Advice for Finding a Job Out of State, Where to Move
June 21, 2010 4:16 PM   Subscribe

Now that I'm about to graduate in 6 months,where should I move to in the Southwestern U.S. and how might I find an IT job there?


After working hard for the past year, I've gotten ahead of my original plan and will graduate a semester earlier than anticipated, even with one internship and other experiences. Once I graduate, I figure that there would be no better time to move before I form any attachments to the area (mainly those resulting from eventually having a wife and kids).

I've studied Java, managing information systems, data communications, networking, information security, and database design. This fall, I will get into systems design, more database work, decision support systems, and network design/management.

I have decided on the following criteria on where I want to move:
- There must be a job waiting for me
- The state should be relatively tax friendly, since I need to put money away for retirement ASAP, or I might not retire at all.
- Ideally, the weather would be warm to hot, but not humid. I'm flexible here, but have always wanted to live out in the desert some place.
- I'd prefer to stay out of cities, but I wouldn't mind living close by on the outskirts.
- I don't want to live in areas that are so remote that they are far from basic human services (health care, emergency services, etc.)
- The area would ideally have an equivalent or better job market than the Baltimore-Washington area (this may be too optimistic).

These are a few of the states or areas that I've considered moving to, depending on what job I can land, in order of preference from most to least desirable:
- Nevada
- Boulder, Colorado
- Texas

Help me hive mind!
posted by anonymous to Grab Bag (4 answers total)
The eastern part of Texas is hot and muggy. The western part of Texas is hot, not warm.

Boulder, CO is not humid but does get somewhat warm in the summer. It never gets really hot. It does get rather cold in the winter.

Nevada is not humid, but gets very hot. It doesn't get very cold, though desert nights can surprise you.
posted by dfriedman at 4:19 PM on June 21, 2010

The area would ideally have an equivalent or better job market [for recent IS graduates] than the Baltimore-Washington area

Because of the enormous amount of Federal IT dollars being spent, there are very few places in the US that are better for entry level IT/IS workers than the area that you're currently living in. Plus, you've got at least the beginnings of a network there (your internships, other people from UMD).

A company takes a bigger risk when they hire an employee that needs to relocate. This is especially true of smaller companies (the kind that don't operate out of big cities). If there's a local candidate that's as strong as you are, then you're not going to be the one that gets the offer. Considering the state of the economy, there are a lot of strong candidates who are un- or underemployed right now, everywhere. Unless you're demonstrably a superstar (which is nearly impossible as a new graduate -- you know, unless you're already running something like Napster or Facebook from your dorm), your non-local resume isn't going to make the first round of cuts.

If I were in your shoes, I'd think about working for at least a year in the DC area (or as part of a travelling consulting team), so when you start looking for work in the Southwest, you'll have some professional experience beyond your internship. Just one year of actual employment will open more doors for you in IT/IS than anything you can do while still in school. And if you happen to have a gig that involves travel, perhaps that will introduce you to the town that you want to live in.

Did your previous internship lead to a post-graduation job offer? Are you interning or working somewhere this summer?

...also, take a look at Austin, TX.
posted by toxic at 5:21 PM on June 21, 2010

Best answer: your non-local resume isn't going to make the first round of cuts

This is unfortunate but true. Speaking from personal experience (our company had the chance of hiring a MeFi IT super-stud but for relocation anxieties). I'd either start looking local, or start packing your bags.

If I were a young programmer just getting my feet wet, I'd be looking for work in the health care or insurance industries because those are the kinds of places that will give you the most varied programming challenges and still pay well. Additionally, most health-related or insurance-related businesses satisfy your location criteria: located near cities but usually in them. They tend to be found more often in semi-suburban office parks.

As far as locations, I'd look to the South. North Carolina has got plenty of big players (banks, insurance companies, health care providers), and should be hot enough for you.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 1:26 AM on June 22, 2010

Er... usually not in them
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 1:27 AM on June 22, 2010

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