Feb 24, 2012

Where should a new graduate be looking to move for the best IT career opportunities?

My nephew is just about to complete a B.S. degree in Business Administration-Management Information Systems. His college is in South Carolina, and while there are some employment opportunities around there, graduation is fast approaching and he hasn't secured a position. He says that he is willing to move pretty much wherever needed in order to secure a good position in IT. What areas of the country have the best IT jobs potential, especially for a new graduate? I assume California is at or near the top of the list, but that is pretty much as far away from home as he could move except for Hawaii or Alaska, and closer to home would be more attractive to both my nephew and his parents. Are there currently any "hot spots" for IT hiring?


My fair opinion is that the first step into looking for career opportunities in technology is browsing the internet for a small data base of companies that offer interships for graduates and start applying for them. The hot spots for IT hiring, as you name them, have relative positions expanding on the map. The point is these companies know constant ascension and new companies arise year after year. You have to keep a close look on them.  

I wouldn't count out the Mid-Atlantic area for IT positions. The research triangle area of North Carolina is one place with a large number of companies that are tech oriented, and Atlanta is a large city with many businesses possibilities. Charlotte, which is the home of Bank of America, Wachovia, et al has had a tough time recently due to contraction in the financial sector, but there may well be IT career opportunities there as well. I'm not sure how good the job market is at the moment in either area, but both NC and Georgia are pretty close to home (assuming that both home and school are in SC), and you shouldn't give up on something in the area. As jimlynch said earlier, I would be hesitant moving across the country for a first job, especially if you don't have friends and family in the area. In the scale of stress inducing life events, starting a new job and moving to a new city are pretty high up the list. Doing both those things without anyone around to provide support could be a challenge. Friends don't develop overnight, and it can be a lonely time those first few months in an unfamiliar city. On the other hand, if you are an adventurous, outgoing individual, it might be exactly the type of challenge that you thrive on. In the end, not only should specific job opportunities be taken into account, you should do an honest self assessment to help you evaluate whether you are comfortable uprooting yourself from what you are familiar with. I don't know how much you have traveled, but South Carolina is a very different place than San Francisco or New York, so be prepared to make some adjustments to other parts of the country.
I think it's unwise for him to move just for a job. I recommend that he sit down and figure out first where he would like to live. Then begin searching Simply Hired, Monster.com and other sites to see what sort of jobs are available.

Moving just for a job is taking a big risk. He could get laid off soon after taking the job and then he'd be stuck living somewhere he doesn't really want to be. I've known people that have moved for jobs and had that exact thing happen to them.

So he should first look inside himself and figure out where he wants to be. Then he can look for work in that area, or perhaps even start his own IT related business.
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