- Seventy-eight percent of tech workers would relocate somewhere else if they could, citing affordability (60%) and the economy (56%) as the reasons in Tech on the Move, a study from CompTIA. The association for IT professionals said that with more than 260,000 IT jobs in the U.S. alone, tech workers are in high demand.
- Respondents' top three criteria when choosing where to work were job security, income/salary and expertise/ongoing learning. Their top three considerations for deciding where to live were overall cost of living, weather and climate and commute times, CompTIA said.
- Millennials working in IT value salary slightly more and meaningful work slightly less than their Gen Z counterparts, according to CompTIA. The survey broke down more reasons for relocating by gender, with more women than men citing job security and income as important factors, but more men than women citing expertise/ongoing learning.
Tech skills are in high demand, making job security, less of a problem for tech workers these days. But the CompTIA survey results aren't the first time the issue of affordability has come up as a cost of living problem for tech workers. A report from Citrix Systems released in May showed that 75% of knowledge workers would relocate for financial reasons. Metropolitan areas and tech hubs like Silicon Valley, in particular, are expensive places for most employees to live and work, even for highly compensated tech workers.
The feasibility of relocation is also an issue for many people. More tech workers are reportedly looking at emerging tech hubs as future housing locations to stretch their dollars. The high cost of living in Silicon Valley is driving many of them out and off to cities like Boston, Houston, New York and Austin. As of 2017, a one-bedroom apartment rented in San Francisco for as much as $3,000 a month and $2,500 a month in San Jose.
Remote work options might be the best solution for tech employees who don't need to be onsite 24/7. Eighty-five percent of respondents in the Citrix System survey said they could perform their jobs just as well from anywhere, another 62% said they could work home from one day a week, and nearly 70% felt that remote work would make them more focused and productive.