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Hotlanta, or Hollywood?

Molly picks Southern California and Atlanta as two winning combinations of HOT weather–and IT career–prospects. Hotlanta, or Hollywood? Molly picks Southern California and Atlanta as two winning combinations of hot weather (and IT career) prospects.

Dear Molly: I’m taking courses in e-commerce, Web development and Java. I have time to learn, and I like hot weather. Where might be best for me to move, and what kind of job expectations could I have?

Molly says: If you like hot weather, focus your job search on two areas of the country: Southern California and Atlanta, Ga. These two areas of the country may not be the hottest IT spots, but businesses in these large metropolitan areas doing well over all, and companies are still moving in rather than out–a trend that local business leaders are carefully cultivating.

If you move to Los Angeles, you could work on getting a job in the entertainment industry. Television and movie companies are pouring lots of development effort and money into projects that require digital special effects and animation. Your Java programming skills could come in handy in this kind of job. Lots of public relations, advertising, and marketing firms that support the entertainment industry always need slick new movie trailers for Web sites. Plus, what Hollywood celebrity doesn’t have a Web site (or several) these days?

If you move to Atlanta, your array of job choices will be wider, but more mundane. Many major corporations have offices in the Atlanta area, and there are a lot of high-tech companies, too. You could expect to get a job working for a company that puts Web sites together or for a company that needs help with its Web site development.

I must warn you that Atlanta is hotter than a blast oven in July and August (I grew up there, so I know), but earthquakes are few and far between. Plus, you’re not that far from Florida, another hot-weather spot.

Before you move, visit both areas and subscribe to the major newspapers, or at least to the Sunday editions. Get to know the areas and you potential job markets better before you make your final choice, and then apply for some jobs in your chosen state. If you get an offer, your new employer may be willing to put some money towards your moving expenses, so do ask.

Here are the Web sites for the two major dailies in these areas: the Los Angeles Times and the Atlanta Journal and Constitution.

Molly Joss also writes the monthly Career Advisor column for ComputerUser magazine. Ask a career-related question at [email protected]

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