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Old 10-26-2017, 04:34 PM
 
Location: Portland, OR
4 posts, read 5,030 times
Reputation: 26

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Hi all,

I just wanted to see what others have noticed in the IT job market here in Portland/Vancouver area this year. I've been in Desktop Support here in Portland for 5 years now, but the contract I'm on is ending soon. A few of my cohorts say the IT job market is very good right now. But there's a few others who say it's sort-of-good-well-kind-of. Or they say it's a tough market at that.

So I just wanted to see if anybody here has any thoughts on the current IT job market here. (ideally.. Desktop Support, IT Tech Support, Help Desk and Admin II level). Also any thoughts on recruiting agencies. I've had success with them in the past - But not sure if that's a good avenue to go still.

One last thought - The main reason I was hoping to get some true feedback is I have family in Seattle urging me to try the IT market there. I really like Seattle and would opt for it for the sake of keeping my career moving. But most of my family is here in Portland and I have strong ties here. So I'm a bit torn about that one. I've seen some articles and comments about Seattle's IT jobs. And similar to Portland (in a way), some say it's great right now and others tell me things are tough.

Anyways, thanks in advance for any comments/advice. Much appreciated!

~ Cheers!
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Old 10-27-2017, 07:26 AM
 
Location: North Idaho
30,231 posts, read 41,356,271 times
Reputation: 68883
Apply both cities and see who offers you the best job.
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Old 10-27-2017, 10:10 AM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
10,949 posts, read 19,343,488 times
Reputation: 8088
Be sure to factor in the relative cost of living between Seattle & Portland.
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Old 10-27-2017, 11:38 AM
 
Location: WA
4,713 posts, read 6,437,253 times
Reputation: 6935
I know my school district in the Vancouver area has a hard time keeping tech staff support. I don't know if they pay is too low and they leave, or if there are just lots of opportunities elsewhere. That's my only data point. But if you are looking for tech support jobs you might also think outside the normal corporate jobs to things like schools which also hire lots of tech support.
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Old 11-11-2017, 08:41 PM
 
Location: Portland, OR
4 posts, read 5,030 times
Reputation: 26
Thank you guys for all your feedback! Much appreciated. I know people ask these questions a lot on here. But I trust the locals more than the media. I have been seeing a few fairly decent job prospects brewing for me here in Portland. And thanks for the tips on Vancouver, schools districts, colleges, outside the corporate culture, etc.

One last thought on Seattle though...
It's my fall back if things don't line up here. Is it really that good of an IT market?? Or that just a lot of media spin? Some of the trade magazine and news articles claim it's just "Booming" up there. Is that really true? And if so, is that really just about a hot demand for really high end techs (ie, Sr Software Engineering, Developers, Architects, Sr Managers, etc..) Is much in the way of low to mid-level IT there?

I will submit a post on the Seattle forum too. I know it makes better sense to ask the locals over there, but I worry slightly that some might want to down play it. The last thing they might want is "more" IT people! Yyyyaayy, more techies flooding our fine city. (Can't say I blame them). Rents and traffic are ridiculous as it is. And hey, it's kinda getting that way here too. Just probably not at the same level.

But even if I did move up that way, I'd seriously prefer Issaquah, Renton, Edmonds, Bothell, Everett, Olympia or some other outlying areas to live and work. Nothing against the city of Seattle. But my sanity gets tested enough with the commutes and COL here in Portland. So living "near" the city much more my style. And I can go visit the big city whenever. Cool by me. I prefer a bit more relaxed or at least moderately sane, even-keeled, etc..

@NELL - Yeah, COL is a bit better in Portland. Not huge, but better. But with no state income tax and potential for better pay, would a job in greater Seattle offset the balance? Just curious..

Sorry if I rambled a bit. Just some final parting thoughts..

Thanks again everyone!

Last edited by coolbreeze921; 11-11-2017 at 08:57 PM.. Reason: Missed information
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Old 11-13-2017, 11:59 AM
 
Location: Portland, OR
9,859 posts, read 11,256,616 times
Reputation: 10014
I am not sure it matters what the "market" is. An individual does not need to consider 'market'. They need to consider their own 'marketability'. Seattle and Portland each have way more IT jobs of all kinds than any one person can ever hope to interview for, or even know exist. Live in Seattle because you want to, not because it may have a better IT market than Portland. I mean... NYC will have a far better IT job market than both cities combined. Why are you not considering NYC? Don't take this personally, I'm trying to be helpful.

And on the same 'helpfulness' curve... what Degrees and/or Certifications have you acquired? It will matter, it is all that matters. Desktop Support etc. is dying. The future is (centralized) Network Administration. You will want, and need a CCNA minimum, and/or an MCSA (or MCSE), and anything you can get beyond those (CCNP?) will not be overkill. If you don't know it already you will want to become fluent in IPv6, the next iteration of Internet Protocol. I agree with another poster about looking for IT positions in niche sectors of the economy... large statewide (national) insurance providers, Higher Ed. (or K-12), Health and Hospitals, the less obvious and more out of the way, the better. FWIW.
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Old 11-13-2017, 03:49 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
10,949 posts, read 19,343,488 times
Reputation: 8088
I agree it is skills that drive your employment potential. During the first step of resume screening certification is what potential employers look for and don't be surprised if you are asked to demonstrate your skills during an interview.

Leisestrum is the go-to guy when it comes to software. You do need to add certificates to demonstrate knowledge in current languages even if you find a position in a niche sector. Odds are you will not retire from your next employer, you need to have in demand skills even if your current employer doesn't think you need them.

Oh, and never tell a potential employer that you want to stay in Portland for family reasons, with that knowledge they will negotiate salary aggressively.
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Old 11-14-2017, 12:57 PM
 
810 posts, read 769,259 times
Reputation: 541
Seattle is way better as far as culture and things to do than Portland. But it is also more expensive and I am sure has more grid lock traffic. Both have pretty good mass transit.

If I were to move to Seattle I would look at Edmonds, Lake Forest Park or Mount Lake Terrace. Everett is good too but that is 30 miles north of the city.

Both have similar weather and depending we can sometimes get snow and other times it will be snowy in Seattle. :-)

You can try Ineed for job leads maybe.
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