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Old 10-30-2010, 10:12 PM
 
22 posts, read 42,605 times
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Default Job outlook for Montana?

I am contemplating a move to Montana to avoid the nasty summery heat/humidity where I currently live (Nebraska). I will be telecommuting out of state (I'm in IT/web development).

Since I can basically choose my destination, where would you live:
  1. that has reasonable cost of living when compared to salaries in the area
  2. easy access to mountains/outdoor recreation to escape the summer heat; basically...the cooler the better, in the summer...winter cold is not a concern.
  3. opportunity for employment should something happen to my job
Since I will be working from home, direct access to the larger cities is not a necessity...outlying towns would do, but should be reasonable (30 minutes)j commute should I need to find a job there.

What would be your top 3 cities/towns, given the above criteria?

Last edited by mkloster; 10-30-2010 at 10:21 PM..
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Old 10-30-2010, 10:38 PM
 
Location: Spots Wyoming
17,629 posts, read 22,060,114 times
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If you are in IT/web developement, you might want to check out the thread on here for Broadband/DSL in Montana. Most of the larger towns it will not be a problem. Most of the smaller towns will not be a problem. However, some of the smaller towns are not going to have what you need for speed.

Basically, split the state in half. Western, mountainous, expensive. Eastern, high plains, less expensive.

How far away from the mountains would you be willing to be? Close, less then 30 minutes, an hour, a couple of hours??? Will help so members can give better answers.
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Old 10-30-2010, 10:52 PM
 
Location: Montana
11 posts, read 14,846 times
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MK-
I would check on these three cities, Missoula, Bozeman, and Billings.

Missoula is a great college town to live in with a lot of new IT opportunities.

Bozeman is another college town and tends to be a bit more expensive, but seems to pay better.

Billings is Billings and has jobs but not that great of a place to live.
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Old 10-30-2010, 11:05 PM
 
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ElkHunter - to answer your question..."close to mountains" to me means an hour or less. Thanks.
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Old 10-30-2010, 11:10 PM
 
Location: Montana
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P.S. Montana is a big state with everything thrown far and wide. A commute here is much different than a commute in the east. We live 36 miles from Helena, MT, but it still takes us a half hour just to drive down our mountain and get to the interstate. Then another half hour drive to Helena. I would suggest that you do your research well, because an "easy commute" means something completely different to most Montanans than it does to people from out of state.

Just an added thought.
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Old 10-31-2010, 12:18 AM
 
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Sugarpuss: why is Billings such a "not that great of a place to live"? It's got better entertainment, weather, medical care, restaurants, sports, transportation, employment, communications than anywhere else in the state. Plus, if one likes larger towns, Billings is obviously the only choice.
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Old 10-31-2010, 08:26 AM
 
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Billings is out for me, as it is too hot in the summer. The historical data shows a 6 degree difference in average high's in August (88 vs. 82), which is pretty significant.

Thanks for the warning...I have been to Montana several times vacationing, so I fully understand that "distance" is an entirely different thing there.
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Old 10-31-2010, 10:09 AM
 
Location: Tulsa, OK
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Default Nancy boy

Montana is a land of extreme temperatures no matter where you live. Missoula can hit the triple digits just like Billings can, its just not as often. Also, if you think Nebraska is humid, you'd hate anything outside of Montana, Idaho and Wyoming as most places are just as humid or worse than Nebraska.

If you want to have a better index of living, Billings is actually the best one. Missoula and Bozeman have a rash of college and former college students that depress the labor market wages. I would rank Bozeman higher for IT than Missoula due to Right Now technologies and a couple of other contracting firms that have offices there. U of M also has a much smaller computer science program than MSU and no engineering faculty in Missoula. However, both Missoula and Bozeman are CA-heavy and there is a high cost of living associated with them (~20% over Billings). So you want lower wages and a higher cost of living?

Also, you can count on higher travel costs for maintaining certifications/languages as there are few IT courses taught in the state unless the universities are hosting them.

I'd recommend getting the job first before moving here.
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Old 11-01-2010, 11:21 AM
 
Location: NW Montana
451 posts, read 491,971 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkloster View Post
Billings is out for me, as it is too hot in the summer. The historical data shows a 6 degree difference in average high's in August (88 vs. 82), which is pretty significant.

Thanks for the warning...I have been to Montana several times vacationing, so I fully understand that "distance" is an entirely different thing there.

Like you, I hate the extremes of heat and humidity - these become overriding considerations for me and my family.

Thus my advice: Anyplace west of the Continental Divide will likely suit your weather appetite. Far fewer days of extreme heat/cold than what the US Midwest (including Nebraska) experience, and a much lower average humidity. We don't even own an air conditioner here because, once the sun goes down, even a 95 temperature day drops quickly down to comfortable sleeping temps. The most we ever need is a fan to move the cooler air inside. Have never had that stickiness that Midwesterners live with.

We happen to enjoy the Polson area - close to Flathead Lake, small town environment but with shopping and airports within an hour's drive. Same can be said for Lakeside, Bigfork, Somers, Dayton...

Sounds to me like you might enjoy any of these. Telecommuting will work for you because we have excellent Internet availability in all of those areas. If you like larger towns/cities, you should look at Kalispell or Missoula.

Ask for more specific info and you'll likely get answers.

Good luck!

mg
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Old 11-01-2010, 11:31 AM
 
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Thanks for confirming the climate for me, mg. In my research, several have suggested Kalispell, Missoula, and Bozeman.
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