep studying and keep applying. That is a winning combination.
  • MontagueVandervortMontagueVandervort Senior Member Posts: 399Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    N7Valiant said:
    I'd also expect there to be some level of elitism from HR where some people think having a Bachelor's Degree makes you smarter, and actually had people talk down to me essentially saying that an Associate's from a community college doesn't mean anything even if you averaged a 4.0 GPA.

    Don't let anyone put down your accomplishments and when I say that I mean don't let other peoples' negativities get into your head. You worked hard for your degree. It takes many classes worth of time and effort to achieve an Associate's.

    Some people are always ready to put others down as they don't feel that great about themselves.


  • NetworkingStudentNetworkingStudent Posts: 1,400Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    edited March 27
    N7Valiant said:

    I'd also expect there to be some level of elitism from HR where some people think having a Bachelor's Degree makes you smarter, and actually had people talk down to me essentially saying that an Associate's from a community college doesn't mean anything even if you averaged a 4.0 GPA.

    There are some companies that will want a bachelors agree.  Often times this is just a box to check on a application.

    Some companies prefer a bachelors degree, but will consider experience the person has if they do not have a bachelors degree.


    When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened."

    --Alexander Graham Bell,
    American inventor
  • NetworkingStudentNetworkingStudent Posts: 1,400Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened."

    --Alexander Graham Bell,
    American inventor
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