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Old 10-02-2012, 10:53 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
159 posts, read 153,365 times
Reputation: 177

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I'm posting this same question to several different cities that we're considering relocating to. I'm trying to gauge the local culture specifically within the IT-industry in the following points (feel free to skip my personal details below each question)...

Experience, or Education?
Basically, can one get a decent job without a degree? I have 10+ years experience in IT, and some certs and trainings, but have no formal degree. This has never caused so much as a hiccup in my career before, but I imagine some places it may be very difficult to secure a job without a degree based on the local culture - How is KC in that category? My most recent position was about 3 years as a programmer and DB analyst - I loved that work and would like to continue on that track if possible, I don't want to be blocked by a cultural requirement for the degree ;)

What's the job market like?
When your company posts an IT job, are you getting huge stacks of over-qualified workers desperate for a job, are you getting a handful of qualified workers looking for opportunity, or are you getting a sea of underqualified applicants desperate for any sort of work? If you've recently been job hunting - care to share any experience? How long were you looking? The job market is bad everywhere, and everywhere people love to complain about how bad it is where they live - is there some very real tangible reason it's bad where you are? Perhaps a large company has left, failed, or outsourced, for instance?

Social Networking - how important is it?
It's important everywhere, but there are definitely some areas where it's darn near impossible to get a job unless you know someone who knows someone. Other places it's helpful but not overly so.

In deciding to leave our jobs in California and sell most of our stuff to pursue a dream of moving to NYC (at least for a while), my wife and I decided we should take the opportunity to see everything on the way. But that decision to do some traveling turned out to be quite rewarding and actually surprisingly sustainable - thus we've been 'on the way' to NYC for almost 2 years now. Unfortunately, as a result of our experiences and other life-changing happenstance I don't think we'd enjoy living in NYC quite as much as we probably would have when we first set off. So considerations are being tossed around based on places we've been and liked, places we have family/friends, and places we think we'd like that will be visited before concluding our travels. Any input you may be able to offer on the above questions (which aren't so obvious upon simply visiting) would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 10-02-2012, 12:03 PM
 
220 posts, read 359,902 times
Reputation: 180
The IT culture here is driven by certs and experience, not degrees. You shouldn't have any issues on that front.

No idea what the IT job market is like, haven't had to look for one in awhile, but people I know in IT never seem to have any issues finding employment.

While knowing someone always helps, it's definitely not a must here. The good old boy clubs exist, but aren't widespread and dominating the field.

Good luck!
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Old 10-03-2012, 09:50 AM
 
1,830 posts, read 3,113,536 times
Reputation: 532
There is a local IT group that claims >9000 members but not necessary to find a job...
Kansas City IT Professionals - A Kansas City Tech Community of 9,000+ ... KC Tech Events, News & More

The IT job market in KC is large for its size with very low unemployment, especially for DBAs. There are a couple IT threads here, check them out for suggestions.
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Old 10-03-2012, 10:10 AM
 
Location: St. Louis, MO
414 posts, read 744,952 times
Reputation: 211
Developers are in high demand. At my work we have had open reqs out for various developers to work on everything from desktop applications to mobile platforms. Some of these openings have been there for months now. Our problem is we can't seem to keep up with the pay being offered at some other firms as our primary revenue source is changing faces.

Some of the big dogs in town: Cerner, DST, Perceptive, Garmin. Also, there are lots of smaller operations and even more are likely to show up as Google Fiber spreads.
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Old 10-03-2012, 11:18 AM
 
1,830 posts, read 3,113,536 times
Reputation: 532
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichMonk View Post
Also, there are lots of smaller operations and even more are likely to show up as Google Fiber spreads.
Yeah, there are nearly 3000 IT/tech shops in KC, more than STL, Pittsburgh and Raleigh/Durham, which I noticed were also posted in. Google fiber helps too - only KC has it.
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Old 10-03-2012, 10:01 PM
 
Location: Middle America
35,821 posts, read 39,419,773 times
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Every third guy I've dated lately has been a developer. Employment seems stable.
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Old 10-06-2012, 07:54 AM
 
886 posts, read 1,861,994 times
Reputation: 312
While a few places want degrees, I've also got over 10 years experience, and that is what's important, as well as certs. I don't know how everyone else feels, but in IT today, with how quick things change, I feel a degree is not necessary or even worth the money. Certs are more valuable. If any degree would be helpful it might just be a basic business degree in case you wanted to move in different directions within IT, management or something.

I also don't know the job market, but IT is growing constantly and I think it would be healthy.

Social networking is not important here. Does it help? Sure... but it's really not a major factor.
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Old 10-08-2012, 09:35 AM
 
1,830 posts, read 3,113,536 times
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This is a bit dated but shows tech status of various metros. According to this, KC has a higher tech employment base and # of tech establishments than STL, Pitt, and similar sized cities...

TechAmerica Foundation : Cybercities 2010 Press
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