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What Are the Best U.S. States to Live and Work in Now?

Hexmage-PAHexmage-PA Registered User regular
edited May 2011 in Debate and/or Discourse
I graduated college a week ago, and I'm in the process of applying for jobs. I initially planned to stay in my home state, Georgia, but as of late I've been entertaining the idea of moving out of state. With that in mind, I'd like to ask all of you to voice your opinion regarding which state is the best one to live and work in.

I myself acquired a Bachelors degree in Sociology, but I'm sure other forumers here with differing work experience and education are curious as to which states are thriving. In the interests of making this a proper Debate and Discourse thread, I invite anyone specializing in different work fields to ask what locations are best for people of their desired profession.

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  • IncenjucarIncenjucar QA Tester -> Game Producer Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited May 2011
    You're going to want to do searches for jobs in your field in various areas. In general, you should probably look for the major urban areas, ideally near a port, as they tend to have a damned lot of trade to keep them going through bad times.

    For Washington, you can get a rough idea of some of the jobs by using this: https://fortress.wa.gov/esd/worksource/

    Washington seems to be doing fairly well despite everything, at least Seattle. There are a lot of shops closing, but there are also a bunch of developments underway in those same areas.

    California is a pretty scary place these days, so while it has some damned interesting cities, it may be a rough place to start.

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  • dojangodojango Registered User
    edited May 2011
    Two seperate things at the moment, unfortunately. For example, Oregon is a great state to live in... but not so much if you want to find a job.

    For a young lad such as yourself (assumption, I know), finding a job market with a nice low unemployment rate and a propensity to hire college educated folk would be handy. Try DC/northern Virginia, lots of government/government related jobs there. Here's a link to unemployment stats by metro areas. California isn't doing so hot unemployment wise, but I think the picture is better for college grads.

    Oh, and congratulations!

  • Capt HowdyCapt Howdy Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    You should really be checking USAJOBS for jobs on Robins AFB or one of the Army Bases. They have student programs (students or fresh out) that usually start at GS-07, and guarantee GS-11 in 3 years.

    Sounds odd, but GA is one of the largest Government employers in the US, with Robins AFB being in the top 5 of all bases.

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  • Hexmage-PAHexmage-PA Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Capt Howdy wrote: »
    You should really be checking USAJOBS for jobs on Robins AFB or one of the Army Bases. They have student programs (students or fresh out) that usually start at GS-07, and guarantee GS-11 in 3 years.

    Sounds odd, but GA is one of the largest Government employers in the US, with Robins AFB being in the top 5 of all bases.

    What exactly does GS mean? Does it have something to do with pay?

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  • tofutofu Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    The General Schedule (GS) payscale is generally what most civil service positions use

  • HenroidHenroid Nobody Nowhere fastRegistered User regular
    edited May 2011
    dojango wrote: »
    Two seperate things at the moment, unfortunately. For example, Oregon is a great state to live in... but not so much if you want to find a job.

    Oregon (Portland) was beautiful, and a city of efficiency. God I miss it. So mad I couldn't get a job when I just went there to try and stake my claim.

    And Hexmage, congrats on your graduation dude, I'm proud of ya. And good luck with your pursuits.

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  • TaramoorTaramoor Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    My understanding is that Blue states (generally) will be great places to work and live in, but expensive as all hell. Red states will be cheap to live in (3500 sq ft house for $200k) but nightmarish hellscapes otherwise.

    I feel I should point out that all my research in this area is based on my wife forcing me to watch HGTV.

  • schussschuss Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Well - what type of person are you? Do you enjoy fine meals, or think you might? Do you enjoy the outdoors at all, and if so - what outdoor hobbies/activities do you like? Do you like to go out? Can you deal with standoffish people? How much space/greenery do you need?

    Most people consider a lot of the coastal states to be ideal, and they'll typically be the more active/interesting places, but some people love the niceness of the midwest. Also, some people can't deal with any level of cold, while others go climb mountains in sub-zero temps for fun. Some people can't deal without sunny days, others view it as a large evil ball in the sky.

    There's a lot to consider. That said, finding a job is hard, so I'd find a local gig that pays well and save until you figure it out.

  • VeritasVRVeritasVR Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Capt Howdy wrote: »
    You should really be checking USAJOBS for jobs on Robins AFB or one of the Army Bases. They have student programs (students or fresh out) that usually start at GS-07, and guarantee GS-11 in 3 years.

    Sounds odd, but GA is one of the largest Government employers in the US, with Robins AFB being in the top 5 of all bases.

    This.

    Snag yourself a job with a large US Air Force Materiel Command base because there are loads of diverse civilian positions that just scream opportunity. Robins is a good one. You also have Wright-Patterson in Ohio, Hill in Utah, and Tinker in Oklahoma to name a few.

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  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Yeah, if you want to stay somewhere semi-rural, look for military bases; they tend to generate jobs in those areas. Otherwise, basically try to find a job, and look at the city it's in. Can you see yourself living there? What is the median income there, compared to what you've been offered? Do there appear to be other jobs in the area (in case you decide you hate yours)?

    Seattle is absolutely fantastic. I live across the water, but the entire area is great...well, as long as you're okay only seeing the sun three months out of the year. But you've got all kinds of cool outdoorsy shit to do in the immediate area (including waterways, mountains, forests, ski areas, major parks) as well as all kinds of awesome urban shit to do if that's your thing. Plus a job market that, even now, isn't really half bad (well, if you're a college grad). Plus, if you live in the city, it's one of the few places where you can actually live a normal life without a car.

  • EWomEWom Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Montana is a bad place to move to atm. No real jobs, and our real estate is still retardedly high. Despite the fact that tons and tons of houses that were developed for the housing boom, are sitting empty at 500k+ the real estate people here still seem to think that they are worth that, and tiny houses are still going for an insane amount. We looked at a house with less sq. ft. than our apartment recently, that was 200k.

    And as for jobs, I guess if you're dying to work for Walmart, or maybe McDonalds, you could get a job here, otherwise good luck.

    Whether they find a life there or not, I think Jupiter should be called an enemy planet.
  • BagginsesBagginses __BANNED USERS regular
    edited May 2011
  • override367override367 misogynist/MRA/socially irresponsible Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Shit look at Wisconsin on there. It's a good thing we got such a committed governor to save us from being at the bottom of the barrel like that.

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  • devCharlesdevCharles Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    I don't know what your priorities are regarding what you want your living conditions to be like, but in this kind of economy, you have to go where you get a job offered, and if you're lucky enough to get a couple job offers, the place that will give you the best opportunity. If you still have access to your school's career resource center (hopefully they have one,) go and ask for a list of places you should be looking at. The people I know with sociology degrees went into the MA program, so that's something you should be aware of if you want to go for a MA eventually, especially while working.

    Florida got hit like a sack of bricks by the housing bubble bursting, but, depending on where you are, it can be decent living if you get a solid job offer since it's pretty cheap, and it has developed a lot over the past 10 years in certain parts of the state. The health and health services sector of the Florida economy remain fairly strong.

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  • Hexmage-PAHexmage-PA Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Does anyone here know anything about North Dakota? According to Bagginses link it has the lowest unemployment rate in the country at the moment.

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  • CindersCinders You’re either ready to reap this freaky-assed harvest or you’re not. Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    devCharles wrote: »
    I don't know what your priorities are regarding what you want your living conditions to be like, but in this kind of economy, you have to go where you get a job offered, and if you're lucky enough to get a couple job offers, the place that will give you the best opportunity. If you still have access to your school's career resource center (hopefully they have one,) go and ask for a list of places you should be looking at. The people I know with sociology degrees went into the MA program, so that's something you should be aware of if you want to go for a MA eventually, especially while working.

    Florida got hit like a sack of bricks by the housing bubble bursting, but, depending on where you are, it can be decent living if you get a solid job offer since it's pretty cheap, and it has developed a lot over the past 10 years in certain parts of the state. The health and health services sector of the Florida economy remain fairly strong.

    What? Don't encourage people to come here.

    Our unemployment rate is skyrocketing and the only industry that isn't imploding is entirely based around the elderly dying.

  • BagginsesBagginses __BANNED USERS regular
    edited May 2011
    Hexmage-PA wrote: »
    Does anyone here know anything about North Dakota? According to Bagginses link it has the lowest unemployment rate in the country at the moment.

    It's a tiny state that's on the bottom or top of every list. For example, it's also the most corrupt state in the nation.

  • Modern ManModern Man Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Taramoor wrote: »
    My understanding is that Blue states (generally) will be great places to work and live in, but expensive as all hell. Red states will be cheap to live in (3500 sq ft house for $200k) but nightmarish hellscapes otherwise.

    I feel I should point out that all my research in this area is based on my wife forcing me to watch HGTV.
    This is so simplistic and stereotypical, it's useless as advice.

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  • HeirHeir Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    The I-35 Corridor in Texas is doing quite well right now...especially from Austin to San Antonio. I'm not so sure what you could do with a sociology degree though here.

    Austin is very cool town though. Lots of outdoorsy-type activities, tons of live bands and cool venues, downtown is just a fun place in general. Oh, and we have breakfast tacos. Good. Breakfast. Tacos.

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  • EWomEWom Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    The Dakotas and Eastern Montana saw a slight employment boom, because there have been oil fields opening up, and causing a lot of people to come work them from everywhere in the nation. I've got a friend who's working at one in ND right now. The problem is, a lot of these places don't have the infrastructure in place to support the sudden population boom these towns have had.

    So you've got people living in hotel rooms and such, because there's no place to live.

    Whether they find a life there or not, I think Jupiter should be called an enemy planet.
  • devCharlesdevCharles Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Cinders wrote: »
    devCharles wrote: »
    I don't know what your priorities are regarding what you want your living conditions to be like, but in this kind of economy, you have to go where you get a job offered, and if you're lucky enough to get a couple job offers, the place that will give you the best opportunity. If you still have access to your school's career resource center (hopefully they have one,) go and ask for a list of places you should be looking at. The people I know with sociology degrees went into the MA program, so that's something you should be aware of if you want to go for a MA eventually, especially while working.

    Florida got hit like a sack of bricks by the housing bubble bursting, but, depending on where you are, it can be decent living if you get a solid job offer since it's pretty cheap, and it has developed a lot over the past 10 years in certain parts of the state. The health and health services sector of the Florida economy remain fairly strong.

    What? Don't encourage people to come here.

    Our unemployment rate is skyrocketing and the only industry that isn't imploding is entirely based around the elderly dying.


    There's a living in that for a sociologist though. The Health and Health Services I was referring to is mostly related to care of old people, and it's still doing pretty well in the Florida economy. I wouldn't move here without having already secured a job though if it's in any other sector.

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  • redxredx Bow Down! Before the power of Santa!Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    I really wouldn't want my children to attend public schools in florida. I don't look at the numbers much anymore, but whenever I did florida was normally around the tenth percentile compared with the rest of the nation.

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  • devCharlesdevCharles Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    It depends on the neighborhood. Some schools are good. Some are bad. You live near a metropolitan area, they're likely to be a few good ones. The average is brought down by Florida having a lot of rural area.

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  • DrakeonDrakeon Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    This thread? It's awesome. I was just looking for something similar myself, living in California (literally the bottom of the barrel unemployment wise) and not really finding anything.

    Edit: Virginia seems to be pretty awesome employment wise, at least from perusing several other states listed on low unemployment from that list. At least for my field.

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  • tinwhiskerstinwhiskers Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Wouldn't an obvious starting point be asking "What do you want to do with your sociology degree?"

  • TerrendosTerrendos Decorative Monocle Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    I would look to see what places are best for your field. For example, Silicon Valley is going to be the mecca for most people in the microchip game. DC is the East Coast Engineer's Dream, unless you're biomed, in which case you should head a bit south into North Carolina.

    It's going to be different for different broad swaths of careers. I don't know where Sociology stacks up, but I'd check that out before I made any other considerations.

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  • BagginsesBagginses __BANNED USERS regular
    edited May 2011
    Terrendos wrote: »
    I would look to see what places are best for your field. For example, Silicon Valley is going to be the mecca for most people in the microchip game. DC is the East Coast Engineer's Dream, unless you're biomed, in which case you should head a bit south into North Carolina.

    It's going to be different for different broad swaths of careers. I don't know where Sociology stacks up, but I'd check that out before I made any other considerations.

    I was under the impression that Boston was the biotech capital of the east.

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