Would You Move for an IT Job? Here Are the Top Reasons IT Pros Relocate

by CompTIA | Jun 18, 2019

Tech on the Move CompTIA IT Workforce StudyThinking about putting down roots in a new city? If you’re a tech pro, then you’re not alone.

Tech on the Move, a new study from CompTIA, found that 78% of tech workers would consider leaving their current city for a new job, citing affordability (60%) and local economy (56%) as major factors driving the decision.

With more than 260,000 new IT jobs opening in the United States last year alone, it’s no secret that tech talent is in high demand. But have you thought about where an IT salary goes the furthest? Or what matters most to you when it comes to making decisions about where to live and work?

As housing costs continue to rise in pricey coastal hubs, the study found more tech pros are considering jobs in areas where cost of living is lower, the climate is desirable and traffic is less of a headache. 

Two graphs - one showing the top 10 factors of where to live and the other showing the top 10 factors for choosing an IT job

Tech pros ranked three factors as most important when choosing where to live:

  • Cost of living (82%)
  • Weather and climate (64%)
  • Commute times (62%)

When it comes to choosing an IT job, they ranked job security (73%) and income/salary (69%) as most important.  

Does Making an Impact Matter to You?

The study also provides insight into what the youngest tech workers look for in a career – and the answer isn’t just higher salaries.

As Gen Z enters the workforce – and has a strong interest in IT jobs – they place more value on the societal impact of their work and less importance on high salaries than Millennial tech workers, according to the study.

 

Millennials

Gen Z

Having a Meaningful Career and Helping Others Is Very Important

38%

48%

Income Is Very Important

74%

60%

 

While career aspirations differ, both Gen Z and Millennial IT pros say cost of living is the most important factor when choosing where to live and work. Gen Z workers also cited affordable housing and proximity to restaurants and bars as top three factors, while Millennials cited commute times and climate. 

Two lists highlighting the factors Millennials and Gen Z candidates consider when choosing a job.

Location, Location, Location... and Salary

As the tech industry seeks to expand the universe of those who see a career for themselves in IT – including encouraging more women to pursue careers in tech – the study revealed differences between men and women tech workers when it comes to importance of location and income.

  • Location: 55% of women tech pros rank it as very important compared to 43% of men
  • Salary: 74% of women tech pros rank it as very important, compared to 66% of men 
What men and women look for in IT jobs

Will You Move for an IT Job?

Ultimately, the Tech on the Move study shows that as technology continues to spur job growth in new regions, the tech workforce is mobile and willing to relocate for the right job. And with tech thriving in areas far beyond traditional coastal hubs, IT pros have more opportunity and choice than ever for where to advance their careers.

What matters most to you when it comes to where you want to live and work?

Download CompTIA’s Tech on the Move study for a full analysis of what tech workers consider when choosing where to live and work. 

6 Comments

  • haseeb khan

    Thursday, June 20, 2019

    This is so true. I have moved several times for work since graduating from college in 2012. Originally from the Chicagoland area, I first moved to L.A then back to Chicago then Louisville KY, then Raleigh Durham NC, then Minneapolis again back to Chicago and now living in Atlanta. I worked the majority of my time as a contractor so moving was needed if I wanted to grow in my career as a Business Analyst. However, now that I am married and have two kids I took a permanent position in Atlanta. Cost of living, climate and overall amenities of a big city were definitely on my list.

  • Don

    Friday, June 21, 2019

    I don't think I'd ever move for a job unless it was to someplace I already wanted to move. I'm use to the work 6 months off 6 month world of temp jobs. Sure, there's no job security, but the pay is roughly 3x what I make locally and I get to spend time in different places without being tied down to a mortgage or rent. I would like to be in a position where I can advance my career, rather than being stuck in the same job for the same pay for 20+ years. I come from 20 years experience as well as A+, Network+, and Security+, and an Associates in network tech, and my salary here tops out at $12. Most jobs are paying $8. Temp work is $17-35 sooo.

  • Sibu

    Friday, June 21, 2019

    I have over 9 years experience in tech support. What I have picked up is that most people I interact with go for job security than salary. They would get a stable job, build a decent profile then move for a better paying position.

  • Mozze Kimathi

    Saturday, June 22, 2019

    I am a millennial & i second that top factor list 100%. Job security/safety , Money, & others

  • Neo Ngoasheng

    Friday, July 19, 2019

    Its actually funny that in IT, the more contract work you do the higher your salary goes. These opportunities ive heard are more easy to come by in eg the United States than South Africa for example... Im a young guy and wouldn't mind moving just to boost salary and experience, if it were as easy in SA as it is in US that would've been awesome. Because after all, having a good start lets you finish/relax early.

  • Faith

    Friday, July 19, 2019

    I've been working in the IT sector since 1986. As a single mom, I had to take tech jobs in the Huntsville, AL area until my nest emptied. Women have a difficult time getting equal pay to men in the IT field in the South; I moved to the DC area in 2002 to work for a couple of years, then with both a government contractor resume and a security clearance, I found the my salary more than doubled when I returned to Huntsville. I've moved overseas as well as to other states to improve my salary, job skills, and resume. It was a sacrifice at times, but it has paid off. I'll retire in a few years with no bills. IT contracting may have low job security, but the experience gained from being willing/able to move can give one confidence that their skills are valuable, and higher salaries can be negotiated.

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