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Old 11-03-2018, 09:59 PM
 
Location: New Jersey
943 posts, read 414,357 times
Reputation: 460

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In the West "Coast's" main cities such as LA, SF, Portland, and Seattle, there are huge companies out there and that means you have to be a prestigious student to stand out and get a job in those areas. I am an IT major and I find that IT opportunities in NJ where I live really suck unless you are willing to drive all the way to NYC every day.

From what people say, the West Coast's large metro areas are bad in job opportunities, since there are well known companies there and it is bad for somebody like me who does not have a decent/prestigious resume. I did some research on smaller metro areas out West such as the Reno, NV area (Reno area also extends a bit into Cali) and the Bend, OR area. I didn't do much research on the Redding area of CA.

I looked into these three areas on Google Earth and I like the way the small metro areas look. It's not too urban or too rural, which sounds perfect. I always wanted to live somewhere semi-rural when I live on my own after college. I love how these small areas have civilization around, but then you have access to beautiful scenery and outdoor activities (outdoors especially in the Reno area).

Here are a list of things I am considering:
1. Weather - I don't mind a few of inches of snow such as 3 inches of snow per snowstorm. People have told me that the cold temperatures in the West is a lot more comfortable compared to the East due to dry desert air, so I guess the cold should be fine. I don't mind heat that much as long as it's not dangerously hot as Phoenix for most of the year. Obviously, the West doesn't have humidity like the East (duh!).
2. Beautiful/dramatic scenery
3. Outdoor activities - I love the outdoors especially when scenery is beautiful. I like hiking and camping especially, but also anything else that is outdoors.
4. Enough people my own age - I wonder if Nevada is a retiree state. It seems like Las Vegas area has so many retirees, because I always hear stories of people retiring in Las Vegas. So would the Reno area be full of people my age group (I am 20 years old right now)? To me, NJ had too many retirees and I feel bleh about that.

Do these areas even have jobs and which place is better to live? I am looking forward to making at least $50K and wanting to eventually own a small house and have no kids.
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Old 11-03-2018, 10:51 PM
 
Location: Reno, NV
1,546 posts, read 710,668 times
Reputation: 1988
I just moved to Reno for work a few weeks ago, and I'm in my early 20s myself. I'd be glad to meet up if you ever want to, as someone else who shares interest in urban planning/urban design issues. Here's what my experience so far has been like:

- There are plenty of people here in their 20s, it's not an especially old area. That being said, I've had a hard time finding more intellectual/creative/socially involved young people who aren't UNR students (it'd just be weird if I tried to make friends with them). The younger crowd here seems to be more working-class or the bar-hopping stay-out-till-3-am type - which may be your scene, but it isn't mine.

- The weather here has been great, pretty consistently clear skies and little humidity. Be prepared for it to get pretty cold at night after a warm daytime, though - lots of temperature variation.

- The scenery is indeed beautiful. I used to think I didn't like cities with a mountain backdrop, since it would make the human element seem insignificant, but now that I live here, I've realized it serves more as a "frame" for the city and makes ordinary drives feel like adventures.

- There are plenty of groups around here that go hiking/biking/etc. I'd like to join a mountain biking troupe as soon as I get a ride that can handle it - all I could take on the plane here when I moved here was my old, rickety folding bike.

- There are jobs here, including in IT, but have something lined up before you move (but that goes for anywhere). The rent-to-salary ratio tends to be pretty high here, so be ready to spend a bit of time searching for apartments and don't be too picky with your criteria. I got a place downtown for under $900, though, so it can be done.

Good luck, and please ask if you have more questions!
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Old 11-04-2018, 01:42 AM
 
Location: Yakima WA
4,403 posts, read 4,608,580 times
Reputation: 3848
I live in a smaller metro in the West (Yakima) and love it. It wouldn't fit all your criteria but it does for me at this stage of my life. Let's see how it does with your criteria.

1.Weather..yes you would like it. 4 seasons. Summers are hot but not as hot as Phoenix. Plus unlike the desert SW it's only two months of really hot weather (July and August). June and September are not too hot, they are very nice. Winters are exactly what you describe. Cold but not drastic. This last winter it only snowed one day...Christmas Eve (how perfect is that?). I spent my childhood in Wisconsin and the winters here are much milder.


2.Beautiful/dramatic scenery. It's very close as we are just east of the Cascades. Mount Adams, Mount Rainer, Wenatchee National Forest and many more places are a short road trip away. Yakima itself is in a valley surrounded by mountains and just driving around town there are some nice views with the mountains in the background.

3. Tons of hiking and camping around here and many choices to do it in.

4.Young people. Yakima is a young city because it is heavily Latino. But I would say the Caucasian population leans older like in most smaller metros that aren't college towns.

As for jobs...this is a big fruit/agriculture area and a lot of the jobs are centered around that....there is plenty ofnon-agriculture jobs too but it's mostly low paying. What I like about that is the low cost of living that comes with it. I am middle aged, already had a career in a big city and am now content with a lower paying job with few bills in a low cost of living area.

What I like most about living in a smaller metro is the urban/rural mix you talk about. It has all the shopping, restaurants etc I need without any traffic issues or long lines. If I want or need something from a big city Seattle is just over 2 hours away.

Yakima has a terrible reputation for crime but it doesn't affect my life. It's mostly Hispanic gangs fighting each other...They don't mess with the general public. I don't even notice they are here. I felt much less safe when I lived in a sketchy neighborhood of a big city.
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Old 11-04-2018, 04:20 AM
 
274 posts, read 287,722 times
Reputation: 331
Boise has a fair amount of IT jobs and is close to a lot of wilderness
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Old 11-04-2018, 09:33 AM
 
Location: New Jersey
943 posts, read 414,357 times
Reputation: 460
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheTimidBlueBars View Post
I just moved to Reno for work a few weeks ago, and I'm in my early 20s myself. I'd be glad to meet up if you ever want to, as someone else who shares interest in urban planning/urban design issues. Here's what my experience so far has been like:

- There are plenty of people here in their 20s, it's not an especially old area. That being said, I've had a hard time finding more intellectual/creative/socially involved young people who aren't UNR students (it'd just be weird if I tried to make friends with them). The younger crowd here seems to be more working-class or the bar-hopping stay-out-till-3-am type - which may be your scene, but it isn't mine.

- The weather here has been great, pretty consistently clear skies and little humidity. Be prepared for it to get pretty cold at night after a warm daytime, though - lots of temperature variation.

- The scenery is indeed beautiful. I used to think I didn't like cities with a mountain backdrop, since it would make the human element seem insignificant, but now that I live here, I've realized it serves more as a "frame" for the city and makes ordinary drives feel like adventures.

- There are plenty of groups around here that go hiking/biking/etc. I'd like to join a mountain biking troupe as soon as I get a ride that can handle it - all I could take on the plane here when I moved here was my old, rickety folding bike.

- There are jobs here, including in IT, but have something lined up before you move (but that goes for anywhere). The rent-to-salary ratio tends to be pretty high here, so be ready to spend a bit of time searching for apartments and don't be too picky with your criteria. I got a place downtown for under $900, though, so it can be done.

Good luck, and please ask if you have more questions!
The problem with "college towns" is that we will not be in our 20s forever, so that means we will eventually out grow the young college students who live around here. But, does the Reno area actually have people our age who will stay out here forever?

Weather and scenery sounds good out here.

Outdoor activities sound good and that's great that there are groups.

I am not looking to live inside Reno itself, but like I wonder how much cost of living would be to live in a semi rural area of the Reno area. Obviously, I would have to drive to Reno to access my job. It seems like there are IT jobs around here.
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Old 11-04-2018, 09:38 AM
 
Location: New Jersey
943 posts, read 414,357 times
Reputation: 460
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay F View Post
I live in a smaller metro in the West (Yakima) and love it. It wouldn't fit all your criteria but it does for me at this stage of my life. Let's see how it does with your criteria.

1.Weather..yes you would like it. 4 seasons. Summers are hot but not as hot as Phoenix. Plus unlike the desert SW it's only two months of really hot weather (July and August). June and September are not too hot, they are very nice. Winters are exactly what you describe. Cold but not drastic. This last winter it only snowed one day...Christmas Eve (how perfect is that?). I spent my childhood in Wisconsin and the winters here are much milder.


2.Beautiful/dramatic scenery. It's very close as we are just east of the Cascades. Mount Adams, Mount Rainer, Wenatchee National Forest and many more places are a short road trip away. Yakima itself is in a valley surrounded by mountains and just driving around town there are some nice views with the mountains in the background.

3. Tons of hiking and camping around here and many choices to do it in.

4.Young people. Yakima is a young city because it is heavily Latino. But I would say the Caucasian population leans older like in most smaller metros that aren't college towns.

As for jobs...this is a big fruit/agriculture area and a lot of the jobs are centered around that....there is plenty ofnon-agriculture jobs too but it's mostly low paying. What I like about that is the low cost of living that comes with it. I am middle aged, already had a career in a big city and am now content with a lower paying job with few bills in a low cost of living area.

What I like most about living in a smaller metro is the urban/rural mix you talk about. It has all the shopping, restaurants etc I need without any traffic issues or long lines. If I want or need something from a big city Seattle is just over 2 hours away.

Yakima has a terrible reputation for crime but it doesn't affect my life. It's mostly Hispanic gangs fighting each other...They don't mess with the general public. I don't even notice they are here. I felt much less safe when I lived in a sketchy neighborhood of a big city.

Yeah I heard bad things about Yakima in terms of the crime and people said the snow can be bad, but based on what you said, snow does not sound too bad. I was worried Yakima would have too many whites, but shockingly it has a large Hispanic population, which is good for me, since I gravitate towards Hispanic people.

Your description of living in a small metro area, sounds like what I dream of. Not many traffic issues and not many long lines. Yakima having a 2 hour proximity to Seattle is equivalent to Reno having proximity to Sacramento and San Francisco. Both these small metro areas sound good.

One thing: The problem with "college towns" is that I will not be in my 20s forever, so that means I will eventually out grow the young college students who live around here. But, does the Yakima area actually have people my age who will stay out here forever and not just for college?
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Old 11-04-2018, 01:25 PM
 
Location: Yakima WA
4,403 posts, read 4,608,580 times
Reputation: 3848
Quote:
Originally Posted by potanta View Post
Yeah I heard bad things about Yakima in terms of the crime and people said the snow can be bad, but based on what you said, snow does not sound too bad. I was worried Yakima would have too many whites, but shockingly it has a large Hispanic population, which is good for me, since I gravitate towards Hispanic people.

Your description of living in a small metro area, sounds like what I dream of. Not many traffic issues and not many long lines. Yakima having a 2 hour proximity to Seattle is equivalent to Reno having proximity to Sacramento and San Francisco. Both these small metro areas sound good.

One thing: The problem with "college towns" is that I will not be in my 20s forever, so that means I will eventually out grow the young college students who live around here. But, does the Yakima area actually have people my age who will stay out here forever and not just for college?
The large Hispanic population is one of my favorite things about Yakima. One of the reasons is I am very attracted to Hispanic women. This is like heaven to me with all the pretty Latinas. I like Hispanics in general..they are mostly nice, down to earth and have a gentleness about them that I really like. Plus having a large Hispanic community makes this city more interesting than smaller metros that are mostly white.

I love not having traffic issues...especially coming from a big city. You can pretty much drive anywhere here within 15 minutes. They don't even have traffic reports on the radio, they don't need them. Not having long commutes with bumper to bumper traffic definitely adds to the quality of life and gives you more time to enjoy the day.

I like how you can enter a business and because it is not crowded you will be noticed right away and get customer service.

There is a community college here and there is a large university (Central Washington) about 30 minutes away in Ellensburg. I have met many 20 somethings who moved to a big city (often times Seattle) and then move back here and really appreciate the things they once took for granted (low cost of living, no traffic etc.).

I think you should check this place out you might like it a lot. If you do let me know and we can meet up. I enjoy your posts and like what a fan of the West you are.
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Old 11-04-2018, 05:38 PM
 
Location: New Jersey
943 posts, read 414,357 times
Reputation: 460
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay F View Post
The large Hispanic population is one of my favorite things about Yakima. One of the reasons is I am very attracted to Hispanic women. This is like heaven to me with all the pretty Latinas. I like Hispanics in general..they are mostly nice, down to earth and have a gentleness about them that I really like. Plus having a large Hispanic community makes this city more interesting than smaller metros that are mostly white.

I love not having traffic issues...especially coming from a big city. You can pretty much drive anywhere here within 15 minutes. They don't even have traffic reports on the radio, they don't need them. Not having long commutes with bumper to bumper traffic definitely adds to the quality of life and gives you more time to enjoy the day.

I like how you can enter a business and because it is not crowded you will be noticed right away and get customer service.

There is a community college here and there is a large university (Central Washington) about 30 minutes away in Ellensburg. I have met many 20 somethings who moved to a big city (often times Seattle) and then move back here and really appreciate the things they once took for granted (low cost of living, no traffic etc.).

I think you should check this place out you might like it a lot. If you do let me know and we can meet up. I enjoy your posts and like what a fan of the West you are.
Me too! The Hispanic population excites me. This is a wonderland, I never seen a remote-ish city that is filled with a huge minority population rather than a white population. I am Indian and I tend to gravitate towards Hispanics as friends and many of the gay Hispanic guys like me (I'm bi). Hispanic people are fun people to be around. It would suck to live in a small metro where I would be the only minority, especially since I like to live around outdoor activities. Usually, if you are a minority who lives close to rural areas, you will see tons of whites and a lot of them be rednecks or prejudice against seeing a minority.

Quality of life sounds great here and the weather doesn't sound too bad! The only object to worry about is jobs and job availability. In large metro areas, you can't live in a semi-rural area unless you want a long, horrific commute to the city that you work in, unless you're lucky enough to have a job in the suburbs (in NJ it's hard to find jobs in the easy-to-drive areas like the suburbs).

I'm glad you looked through my profile and I never knew you read my posts! Someone likes me! I am a HUGE fan of the West!
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Old 11-04-2018, 07:25 PM
 
Location: Seattle WA, USA
3,944 posts, read 2,217,055 times
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something to consider is that there are a lot of start ups in the large western cities particularly around SF and Seattle so it's not just the big tech companies. Also if you want to gain experience quickly I heard that a lot of people try to get into Amazon, from what I hear it's not too hard since they are expanding/hiring like crazy, and I also think they have a high turnover rate since they push there employees very hard. Also most people don't actually work for major tech companies directly, but work through a vender, at least that's the case for Microsoft which they tend to work a lot with Mindtree and Avanade.

But of the smaller western cities I would probably choose Bosie, it's booming right now, I think it's even the fastest growing city in the US right now.
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Old 11-04-2018, 10:45 PM
 
Location: South Florida for now
236 posts, read 183,665 times
Reputation: 197
If Cheyenne, Wyoming counts as the West (as opposed to the Midwest or the Plains or any other moniker), I'll have to say that I loved my time in that city. Walk through downtown early in the morning, observe the western-style architecture and very few people are out about on the roads OR on the sidewalk during this time.
The few folks that I've passed on my morning walks have always been courteous with a smile, nod or greeting. This is commonplace in smaller cities (<20,000) all over the country but for a steadily growing city with a >60,000 population, it is rare to meet so many friendly faces in a Downtown district. Down here in Florida? Forget about it.

I also like how, in spite of the city's steady growth rate, the city does seem to be (relatively) contained compared to most cities of its size in the Sunbelt. There is a commercial corridor with big-box stores on every corner, but travel just 5 miles out of Downtown (in any direction) and you're in the great wide open.
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