10 Job Markets You Won’t Want to Leave

In most areas of the country, tech professionals are hard to come by. In the 10 states listed below, the talent pools are respectably deep so employers might have an easier time finding workers with the skills they want. But they’ll face a surprising challenge: People like living there, so convincing them to move can cost real money.

That’s a pretty big caveat, and it creates a dynamic that works in the job seeker’s favor. First, it means companies will have to offer pretty generous packages in order to lure you away. Second, it can drive up salaries in some markets you wouldn’t expect.

DICE Report February

For example, according to a Dice Report released Wednesday, 72 percent of IT workers in Georgia expect to find a good position in the Peach State this year. Only 37 percent are willing to relocate outside its borders. Not surprisingly, hiring and pay are on the rise, especially in Atlanta. If you’ve got roots there, a family that likes the area, a good job and a stronger job market, why move?

In Delaware and Maryland, only 33 percent of tech workers said they’re willing to relocate. Those in Delaware are more confident they’ll find a favorable position this year (70 percent). In Maryland, 67 percent were as optimistic. In Minnesota, 35 percent said they’d consider relocating, while 70 percent had a good feeling about the job market. That bodes well for the Minnesota High Tech Association, which is aiming to make the state one of the the top five technology centers in the U.S. by 2020.

Comments

  1. BY eligoldweber says:

    This is very interesting. I am thinking about studying computer science in college. While I am in the process in deciding on a particular school, it has never really crossed my mind that, where I go to school and develop roots, is where I may end up staying for a lot longer than four years.

    • BY Ed Miranda says:

      Just one piece of advise: Do NOT overspend on your education. Dont handicap yourself with years of debt. Goto a descent school that is not too expensive. In IT, your formal 4 year education (BS Computer Science) does not matter as much as your IT skills. And these skills are transient and stale within a few years. In the IT field you are perpetually learning and training. So, bottom line don t overspend on your degree.

      • BY Jeff says:

        I agree. I went to a Technical Community college and earned two degrees in two years. One in Networking Technology and the other in Information Systems Security. I had been laid off from work so I made a career change at the age of 35. I utilized my resources by allowing the WIA or Workforce Investment Act to pat for me to go to school. It allowed me to continue to go to school and work. if it hadn’t been for that I wouldn’t be where I am today. Also be sure to pick a field of study where there is a high job demand. In addition to that make sure that you get some real world training like a Co-op or internship and certifications. I landed my first job as a remote help desk tech through a staffing company. Although the pay was low it allowed me to get my feet wet with invaluable experience doing remote support ad working in a fast paced environment. Two months later I landed a better job as an Associate IT Support Tech and by the way I have no certs to speak of. I will be earning some later this year and I plan on going back to school in state and online to finish my bachelors in Computer & Information Technology at East Carolina University. They have a program that is online and it is designed for those whom want to go part time while they work full time.

      • BY eaglesfanintn says:

        That’s great advice. If I had known then, what I know now, I would have been like Jeff and gone to a technical college to get the core training I need. Of course, when I went to college, PC’s were still new and the original Mac hadn’t even come out.
        But, my BA in political science isn’t even in the realm of what I do for a living now.

    • BY Stephen says:

      In general I agree not to overspend on your education, however it does depend on what college you can get into. If you can get into a top 100 school, it is worth some extra debt… maybe not 200k, but some for sure. There are numerous intangible, lifelong benefits from doing so, and over a lifetime even the money will probably work out. It’s true that tech skills are what matter, but a broad education can also help you be better at technology.

  2. BY Grant Gibson says:

    You have a choice either choose your profession or location.

  3. BY Grant Gibson says:

    You have a choice either choose your profession or location.

  4. BY Mike says:

    I can not imagine why people want to stick in a place like Minnesota. With extream weather(near artic like conditions during the winter and very high tempratures duirng the summer) and nothing much to do, what will be the quality of life living in a place like that even if you have a good job. Same is the case with New York…extream weather, very high taxes, high crime, high cost of living, crazy traffic and rude people..

    • BY RobS says:

      Mike,

      NY is a wonderful place to live if you have the money to live in the City, where you can see a new and exciting thing every day for years. Taxes are not that much higher than a lot of other places and the salary offsets most of that plus the cost of living. And people are only rude on the surface; get past that and you’ll have great friends for life. Crime? don’t make yourself a target and you probably won’t be a victim. Weather? Not much worse than most of the country. However, after 30 years living there, the intensity of it was a bit much for me so I left.

    • BY aftab ali says:

      Crime? New York City is the safest big city in America, and according to Forbes is a top 10 safest city overall in the U.S.

      Also, you don’t have to live in New York City, you could live in Westchester County or Long Island and still be close to Manhattan.

  5. BY Apex Predator says:

    I left a high-tech city to live on the beach. It turns out this is where tech careers go to die. Since I have family in Atlanta, I’ve been thinking of leaving the good life to get back on track there. Decisions decisions…

  6. BY Apex Predator says:

    I left a high-tech city to live on the beach. It turns out this is where tech careers go to die. Since I have family in Atlanta, I’ve been thinking of leaving the good life to get back on track there. Decisions decisions…

  7. BY RobS says:

    I guess I’m not understanding the premise here.
    If “Only 37 percent are willing to relocate outside [Georgia's] borders”, sounds like 63% of the people are competing for the jobs available.
    So “First, it means companies will have to offer pretty generous packages in order to lure you away. Second, it can drive up salaries”
    Why do they want to lure you away if you’re already there? and why would it drive up salaries if there are plenty of people around to do the job?

    • BY trothaar says:

      Unless they are searching to fill a high executive level position–i.e., CEO–the overwhelming majority of companies won’t even bother considering far-flung applicants, let alone offer them relocation assistance. I was having a conversation with a recruiter about this on Quora. There are too many problems associated with hiring people who need to relocate. There is absolutely no reason for any company to go through this hassle when there are hundreds, perhaps thousands of applicants who are just as qualified, live 15 minutes away, and can start tomorrow.

      It is simply more prudent for a company to hire a mediocre local candidate than a stellar one who lives on the other side of the continent.

  8. BY RobS says:

    I guess I’m not understanding the premise here.
    If “Only 37 percent are willing to relocate outside [Georgia's] borders”, sounds like 63% of the people are competing for the jobs available.
    So “First, it means companies will have to offer pretty generous packages in order to lure you away. Second, it can drive up salaries”
    Why do they want to lure you away if you’re already there? and why would it drive up salaries if there are plenty of people around to do the job?

    • BY trothaar says:

      Unless they are searching to fill a high executive level position–i.e., CEO–the overwhelming majority of companies won’t even bother considering far-flung applicants, let alone offer them relocation assistance. I was having a conversation with a recruiter about this on Quora. There are too many problems associated with hiring people who need to relocate. There is absolutely no reason for any company to go through this hassle when there are hundreds, perhaps thousands of applicants who are just as qualified, live 15 minutes away, and can start tomorrow.

      It is simply more prudent for a company to hire a mediocre local candidate than a stellar one who lives on the other side of the continent.

  9. BY trothaar says:

    I live in Delaware. I hate living here, because I hate cold weather. I wish I could move back to California, but unfortunately, this place is cheap…and cheap is all I can afford right now. I was hoping a Math/CIS degree would give me more options, but it didn’t. Now, I am confident that I will eventually earn enough money with my Beachbody business to go live wherever I want.

    It is beyond me why anyone is confident they can land a tech job here. The only jobs here are in banking and healthcare. Perhaps they are talking about very high-level employees, and not the entry-level positions I searched for (and failed to find).

    I’m thinking that these people want to stay here because it’s cheap. It IS cheap. You can call Delaware a lot of things, but “expensive” isn’t one of them. I don’t like it here, but it’s more important for me to have a cheap place to live until I can get my income up to speed than it is for me to live in a place I would like.

  10. BY trothaar says:

    I live in Delaware. I hate living here, because I hate cold weather. I wish I could move back to California, but unfortunately, this place is cheap…and cheap is all I can afford right now. I was hoping a Math/CIS degree would give me more options, but it didn’t. Now, I am confident that I will eventually earn enough money with my Beachbody business to go live wherever I want.

    It is beyond me why anyone is confident they can land a tech job here. The only jobs here are in banking and healthcare. Perhaps they are talking about very high-level employees, and not the entry-level positions I searched for (and failed to find).

    I’m thinking that these people want to stay here because it’s cheap. It IS cheap. You can call Delaware a lot of things, but “expensive” isn’t one of them. I don’t like it here, but it’s more important for me to have a cheap place to live until I can get my income up to speed than it is for me to live in a place I would like.

  11. BY Dave says:

    Well I moved to New York State in September last year after leaving a dead end job at Oracle. I am a Siebel programmer (14 years experience) and have landed an interesting job in the Poughkeepsie, NY area. Salaries are low, and rents are high. I pat $950 per month for a rathole of an apartment in Wappingers Falls. Taxes both state and sales ta are also quite high.

    I don’t mind the winters or cold that much and thought that this would be a plus in that most of the folks I am competing for jobs with are from India where it is generally warmer than the North East US.

    I am planning to relo back to Dallas in the near future. Both here to NY and back to TX will be at my own expense. Employer did not even offer advice on where to live in the area when I came up to NY.

    But the work is interesting and getting new experience so that’s good.

    I would not recommend NY city or State as a place to think of relocating for employment other than contract assignments.

    Thanks.

    -Dave

  12. BY Ken says:

    I’ve lived in NY State and Maryland twice and will be glad to go elsewhere. Upstate NY is lovely in fall, but the cold, taxes, and deadness of the place are more than I can tolerate. Maryland is a pleasant state, with the Chesapeake, and DC’s museums are great to have. However, MD’s taxes are astronomical–try 10% on people in my income bracket.

    And, as another person noted, Indians are taking our jobs–or rather, US companies are gleefully outsourcing our jobs to Indians. I hope giving he work to wage slaves who often don’t speak English well comes back to bite the companies right in the behind, but that doesn’t help those of us competing with cheap labor.

  13. BY Ken says:

    I’ve lived in NY State and Maryland twice and will be glad to go elsewhere. Upstate NY is lovely in fall, but the cold, taxes, and deadness of the place are more than I can tolerate. Maryland is a pleasant state, with the Chesapeake, and DC’s museums are great to have. However, MD’s taxes are astronomical–try 10% on people in my income bracket.

    And, as another person noted, Indians are taking our jobs–or rather, US companies are gleefully outsourcing our jobs to Indians. I hope giving he work to wage slaves who often don’t speak English well comes back to bite the companies right in the behind, but that doesn’t help those of us competing with cheap labor.

  14. BY Roy Niswanger says:

    Very suprising and odd to me?

    The current list if ordered by “most sticky” should be IMHO:

    1. Colorado
    2. North Carolina
    3. Georgia
    4. Pennsylvania
    5. Maryland
    6. New Hampshire
    7. Delaware (6 and 7 could swap)
    8. New York
    9. Minnesota
    10. New Jersey (9 and 10 could swap too)

    IMHO, I think another list could be:

    1. Georgia
    2. Texas
    3. Colorado (Denver/Boulder)
    4. North Carolina
    5. Florida
    6. Pennsylvania
    7. Maryland
    8. Delaware
    9. Oregon
    10. California (San Diego is picking back up)

    I’ve worked IT in Austin, TX for the past 11 years…I’ve seen a number of people influx from the NE and west coast.

    • BY Jeff says:

      Yes I know what you mean. The state of TX and the D-M-V area are consistently in the top 5. I live here in NC I just don’t see it. I know my experience is limited to 2 years, but i have been here all my life and to me it seems if you want I top level high paying job you may want to look outside of NC. I search the job boards on a weekly basis and get at least 3 calls or emails a week, but they are mostly for short term or contracts positions. If you are looking for that then yes there are plenty of jobs, but if you are looking for a permanent and I say that with caution, then you may want to look elsewhere. I know a see a lot of magazines listing the RTP area as one of the best places to live and start a business, but i have been here all my life and let me tell you if you are looking for a life outside of work, eat, sleep and raise a family, then don’t come here especially if you are used to big city life. There is no comparison. I have been to a lot of major cities and I have lived in Charlotte and San Antonio due to me being in the military. I would have to say I like living close enough to the big city but just far enough outside of it where i don;t have to pay for that cost of living. I am looking to get the best bang for my buck i.e. high salary low cost of living. Looking at the states on the list I know GA and TX come to mind. TX doesn’t have state income tax and GA has a relatively low cost of living. Can’t speak for the others. Also you have to look at your skill set to see where is a demand for what you do and then compare and contrast where you live based on the places on this list. For example in ATL you don’t have to live in the city and you could land a high paying job with a low cost of living. I know that houses in the Ellenwood, GA area are running abut $150,000 for about 3000+ sq-ft. If you are making more than $60,000 you are in good shape and even better shape if you are married. If you live in the DMV area you are going to pay with your arm, leg, eyes and nose, but you get a extremely high salary especially if you work for the FEDS and they have mass transit to where you may or may not have to drive to work, so you could save big time if you don’t live to close to the DC area.
      If you live in TX you dont pay state income tax so you get to keep that and also the cost of living is low also. If you make a high salary and low cost of living then you are in great shape.

      • BY Roy Niswanger says:

        Property tax in TX is on the higher-side of average. Job market is strong here…Gov. Perry and his focus and spending to attract business is working, but at the cost of other things like education (I don’t want to stray on that topic). A lot of big players here in Austin: Samsung, IBM, AMD, ebay, paypal, 3m, Freescale, Dell, lots of financial services (Schwab, Fidelity, etc.), lots of gaming (EA etc.). Visa has announced a large IT/datacetner move here too. Perfect fit for this article…you would think I would want to stay…BUT I DON’T!

        First and foremost, yes, Austin (I live in a north suburb, Round Rock, home of Dell, which is why I came here 11 years ago) is a great place (the only place in Texas IMHO) and the school district is rated very well and our cost of living is fair. But, the summers are terrible, I mean BAD! True, it’s reaches 100 in lots of areas of our nation, but not for the length of time it does here. So I guess you can say I’m “burnt” out. Also, I’m seeking areas with more natural resources, not just stump cedar or juniper to screw up my sinus’. I long for an opportunity to move to Portland, OR…tech is moderately strong there and the landscape to me is awesome (plus not far from the ocean). Yes, it’s wet and dreary for 6 months in the winter, but i can handle that. You have to remember, I’m coming from Austin…keep Austin weird…I just worry about my Texas plates in OR once I do move :)

  15. BY Louis Perlman says:

    WRt education, it absolutely can help you out if you take the right courses. My son is a computer science major, and he is taking the courses I now wish I had been forced to take back in the day. Things like data structures and discrete structures don’t change. Learning to code is also key. Put both theory and coding together will result in a high level of employability. Beats having to get re-certified every few years.

    • BY trothaar says:

      I took data structures, algorithms (did really well in algorithms), etc. None of it did me a darned bit of good in the job market. Employers don’t care about theoretical knowledge. They want you to be able to walk in and build your own version of Word or a replica of Amazon.com.

      Yeah, I was told to spend the next 2-3 years working for free and building a portfolio. I couldn’t afford to do that. I was willing to work for minimum wage…but I was unwilling, and unable, to work for $0.00/hour. (And I was unwilling, as someone on LinkedIn suggested to me, to divorce my husband and “just go on welfare,” effectively making the taxpayers support me while I chased rainbows.)

      I was reading an article today in “Scientific American” about citizen science projects, and about how many scientific breakthroughs were made by people with little or no STEM education. Without meaning to, this article hit on a problem with America today: employers don’t want thinkers, innovators and creators. They want robots who can spit out code like transcriptionists type out dictation. That’s why they refuse to take eager, hungry graduates who are willing to learn and mold them. In addition to the CIS theory courses, I have three semesters of calculus, and two of Numerical Analysis. While I admit I don’t have a natural aptitude toward programming, and I may have never been the World’s Greatest Programmer Evah, there is no way that I am “untrainable.”

      So now I am being trained to sell fitness products. The education the taxpayers helped subsidize went completely to waste; I didn’t need a Math/CIS degree to do this job. Not that I am disparaging it; not at all. I love fitness, and I love that Beachbody was willing to train me. I love that I am receiving mentoring and support, and not being told that I’m stupid and not worth anything…the way I was by the IT industry.

      But part of me will always wonder what I could have contributed to the sciences if I’d only had the opportunity, instead of being tossed aside like garbage.

      • BY John says:

        I have cs/math degrees and had no problem finding work. Generally, CIS degrees are too high level and don’t leave students with enough hands on problem solving and coding experience.

        The problem you are seeing is from misinformation your school gave you when deciding what degree to pursue.

        Also, it’s pretty easy to learn RoR or GoG and create your own app, if you have the desire.

  16. BY Louis Perlman says:

    WRt education, it absolutely can help you out if you take the right courses. My son is a computer science major, and he is taking the courses I now wish I had been forced to take back in the day. Things like data structures and discrete structures don’t change. Learning to code is also key. Put both theory and coding together will result in a high level of employability. Beats having to get re-certified every few years.

    • BY trothaar says:

      I took data structures, algorithms (did really well in algorithms), etc. None of it did me a darned bit of good in the job market. Employers don’t care about theoretical knowledge. They want you to be able to walk in and build your own version of Word or a replica of Amazon.com.

      Yeah, I was told to spend the next 2-3 years working for free and building a portfolio. I couldn’t afford to do that. I was willing to work for minimum wage…but I was unwilling, and unable, to work for $0.00/hour. (And I was unwilling, as someone on LinkedIn suggested to me, to divorce my husband and “just go on welfare,” effectively making the taxpayers support me while I chased rainbows.)

      I was reading an article today in “Scientific American” about citizen science projects, and about how many scientific breakthroughs were made by people with little or no STEM education. Without meaning to, this article hit on a problem with America today: employers don’t want thinkers, innovators and creators. They want robots who can spit out code like transcriptionists type out dictation. That’s why they refuse to take eager, hungry graduates who are willing to learn and mold them. In addition to the CIS theory courses, I have three semesters of calculus, and two of Numerical Analysis. While I admit I don’t have a natural aptitude toward programming, and I may have never been the World’s Greatest Programmer Evah, there is no way that I am “untrainable.”

      So now I am being trained to sell fitness products. The education the taxpayers helped subsidize went completely to waste; I didn’t need a Math/CIS degree to do this job. Not that I am disparaging it; not at all. I love fitness, and I love that Beachbody was willing to train me. I love that I am receiving mentoring and support, and not being told that I’m stupid and not worth anything…the way I was by the IT industry.

      But part of me will always wonder what I could have contributed to the sciences if I’d only had the opportunity, instead of being tossed aside like garbage.

      • BY John says:

        I have cs/math degrees and had no problem finding work. Generally, CIS degrees are too high level and don’t leave students with enough hands on problem solving and coding experience.

        The problem you are seeing is from misinformation your school gave you when deciding what degree to pursue.

        Also, it’s pretty easy to learn RoR or GoG and create your own app, if you have the desire.

  17. BY Stephen says:

    I don’t really understand what the article is saying. All other things being equal, wouldn’t companies have to pay people more to move to an undesirable area, and less to stay in a desirable area? Is the article saying that salaries increase in the other markets, or in the “sticky” markets?

  18. BY Stephen says:

    I don’t really understand what the article is saying. All other things being equal, wouldn’t companies have to pay people more to move to an undesirable area, and less to stay in a desirable area? Is the article saying that salaries increase in the other markets, or in the “sticky” markets?

  19. BY D Dennis says:

    This is very insightful information that most don’t know.
    Thanks Dice!

  20. BY D Dennis says:

    This is very insightful information that most don’t know.
    Thanks Dice!

  21. BY Prakash says:

    I agree with you………………

  22. BY Roy Niswanger says:

    I lost track of this discussion…dice, can you please fix these discussions so that they are ordered from most recent on the top?

  23. BY RobS says:

    Mike,

    NY is a wonderful place to live if you have the money to live in the City, where you can see a new and exciting thing every day for years. Taxes are not that much higher than a lot of other places and the salary offsets most of that plus the cost of living. And people are only rude on the surface; get past that and you’ll have great friends for life. Crime? don’t make yourself a target and you probably won’t be a victim. Weather? Not much worse than most of the country. However, after 30 years living there, the intensity of it was a bit much for me so I left.

  24. BY aftab ali says:

    Crime? New York City is the safest big city in America, and according to Forbes is a top 10 safest city overall in the U.S.

    Also, you don’t have to live in New York City, you could live in Westchester County or Long Island and still be close to Manhattan.

  25. BY Ed Miranda says:

    Just one piece of advise: Do NOT overspend on your education. Dont handicap yourself with years of debt. Goto a descent school that is not too expensive. In IT, your formal 4 year education (BS Computer Science) does not matter as much as your IT skills. And these skills are transient and stale within a few years. In the IT field you are perpetually learning and training. So, bottom line don t overspend on your degree.

  26. BY Stephen says:

    In general I agree not to overspend on your education, however it does depend on what college you can get into. If you can get into a top 100 school, it is worth some extra debt… maybe not 200k, but some for sure. There are numerous intangible, lifelong benefits from doing so, and over a lifetime even the money will probably work out. It’s true that tech skills are what matter, but a broad education can also help you be better at technology.

  27. BY eaglesfanintn says:

    That’s great advice. If I had known then, what I know now, I would have been like Jeff and gone to a technical college to get the core training I need. Of course, when I went to college, PC’s were still new and the original Mac hadn’t even come out.
    But, my BA in political science isn’t even in the realm of what I do for a living now.

  28. BY Jeff says:

    Yes I know what you mean. The state of TX and the D-M-V area are consistently in the top 5. I live here in NC I just don’t see it. I know my experience is limited to 2 years, but i have been here all my life and to me it seems if you want I top level high paying job you may want to look outside of NC. I search the job boards on a weekly basis and get at least 3 calls or emails a week, but they are mostly for short term or contracts positions. If you are looking for that then yes there are plenty of jobs, but if you are looking for a permanent and I say that with caution, then you may want to look elsewhere. I know a see a lot of magazines listing the RTP area as one of the best places to live and start a business, but i have been here all my life and let me tell you if you are looking for a life outside of work, eat, sleep and raise a family, then don’t come here especially if you are used to big city life. There is no comparison. I have been to a lot of major cities and I have lived in Charlotte and San Antonio due to me being in the military. I would have to say I like living close enough to the big city but just far enough outside of it where i don;t have to pay for that cost of living. I am looking to get the best bang for my buck i.e. high salary low cost of living. Looking at the states on the list I know GA and TX come to mind. TX doesn’t have state income tax and GA has a relatively low cost of living. Can’t speak for the others. Also you have to look at your skill set to see where is a demand for what you do and then compare and contrast where you live based on the places on this list. For example in ATL you don’t have to live in the city and you could land a high paying job with a low cost of living. I know that houses in the Ellenwood, GA area are running abut $150,000 for about 3000+ sq-ft. If you are making more than $60,000 you are in good shape and even better shape if you are married. If you live in the DMV area you are going to pay with your arm, leg, eyes and nose, but you get a extremely high salary especially if you work for the FEDS and they have mass transit to where you may or may not have to drive to work, so you could save big time if you don’t live to close to the DC area.
    If you live in TX you dont pay state income tax so you get to keep that and also the cost of living is low also. If you make a high salary and low cost of living then you are in great shape.

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