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Old 05-20-2013, 04:31 PM
Location: Sick of MI.
160 posts, read 401,525 times
Reputation: 192


Hello. I live in Grand Rapids, Michigan and am currently taking classes toward my associates degree in accounting. I expect to graduate summer of 2014. With my degree I intend to be able to work in Accounts Receivable, Accounts Payable, and Bookkeeping.

My intention once I graduate is to get a job in this field and then take classes toward a full blown accounting degree online, hopefully at a not-for-profit university offering online classes, not a ponzi college like U of Phoenix.

I am not averse to working in an area that is not my job, however, if I can find full time employment. I have a job in GR but am currently underemployed (working below 40 hours but want more). Unemployment is getting better around here but competition is still very stiff and underemployment is a major problem. I am looking at the plains states because I have seen the low unemployment and how well it weathered the recession. Since MI is very manufacturing based it is very prone to recessions. People were making a lot of money in West MI during the 90s but it's been tough around here since around 2003 or so, but I was only in middle school then. The truth is going back to the 70s we've had consistently high unemployment except from about 1994-2001. So if anyone is going to say they have it bad they better live in one of the few places with a worse problem like CA Central Valley.

I was originally thinking Fargo but after researching it more I realized it was a lot more blue collar type jobs unless you know the right people, so I have decided to focus on larger cities.

How is Omaha economically? Is it a good place for a person with a two year accounting degree working toward a bachelor's and intending to do a career in that field or finance. (I am not above doing anything else though, just something full time entry level in sales or something would be nice).

How does it compare on a jobs situation to Lincoln and Des Moines. I've seen Omaha is slightly higher unemployment rate than Lincoln but I also know Omaha has a more impoverished, less educated black community on the north side (not being racist, just saying I've read about NO) so this may factor in.

As for Lincoln is it mostly state jobs and jobs supported by the U of N? Or is the jobs situation a lot better in Lincoln.

As for Des Moines I understand it has a large insurance industry which would imply more accounting jobs, but is also smaller than Omaha and has higher unemployment.

I would also consider the Twin Cities but it is probably higher rent, more crime etc. Plus it is a bit too snowy there. I am used to snow and cold. I can handle cold, but snow is hard, and we get an average of 72 inches per year in GR. Minneapolis gets about 40-50, you get about 25-30. I think MNPLS might be too cold. DM, O, and L are about at my latitude, so I am used to how cold it gets. MNPLS is about the same latitude as northern MI (Traverse City, Gaylord, Alpena) by contrast.

My plan is to sublet an apartment next summer in one of these metros then look for a job. When I get it I would then start looking for permanent housing. I am saving up over the next year for this.

Once again.

I am 23 now, will be 24 when I come out there.

Male, HS graduate will have an AD in accounting.

Looking to continue Bachelor's Online since I cannot afford to go to school and live on campus full time. I can afford tuition, just not the opportunity cost of quitting my job.

I have worked at the same job for four years so I have a long term track record. I am currently underemployed but work in the retail industry so unless you are a manager you will not get 40 hours. Sometimes I work 40 hours, sometimes in the 20s, but an average week for me is 32-35. Overtime is not allowed except in holidays.

My hope is to one day settle down and start a family. My dad worked here in MI for 40 years. MI's economy is boom and bust due to manufacturing, where he worked as a machinist. In the boom times of the 90s he sometimes earned low six figures, during the recession he only earned 30k (with 30 years experience) and went through brief periods of unemployment, now he is more steady but nowhere near the 90s. If I have a family of my own I would like an area of less boom and bust cycles so I do not have to see this. The plains states seem to be this.
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Old 05-20-2013, 08:05 PM
Location: Middleburg
906 posts, read 1,536,824 times
Reputation: 401
I'm not really sure what you're question is, but I'll give you my two cents. First off, read the book Who's Your City by Richard Florida. If that doesn't help, I recommend you live in Lincoln and work on an education at UNO while you get job experience. More people your age range, in your stage of life. Last, figure out what you're passionate about and get into that. Don't mess around with any old dime-a-dozen accounting or sales job. Hope that helps.
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Old 05-20-2013, 09:41 PM
Location: Sick of MI.
160 posts, read 401,525 times
Reputation: 192
I haven't read Florida but I've read about him. One reviewer pointed out that those this book is for don't need it. There are some people who stay "rooted" but others who do not. Nebraska is boring, but there are jobs there, at least compared to MI. Ideally I'd like to stay in the Midwest, somewhere I can drive back to MI within a single day realistically. I've thought of Utah or the South but Omaha is 9 hours away, Lincoln 10 hours. 10 hours is about my limit for how far I am willing to go.

Omaha and Lincoln seem close, but it seems as if there may be more jobs in my field in Omaha, and more jobs in general. I'm more leaning to NE than IA. The Unemployment in both is low, but about 1.5% lower in NE, finally Omaha is bigger and I sort of get Omaha and Lincoln since it is easy to commute between the two in an hour. I will live in temporary housing so I could easily search in both whereas in DM I would be limited to DM. Cedar Rapids seems too far away to expand in my job search, Omaha more so.

I don't care what job I get but my skills are accounting. I just want a decent job with decent average pay. I'm not seeking to be the next Bill Gates or Steve Jobs, I just want to be stable and move into an area that seems to whether recessions more than my own. Lincoln has a bit lower unemployment than Omaha, but once again I speculate that it is because Omaha has a small inner city area (though reading about it it pales in comparison to Detroit or Chicago, in fact it appears less dangerous than Grand Rapids MI where I once lived at the "border" between downtown and the inner city. Basically it got hairy about one block south of where I lived. That is neither here nor there, but I think this makes unemployment a bit higher in Omaha than Lincoln, as I am guessing there are more HS dropouts and other things going along with an inner city.
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