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Old 11-04-2007, 08:49 PM
 
116 posts, read 418,654 times
Reputation: 85

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I am living in the D.C. area and I've been working in IT for a few years now. I've got a B.S. from a state University in an IT related field and I'm an Air Force veteran.

I hate cities. Every city I've been to from Venice to San Francisco to D.C. to Berlin I have hated (except Florence Italy). I'm not too keen on the suburbs either (even worse in my opinion). I need to get out of here.

What I'm looking for is:
1. Ability to buy 3-5 or more acres of land and put a small house (700-1000 square feet) on it for less than 1 million dollars while still being within 45 minutes commute of an area with a decent IT job market (or at least moderately decent).

2. Low cost of living and a low tax burden. I expect to take a huge pay cut moving from D.C. to just about anywhere in the country.

3. A decent climate is a plus. The warmer, the better (I like to run outside every day).

Thoughts I have include: Iowa, West Virginia, North Carolina, Oklahoma. I'm not sure I can get what I want in Texas with its strong economy and large population centers.

My impression is that the spread of Californication to most of the West Coast has driven up prices and created overcrowding in Washington, Oregon, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico.

Thoughts?

Last edited by ateo; 11-04-2007 at 09:30 PM..
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Old 11-04-2007, 09:50 PM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC (in my mind)
7,946 posts, read 15,237,223 times
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Rural areas and IT don't mix. I know first hand because I am an IT student getting ready to graduate this fall from a college in an extremely rural area and there is nothing around here as far as IT is concerned. IT requires corporate presence. A lot of rural operations are contracted in from the big cities. The one exception is school districts. Small towns nationwide have school districts, and in the more remote ones IT people are in high demand because people who live in those areas dont have the skills (people in rural areas are generally EXTREMELY computer illiterate). I don't want to go this route personally because I am dying to get out of the sticks.

The downfall is that in rural areas, getting jobs depends mostly on who you know instead of qualifications (much more so than in an urban area).
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Old 11-04-2007, 10:57 PM
 
116 posts, read 418,654 times
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Well, how about 45 minutes by car away from Little Rock or Des Moines Iowa for example? You can almost get what I'm looking for in the D.C. area if you are willing to commute 90 minutes each way a day (the people who commute in from West Virginia are crazy though). I can look at a population density map of a state and tell that I can probably get what I'm looking for.

I'm not saying I want to work in a city of 2,000 people and live in the woods. I want to work in a big city with a decent economy and commute from 45 minutes away - where I will live in the woods .

When you've spent most of your life BOSWASH, anything seems rural by comparison...except maybe Mexico City.
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Old 11-04-2007, 11:06 PM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC (in my mind)
7,946 posts, read 15,237,223 times
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I currently commute 45 minutes one way to attend community college in the town of Fort Smith, Arkansas, and it gets tiring and expensive. At first I didn't mind it but the commute wears on me after doing it 7 days/week for 5 years. Be sure you are willing to make that commitment. With gas likely topping $5 per gallon next spring, I would rethink it. Maybe live in a smaller city like Little Rock or Des Moines, maybe on the outskirts with a 15-20 min or so commute. Big difference from BOSWASH but not quite Green Acres.
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Old 11-04-2007, 11:07 PM
 
Location: Suburban St. Louis
285 posts, read 989,432 times
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I am an IT graduate working in St. Louis.

My first job out of college (graduated May 2007) was at a boat factory in rural Illinois (southern). Within 4 months, I quit, because the people were AWFUL to work for and I hated living in southern Illinois (I grew up there). After 4 months I moved to St. Louis.

Any way, IT jobs in rural are as are few and far between; on top of being few and far between, the jobs that do exist in rural America are "catch-all" jobs. When I interned at a school district for a year, we got calls if someone's TV or DVD player weren't working. She was also in charge of the 20 year old phone system.

You have to have a fairly wide array of knowledge in IT to work in a rural area because you will work with everything that plugs in to a wall. You're going to have to accept a position where you will work by yourself, or with 1-2 people with no advancement opportunity, and don't expect any raises, either.


I would definitely go with the former suggestion; school districts, hospitals, universities in rural settings, etc.

I love working in the city because you can specialize.
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Old 11-04-2007, 11:22 PM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC (in my mind)
7,946 posts, read 15,237,223 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Juice13610 View Post
You have to have a fairly wide array of knowledge in IT to work in a rural area because you will work with everything that plugs in to a wall. You're going to have to accept a position where you will work by yourself, or with 1-2 people with no advancement opportunity, and don't expect any raises, either.


I would definitely go with the former suggestion; school districts, hospitals, universities in rural settings, etc.

I love working in the city because you can specialize.
I know exactly what you mean. My job right now is that way and people around here seem terrified of anything that you plug in.

In rural areas, your knowledge doesn't have to be extensive because you will be working with much lower-level equipment i.e. Linksys routers and access points rather than professional-grade Cisco ones. Networks are more likely to consist of basic users and workgroups rather than Active Directory. Programming is non-existant in rural areas.
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Old 11-05-2007, 06:33 AM
 
Location: Corvallis, OR
146 posts, read 758,219 times
Reputation: 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by ateo View Post
What I'm looking for is:
1. Ability to buy 3-5 or more acres of land and put a small house (700-1000 square feet) on it for less than 1 million dollars while still being within 45 minutes commute of an area with a decent IT job market (or at least moderately decent).

2. Low cost of living and a low tax burden. I expect to take a huge pay cut moving from D.C. to just about anywhere in the country.

3. A decent climate is a plus. The warmer, the better (I like to run outside every day).
Alright, it sounds to me like you would really like Forest Grove, Oregon. Sadly, Forest Grove does not have a big IT industry, but nearby Beaverton/Hillsboro (Portland suburbs) do. The commute from Forest Grove to Beaverton is about 30 minutes, which is within your time range. The traffic isn't typically too bad. The Hillsboro/Beaverton area is often described as the "Silicone Forest", because so many tech companies are located here. Forest Grove (or Gaston) is a very rural area where you'd be able to buy a nice home on acres for an affordable (imo) price. My sister bought a huge house (4500 sq. feet) off Highway 47 in Gaston for $450,000, and it's on 15 acres!

Now, as far as weather goes, it's not exactly the best climate for some, especially if you have Seasonal Affective Disorder. We may not get as much rain as many areas in the South, but I am willing to bet we have a LOT more cloudy days and a LOT more days with rain. Up here it just drizzles for months on end rather than dumping down for a few weeks. There are a lot of days during the winter where you won't even see the sun all day long. It can be trying, but it's really not bad once you get used to it. Also, the weather (at least for me) really isn't too bad, because you have 4 seasons without a huge variation in temperatures. The summers are simply perfect, and the environment (trees, mountains, et cetera) is amazing.

Also, another area you may want to look into is Corvallis, Oregon. It's a very unknown tech spot that has a much more rural feel than Portland. I know HP is located there, and Oregon State University. So, if you have any questions feel free to ask and I will do what I can to answer.
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Old 11-05-2007, 06:38 AM
 
Location: Zurich, Switzerland/ Piedmont, CA
32,934 posts, read 56,148,959 times
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Quote:
2. Low cost of living and a low tax burden. I expect to take a huge pay cut moving from D.C. to just about anywhere in the country.
Actually,
wouldnt rural IT professionals be in higher demand because of their scarcity and probably make more money then in cities where IT pros are a dime a dozen?
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Old 11-05-2007, 07:16 AM
 
Location: Ct Shoreline
369 posts, read 1,818,415 times
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What about consulting from home, with perhaps just a few calls to clients in the "city" every once in a while? It may be that with your IT background, you can spin your knowledge and experience off into a new type of career that might better meet your needs. My husband does a lot of database management things in the legal industry, although he also has clients that are in the accounting and insurance industries as well. Much of his work is done remotely over the internet, and in some cases, he has never met with the client in person. I guess my point is, that given technolgy today, it seems likely that with a little creativity on your part you could create a viable career that would allow rural living. Good luck!
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Old 11-05-2007, 10:39 AM
 
Location: Suburban St. Louis
285 posts, read 989,432 times
Reputation: 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by 18Montclair View Post
Actually,
wouldnt rural IT professionals be in higher demand because of their scarcity and probably make more money then in cities where IT pros are a dime a dozen?
No, because the jobs are in demand from the few IT professionals there are.
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