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Old 03-10-2012, 02:36 PM
 
1 posts, read 1,092 times
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I graduated from college about a year ago and am trying to avoid getting any sort of government related job (for political reasons) which negates most decent paying white collar jobs in the MD/WV area.

I grew up and presently live in Cumberland, MD, going to college it was really made clear that compared to down state Maryland, Cumberland is a different world (its one of the poorest, least educated parts of the US and very isolated) and doesn't really have many job opportunities. I like Cumberland a lot but living outside the area for 4 years really highlighted a lot of the problems so I would like to move out of the area for a little while at least.

I have an opportunity for work in Armonk, NY which pays a lot more than anything around here but I am concerned about the cost of living, Armonk is rated at 164.5 while Cumberland is rated at 85.8. Would a salary in the 50s be enough to live comfortable (presently I work part time and make 18k and am living fine but I feel like I could probably make more as I have a college degree). Also, are their things to do as I am 23 so I would prefer not to live in boring suburbs which much of Westchester sounds like.

Also, would it be to much of a culture shock? I've visited Pittsburgh, DC and Baltimore and all these cities seem like nicer and less run down bigger versions of Cumberland.

Most importantly, would someone from the Appalachians be looked down on. In my travels I have found many people from the larger cities tend to look down on the "mountain people" as white trash but the ny area is very diverse so it may be different.
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Old 03-11-2012, 09:44 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC & New York
10,830 posts, read 26,341,583 times
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Westchester might be a good opportunity for you, as you will be in a larger market, presumably with more opportunities for advancement in your career. In terms of surviving, yes, you would be able to live within a reasonable distance of work with a salary in the $50s. For White Plains, Mount Kisco, Tarrytown, Hartsdale, etc. think roughtly 2x your Cumberland income would be equivalent in Westchester, so mid-to-high $20s would equate to the $50s. For an area like Armonk, it would be more in line with 3x your Cumberland income equivalent because of the cost of housing, and a more limited rental market.

Westchester would also not be like moving to the middle of Manhattan, so you should not have too much in the way of culture shock. You would be within easy reach of Manhattan, however, from most areas, so you could take advantage of all the city has to offer, as you get used to the area, and you would not have to drive. NYC, itself, is too expensive to consider, since you don't work there, would need to bring your vehicle, and have to pay city resident income tax on top of much higher housing costs.

As for any prejudice you may encounter because of the area from which you would relocate, I cannot say that it doesn't exist, as that happens everywhere when someone is different. However, Westchester is pretty sophisticated, and it means little from where one hails as opposed to where they are going, and how they conduct themselves on said track. I really do not foresee coming from Cumberland as being an impediment to living in Westchester. Will you encounter some obnoxious people who might make a big deal of it? Perhaps so, but I can honestly say as someone who grew up in both Westchester and Manhattan, that you should not encounter any widespread issue in that regard. Plus, with so many people in the metro area, you could easily exclude such people and find a niche for socializing.

Definitely consider the opportunity in Westchester, since I think it might be a good thing to do when you are getting established in your career. You can always move back to Western MD if you want to do so later, and your NYC-area experience can be of benefit to long-term career goals, especially if you can transfer within a company or organization to Western MD.
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