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The Almighty Buck Technology

Austin Has Highest Salaries For Tech Workers, After Factoring In Cost of Living 285

McGruber writes "Austin ranks number one in the nation when it comes to offering the largest tech salaries that have been adjusted for cost of living expenses, such as housing, groceries, utilities and other necessities. This is according to a study by TriNet, a company I had never heard off, that provides (buzzword alert!) cloud-based human resources services. The seven major tech hubs, ranked by cost of living adjusted average salaries: 1. Austin: $105,000; 2. Atlanta: $103,000; 3. Denver-Boulder: $98,000; 4. Boston: $79,000; 5. Silicon Valley: $78,000; 6. Los Angeles: $70,000; 7. New York: $56,000." It's true that Austin has cheaper real estate than Silicon Valley, or London, but what this kind of analysis can't capture well is the worth for an individual of living in a particular place. Some jobs are easier to do from Texas (or Timbuktu) than others, and opinions vary wildly about the importance of climate, culture, alternative job options, and other factors. New York living is expensive, Yes, but it comes with a free bonus if New York is where you want to be. Some people even like Los Angeles. Is there a place you'd rather be but forgo because of the cost of living, or a place you'd consider simply because it would amplify your salary?
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Austin Has Highest Salaries For Tech Workers, After Factoring In Cost of Living

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  • Tech hubs? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by j. andrew rogers ( 774820 ) on Saturday March 08, 2014 @03:18PM (#46435561)

    How can a list of "the seven major tech hubs" not include Seattle, which is home to some of the biggest tech companies in the world, but include cities like Atlanta? That is a strangely biased list so I wonder what the criteria was for "tech hub".

  • Re: really (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 08, 2014 @04:57PM (#46436033)

    You keep talking about New York, for some reason. I'm not holding that out as my ideal tech city, although yeah...it's IS a damn cool place if you have the substantial means that it takes to live well there.

    And yes...it has winters. Austin has summers. I live there right now, and I was here when it hit 114 degrees about 2 years ago. That is almost as fun as the cold. (I grew up in the northeast...I've known both in my life.)

    As other posters have mentioned, there are OTHER good technology-oriented cities out there that are strangely absent from this 'list'. Raleigh-Durham, Seattle, Portland, etc. I'm also pretty unsure about the methodology used in the list, but hey...whatever.

    I like Austin, but I am getting tired of the "Austin is the best at everything!" marketing bullshit. The politicians here are more hung up on image than the politicians of any other place I've ever lived. They keep ignoring the infrastructure projects that should have been started 5-10 years ago, and keep on trying to lure more companies here from California and beyond. (Paying them with tax incentives to do so, etc.)

    It actually creates a funny situation...we get lots of well-meaning liberals moving here for the conservative business climate. Low-tax, low-service, etc. Maybe I've been here too long, but the cognitive dissonance involved in all of this is just bizarre. Ah well...they all vote. It'll just like where they all came from with a generation or so.

  • by default luser ( 529332 ) on Sunday March 09, 2014 @01:25AM (#46437989) Journal

    It's too small a city to be widely diversified in terms of tech providers, so whenever a bubble or recession hits, the city takes a dive [dallasfed.org]. There's nothing else within commuting distance with similar tech options (Dallas and Houston are too far, and San Antonio is mostly medical).

    I grew up in Austin in the 80s and 90s and watched things first-hand: first there was the mid 80s (1985-86) semiconductor bust (component makers were out-competed by Japan). Fifteen years later there was the Dot Com crash (gutted Dell, as well as dozens of smaller web startups headquartered in the city). Every time the market bust, it was 2+ years before jobs reappeared, making it a dangerous place to call home.

    If you want to live there, go on ahead - just make a nestegg your first priority (and take the cost of that into account when you are pricing out the city).

  • I live in Tucson. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Max Threshold ( 540114 ) on Sunday March 09, 2014 @02:52AM (#46438195)
    I make less than half of what I could be making. But I'm also making four times what I need to pay the bills, which means early retirement, hello! And if I ever found myself unable to work in the tech industry, I could still pay the bills working in a grocery store.

"The pyramid is opening!" "Which one?" "The one with the ever-widening hole in it!" -- The Firesign Theatre