States with Good IT Markets?

N7ValiantN7Valiant Senior MemberPosts: 342Member ■■■■□□□□□□
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.
MCSA: Windows Server 2016
CompTIA A+, Network+, Security+


  • mikey88mikey88 Senior Member Posts: 331Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    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: CySA+, Security+, Network+ | 2019 Goals: CISSP (passed)

  • NetworkingStudentNetworkingStudent Posts: 1,305Member ■■■■■■■□□□
    This is a start.  This map is more geared toward Cyber Security jobs.
    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 Member CISSP, Security+, Network+, A+, VCA6-DCV, Healthcare IT TechPosts: 79Member ■■■□□□□□□□
     NetworkingStudent said:
    This is a start.  This map is more geared toward Cyber Security jobs.
    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

  • N7ValiantN7Valiant Senior Member Posts: 342Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    This is a start.  This map is more geared toward Cyber Security jobs.
    Eh, which would follow pretty closely where military bases are.
    MCSA: Windows Server 2016
    CompTIA A+, Network+, Security+
  • JDMurrayJDMurray Certification Invigilator Surf City, USAPosts: 11,197Admin 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: 341Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    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: 342Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    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).
    MCSA: Windows Server 2016
    CompTIA A+, Network+, Security+
  • MontagueVandervortMontagueVandervort Senior Member Posts: 341Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    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: 342Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    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.
    MCSA: Windows Server 2016
    CompTIA A+, Network+, Security+
  • MontagueVandervortMontagueVandervort Senior Member Posts: 341Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    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: 342Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    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".
    MCSA: Windows Server 2016
    CompTIA A+, Network+, Security+
  • MontagueVandervortMontagueVandervort Senior Member Posts: 341Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    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: 909Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Austin's full! I hear that San Antonio and Dallas have room...
  • N7ValiantN7Valiant Senior Member Posts: 342Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    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.
    MCSA: Windows Server 2016
    CompTIA A+, Network+, Security+
Sign In or Register to comment.