Just read an interesting article on how important tech workers feel it is to live in Silicon Valley: Is Silicon Valley Still the Top Tech Hub? This piece reports on a survey done by Indeed Prime which found that many high tech workers do not believe that living in Silicon Valley is all that important for their careers. For all those polled, 68.3% said that living here is either “not that important” or “not at all important.”
I can almost hear local old timers saying “great, maybe we’ll get our calm environment back if they all go to Seattle, New York, or Austin!”
So what is happening? High housing costs do scare people off of living in the San Francisco Bay Area, and San Jose and nearby specifically. Recently, my 26 year old son (in high tech also – he’s a video game designer currently getting a master’s in that field) informed me that many of his old high school friends don’t feel like they’ll ever be able to afford to live here. And they are all well employed. I can see that, and it’s terribly sad.
But I don’t think you can blame the lack of attachment by tech workers generally to Silicon Valley real estate prices, because the attachment to living in the Santa Clara Valley is not uniform across all types of tech workers.
Further into this article, there’s a breakdown by age – and here it gets interesting. Many younger high tech folks find value in being here, but the interest wanes as the workers age (that could be due to housing and the availability of other alternative locations for work).
For those thinking that having a job in Silicon Valley is important or very important, the generational breakdown is as follows:
Gen X 32.5%
Baby Boomers 10.2%
Will we see a trend toward a younger, more transient population here? Time will tell. But the other places luring Silicon Valley talent share some of our same challenges. Alternative locations for high tech careers include New York (not known for being inexpensive) and Boston (also fairly pricey) as well as more affordable locations such as Austin (where prices have been going through the roof), Seattle (also seeing extremely steep appreciation in real estate costs), Washington DC, Atlanta, and Demver.
It is a very interesting bit of research and I encourage my readers to check it out.