Tech Pros Divided on Whether to Relocate This Year

How willing are tech pros to pick up their lives and move to a new city or state to take a new job?

According to the most recent Dice Salary Survey, tech pros are actually pretty divided on that question: some 29 percent voiced a willingness to relocate, while 26 percent are less willing; another 5 percent are unsure, and 40 percent hadn’t really changed their opinion on the matter between 2016 and 2017.

Of course, relatively few people move to a new city or state solely for the sake of doing so; there’s usually some other factor involved, such as the prospect of a higher salary or a better work-life balance. Some 63 percent of tech pros told Dice that increased compensation was their primary motivator for potentially switching employers in 2018; that was followed by better working conditions (45 percent), more responsibility (30 percent), and anticipation of losing a current position (23 percent). Only 13 percent said they were planning on switching employers due to a relocation, suggesting that moving isn’t on an overwhelming number of tech pros’ minds in 2018.

Previous Dice analyses of job application data have found that tech pros are indeed willing to move to new states in search of better opportunities, but their migrations are often regional as opposed to cross-country. For example, a high concentration of tech pros regularly move between Washington D.C. and nearby Maryland and Virginia; the plethora of tech firms serving the federal government means no shortage of job opportunities within this extended ecosystem.

At the same time, tech pros aren’t afraid to move even further afield if the opportunity is right. For example, Dice has previously detected a great deal of migratory activity between Texas and states such as Colorado and Minnesota, which are in completely different regions. And of course, California continues to attract a number of workers who want to participate in that state’s burgeoning tech economy.  

For tech pros, the decision to move is never an easy one, especially if their new home has a higher cost of living. But if the opportunity is right, tech pros have also demonstrated that they won’t let even thousands of miles stand between them and a new life.