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Old 09-21-2009, 04:42 PM
 
5 posts, read 14,739 times
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Considerations:

1. Career opportunity:
I am in Tech, so SF bay area has a lot of career options for me. (I am currently employed)
My wife is NOT in Tech and has a job with an major NGO in DC.
Based on my higher education, I have more career potential.

2. Finances:
Between us, we will be making more money in DC. Also Housing is slightly cheaper in NVA, and schools there (we have a kid) seem to be much better than in the bay area. Moreover, my wife's job will be stress free with great retirement benefits.

3. People
We have a good network of friends and like-minded people to associate with in the bay area. We've lived in DC before and it’s not the same.

Last edited by malkanij; 09-21-2009 at 05:27 PM..
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Old 09-21-2009, 09:05 PM
 
Location: DC/MD
51 posts, read 190,508 times
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Looks like it's a go from my point of view.

If you're in the Tech sector, DC is an emerging mecca, especially you're highly educated.

You'll find a great position here.
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Old 09-21-2009, 09:45 PM
 
330 posts, read 812,633 times
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I made the move from the Bay Area to DC and I'm also in technology. There are plenty of unfilled technology jobs in the DC area. I hear that for every unemployed person there are 6 job vacancies in the DC area. That's the best ratio in the country. All thanks to the government spending that is making commercial companies rich overnight. There are actually a lot of SF Bay Area transplants in the DC area. So far I love the area and don't really miss much back home -the cold snaps during the winter and family during the holidays make me miss home, but other than it's been great move.

You indicated that you used to live in DC - just wondering how long ago that was because this area has changed a lot in the last ten years and continues to do so in a very fast pace. It could be the most improved city/area in the country. Best of all the cost of living is better than the Bay Area and schools are some of the best in the country.

If your main liking is the SF natural scenery with the hills/mountains/bay/ocean/ with cool mild weather all year and the weekend getaways to Lake Tahoe - then I wouldn't make the move to DC or any east coast city. Granted in DC with a short drive you have the hills/mountains/bay/ocean and many outdoor activities, but it's more of an east coast flavor.

Good luck with your decision.
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Old 09-22-2009, 12:04 AM
 
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I should also mention that I have an MBA from a top tier school and am in a Sr. Product Management position with a major high tech firm. Even though there are technology jobs in DC, I don't know of one major high tech firm headquartered there. Am I missing something?
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Old 09-22-2009, 10:05 AM
 
Location: Washington, DC
605 posts, read 2,054,515 times
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In terms of employment, I think you could find a job here in technology. In northern VA, along the I-66 and Dulles Toll Road corridors, numerous technology businesses are thriving. Keep in mind, though, that many are government contractors. Contracting has its own unique culture that's not for everyone. It's just something to consider when/if you interview to be sure the employer is a good fit for you.

I think that the DC area and SF share a lot of great attributes. Within the cities' borders, the architecture and parks are gorgeous. As well, both have easy access to the mountains and the ocean, even if the geography is quite different. Rural Virginia even has its own wine country. (It's not Napa, by a far sight, but it's still fun to visit.) Both cities attract a lot of highly educated people, which makes for great cultural activities and interesting socializing.

One advantage that DC has is a lower cost of living. Go to the CNN money calculator to compare the two. If you have a higher salary here, it will go even further than you might think.

I would say that the serious down-side to DC is the sprawl. To really enjoy all that the city has to offer, you would want to live in DC or close-in. Yet, the tech jobs are far out (in terms of commuting times, if not total mileage.) Should you end up spending most of your time in the 'burbs, you'll find that our metro area really lacks the charm of SF. Like LA, northern VA has traffic jams every day of the week and almost every hour of the day. It is a serious factor to consider in terms of the cost of living (psychological and actual).
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Old 09-22-2009, 12:39 PM
 
330 posts, read 812,633 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malkanij View Post
I should also mention that I have an MBA from a top tier school and am in a Sr. Product Management position with a major high tech firm. Even though there are technology jobs in DC, I don't know of one major high tech firm headquartered there. Am I missing something?
You're probably right - I don't know of any tech firm's that are headquartered in the DC area either. However, I'm sure just about all the major tech companies have a field office in the area.

There are some big companies that are headquartered in the DC area, but they're not tech firms. Most of the tech firms are based in SV. A lot of companies keep moving their HQ's to the DC area. It looks like today SAIC will announce that they're moving to the DC area as well: Reports: SAIC Moving Headquarters Out of San Diego - San Diego 6 (http://www.sandiego6.com/news/local/story/SAIC-headquarters-move-San-Diego-Virginia/YixPzvxnUk2Weg8q32ch0w.cspx - broken link)

Hilton moved their HQ to the DC area recently too. And several others as well like Volkswagon...but not aware of any big tech firms...
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Old 09-22-2009, 06:12 PM
 
5 posts, read 14,739 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrs. 14th & You View Post
In terms of employment, I think you could find a job here in technology. In northern VA, along the I-66 and Dulles Toll Road corridors, numerous technology businesses are thriving. Keep in mind, though, that many are government contractors. Contracting has its own unique culture that's not for everyone. It's just something to consider when/if you interview to be sure the employer is a good fit for you.
Can you please tell me a little more about Government Contracting? What's the unique culture like? Also, is 'security clearance' a barrier to entry? I obviously don't have a security clearance and from what I know, unlike an MBA its not something I can obtain unless an employer places me on a government project that requires one.

I'm also looking at usajobs.gov for jobs directly with the government, but I'm not sure if someone with a high-tech product management/marketing profile is desirable for any of those positions. If you can shed some light on this or share any experiences, I would certainly appreciate it.

Thanks much!
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Old 09-23-2009, 06:55 AM
 
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There are some biotech firms hq'd in the DC area, and other companies like Blackboard.com and some smaller ones as well. There are is plenty of tech work though. Driving the Dulles Toll Road is quite similar to driving the 101 through Silicon Valley--Oracle, Microsoft, CA, heck, you name it they are here.

DC has several tech areas. The Toll Road was originally telcom but has added in quite a few contractors and 'Washington Offices' of most companies (lobbying and government sales). The 270 corridor is the home of biotech in the US, basically, with the FDA and NIH being located in that area. A growing tech community is developing just north of Annapolis to provide services to the ever expanding Ft. Meade area, with incubators and VC folks starting to arrive, though we can't talk about that (classified). Finally Southern Maryland around Lexington Park has a large number of jobs, though defense related, in connection with the NAVAIR presence at Pax River air station and all the weapons tested and developed around there.

Government contracting in tech is often defense related, so there is a bit of a military culture around in those companies with veterans and others in the 'defense establishment' setting the office tone. Clearance is generally required, and it is a catch-22 to get a job that requires it but you don't have it.

If you don't have a job already I'd suggest subscribing to the potomac tech newsletter every day by email, and looking at the nvtc.org website for more info on the companies in this area. Dice.com is also pretty good, and believe it or not the Washingtonpost.com's job website is not bad.

Good luck.
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Old 09-23-2009, 07:44 AM
 
Location: Land of the Free
5,119 posts, read 4,916,396 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malkanij View Post
Can you please tell me a little more about Government Contracting? What's the unique culture like?
Bureaucratic and completely foreign to someone who's worked in the Valley as a product manager for a SaaS company or chip supplier.

This is a good place for a career implementing technology, Cisco and Microsoft certs have more work than they can handle. But it is not a good place for developing a new technology someone else will deploy.

We had some innovation in the past - AOL, Nextel, MCI - but nothing really replaced them, and much of the office space those companies used to lease is now taken up by defense contractors.

The reason I've stayed here is I like DC ten times better than San Francisco. It's got much better public transport, greater diversity of opinion, and is closer to other cities. But it can be professional culture shock to someone from the Bay Area.
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Old 09-23-2009, 07:47 AM
 
Location: Land of the Free
5,119 posts, read 4,916,396 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PenguinSix View Post
The 270 corridor is the home of biotech in the US
As a metro area, we're 5th in VC raised for biotech after Seattle, Boston, San Diego, and SF. Maryland is not a bad place for biotech, but the east coast hub for the industry is around Boston.
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