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Old 06-13-2014, 09:16 AM
 
248 posts, read 636,463 times
Reputation: 69

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Friends,

Should I double post this in Orange County forum as well?

I've been all around the California forums, most recently in San Jose. So...my current employer had an internal shakeup, where some people went to the East Team, and others, to the West Team.

We are from New Jersey, and so, I went to San Jose with my wife, looking for places to live, and basically failed in our housing search and needs. The central issue was housing itself -- the size of what we are able to reasonably afford + the commuting distance were the main reasons for nixing the deal.

Luckily for me, my mgr approved my moving from New Jersey to Southern California--initially it was just San Jose, but I told him of the housing situation (800k budget, 4 kids, etc.), and he agreed for me to relocate to around Ventura / LA / Orange County regions. Luckily, there is much flexibility with my employer!

So here is the situation:

In my wife's case: my wife has been an OD since 2003. She now has a job offer as an Optometrist near Thousand Oaks. She is very eager to accept this offer.

In my case, I am a network engineer, have about 15 yrs of experience, and am hesitant about 1000 Oaks because searching under indeed.com found only a handful of jobs for CCIE--2 pages. Yes I will retain my job after moving. However, if I am laid off, fired, choose to leave, etc., I need to be able to obtain employment immediately. So searching indeed.com, for CCIE, under Irvine, and under Los Angeles, I've found 5 pages for employment opportunities. I also believe that Irvine has a train which goes to central LA.

In our family situation: My eldest daughter has autism--she is 9 y old, almost 10 (this September she will be 10 y old). My other kids are 8 y old, 4 y old, and 3 y old. So our eldest will require regular schooling, but needs a special assistance in the classroom. She is classified with an IEP.

Now--I called a few schools about 3 weeks back, all were located in Irvine, and was told that there is NO busing at all, inside of Orange County.

I am not sure how the busing situation works in 1000 Oaks. I will need to call them--probably later today, sometime.

The thing with Irvine is that my wife has no current opportunity.

Our timeline is by summer's end (as we have been attempting to move since early March).

What we are seeking is advice on the following:

a) great public school systems -- esp for my Autistic child (she goes to regular school, but needs special assistants)
b) busing is a huge plus-- 4 kids -- probably 3 will simultaneously go to DIFFERENT schools!
c) IT jobs in either location + OD jobs in either location
d) housing costs--we have 6 people (myself, my wife, and 4 kids)

If anyone has good information on OD job market, or cisco engineering job market, feel free to pm or reply to this forum thread.


Thanks to all.
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Old 06-13-2014, 01:25 PM
 
Location: TOVCCA
8,452 posts, read 11,802,100 times
Reputation: 12348
A few tips.

Important:
Western LA County and Eastern Ventura County should be considered as an entire area. And don't forget, there is a whole commutable Western Ventura County, all the way to the City of Ventura.

These are the Eastern area school districts:

Conejo Valley Unified School District
CVUSD Home Page
Las Virgenes Unified School District
Las Virgenes Unified School District - Home
Moorpark Unified School District
http://www.mrpk.k12.ca.us/
Simi Valley Unified School District
Simi Valley Unified School District: Home Page

The school districts are highly rated. Some have busing. Most have cutoff dates of one kind or another. No other details.
There is a commuter train that runs from Moorpark to Los Angeles with many connections.
When doing Indeed or other job searches, expand the area to 50 miles; oddly, many companies fall between the 25-50 mile mark from the area; a search for "Cisco" returned 576 jobs, but I didn't check them. Also, many local employers don't list in the big search engines. List of area companies: Over 200 Job Websites in Ventura County and Adjacent*Areas! - Welcome! - Conejo Valley Guide
There are many 4 or 5 bedroom houses in the area in your price range. However, most are not newer as those in OC are.
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Old 06-14-2014, 11:49 AM
 
2 posts, read 3,717 times
Reputation: 10
Just noticed this post. We relocated to the Thousand Oaks area and I have kids with autism. From a school perspective, IEP's transferred over pretty well, no issues there. Around here, you'll find the schools reflect the neighborhood. So if you got $1M homes in the school district, you can usually equate that to 'better schools'. When we were looking around, we were looking for an established school with a good history of special needs programs. So we picked Thousand Oaks. It's more expensive to live in T.O., but it was a pretty conservative pick for us. They only offer buses for special needs kids that aren't going to their home school. Since my kids are in Elementary school, not sure about the buses in Middle School and High School. After being here for 1 1/2 years, the wife and I hear good things about Moor Park schools (special needs & typical classes). Moor Park does pretty good investment in school room technology if that's your thing. Oak Park has good schools as well but I have no idea regarding their special needs program.

I was relocated here for a job in Thousand Oaks, so we just stayed local. I do talk with people about 'so where are the fall-back jobs in Thousand Oaks area' and normally you have to consider commutes of 45 min+ when you search. There are more corporate jobs in the San Fernando Valley, so you'll have to keep those employers in mind as a fall back.
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Old 06-14-2014, 12:53 PM
 
Location: TOVCCA
8,452 posts, read 11,802,100 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrMoor View Post
Oak Park has good schools as well
Good point, I forgot that school district:

Oak Park Unified School District / Overview
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Old 06-15-2014, 06:52 AM
 
248 posts, read 636,463 times
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Thanks a lot. So Mr Moor---TO only offers busing for special needs kids that are redistricted (at the elem school level at least)?
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Old 06-15-2014, 12:30 PM
 
2 posts, read 3,717 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meameame12 View Post
Thanks a lot. So Mr Moor---TO only offers busing for special needs kids that are redistricted (at the elem school level at least)?
Yep. We came from schools where everyone took a bus. It was a big adjustment the first year and quite annoying. At least the schools have after-school programs to help those that need it.

IMO Podium -

All the schools in the Conejo Valley Area (Simi Valley, Moor Park, Thousand Oaks, Newbury, Oak Park, Westlake) are all good schools. I mean you'll have a fair share of kids taking AP exams, going to four year colleges and being good kids. Thousand Oaks & Newbury kids seem to go to state schools. Westlake High School seems to produce a lot of kids that go to top schools. Hands down, the richest kids go to Oaks Christian. Then you got your local Moor Park community college for those that are undecided or maybe veer directly into life or a stepping stone to vocational schools.

So in general, so I think the 'lowest rung' here is solidly middle class. So you'll have to pick how far 'above the middle class' you want to be and afford .
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Old 06-15-2014, 02:03 PM
 
248 posts, read 636,463 times
Reputation: 69
thanks a lot--much appreciated!
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Old 06-25-2014, 12:29 PM
 
700 posts, read 1,138,689 times
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For your career and for your kids, I'd strongly suggest Irvine over Ventura County.

As you observed, VC's IT job prospects are VERY limited to a handful of employers, and you'd inevitably be looking at Woodland Hills or Santa Barbara for jobs. Even once you find work, you'd essentially be stuck as it is slim pickings outside that opportunity. VC's IT jobs generally pay less, as well, as there is a plentiful supply of workers who'd trade some salary for a shorter commute.

If your wife was the sole income source, VC would be great. It's a nice slow pace and the schools in TO are excellent. But if she can find work in Irvine, you'd be better positioned as a family. Corporate jobs are generally centered in LA and Irvine, with some hotspots nearby.

Irvine is like TO but with a ton more jobs (and a better biking/walking infrastructure).
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Old 06-25-2014, 02:04 PM
 
248 posts, read 636,463 times
Reputation: 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by OpenSky View Post
For your career and for your kids, I'd strongly suggest Irvine over Ventura County.

As you observed, VC's IT job prospects are VERY limited to a handful of employers, and you'd inevitably be looking at Woodland Hills or Santa Barbara for jobs. Even once you find work, you'd essentially be stuck as it is slim pickings outside that opportunity. VC's IT jobs generally pay less, as well, as there is a plentiful supply of workers who'd trade some salary for a shorter commute.

If your wife was the sole income source, VC would be great. It's a nice slow pace and the schools in TO are excellent. But if she can find work in Irvine, you'd be better positioned as a family. Corporate jobs are generally centered in LA and Irvine, with some hotspots nearby.

Irvine is like TO but with a ton more jobs (and a better biking/walking infrastructure).
Great argument -- I think I will totally focus on OC at this point! Thank much -- confirming my deepest suspicions...
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Old 06-26-2014, 01:02 AM
 
Location: Conejo Valley, CA
12,476 posts, read 17,635,776 times
Reputation: 4324
Quote:
Originally Posted by OpenSky View Post
Irvine is like TO but with a ton more jobs (and a better biking/walking infrastructure).
There are more jobs in Irvine, its part of a larger metro area, but the cities aren't that similar and Irvine is by no means more bike/walking friendly. The choice between these two cities is going to be a lot deeper than the availability of jobs.



Quote:
Originally Posted by meameame12 View Post
In my case, I am a network engineer, have about 15 yrs of experience, and am hesitant about 1000 Oaks because searching under indeed.com found only a handful of jobs for CCIE--2 pages. Yes I will retain my job after moving. However, if I am laid off, fired, choose to leave, etc., I need to be able to obtain employment immediately. So searching indeed.com, for CCIE, under Irvine, and under Los Angeles, I've found 5 pages for employment opportunities. I also believe that Irvine has a train which goes to central LA.
There is a train between Irvine and LA, but the same can be said of Ventura County. In both cases its not a desirable way to commute into LA from the respective areas. I'm not sure what you searched for but some parts of LA, indeed at least half, are going to be closer commute wise to Thousand Oaks than Irvine. But from Irvine you do have access to a larger pool of businesses, while that may be good for jobs it means you're in the center of the LA-CA concrete jungle.

I'd much prefer to live in the Thousand Oaks area rather than Irvine, and I've lived in both, and I'd be happy to deal with a bit more job uncertainty.
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