Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Economist Magazine Features Detroit

Michigan Expats - News - See All News

By Mr. Sig

One of my favorite publications, the Economist Magazine, recently featured Detroit in an article - link below.

As a technology worker myself, I can comewhat relate to the thesis of this article.  That is, technology hiring is starting to ramp up in the Detroit area mainly due to carmakers bringing back their tech employment to pre-recession levels.

Certainly, Detroit can be an attractive place for a technology worker.  A skilled tech worker has pretty good job security, and given that making 80K in Detroit can be compared to making about 150K in many other cities, taking a tech job in Detroit can be a great financial decision.

This particular article poses an interesting question regarding what might attract good tech workers to Detroit.  One downside is that if a worker is laid-off, there are not really any other options for him/her.  This is not the case in a place like Silicon Valley or even places like Charlotte - also mentioned in this article.

While I agree with this thesis, I really don't think it is a problem for a tech worker.  I have spoken many times with executives in my company and I know first hand that the recession didn't really hit IT.  While other areas are suffering, companies have an insatiable demand for technically competent workers who know "how to do things."  If you are a competent employee, the likelyhood of you losing a job in Detroit is awfully low.  Even in Detroit, technical folks are not likely to be out of work for long.

The other advantage of being a technology worker in Michigan is that it's quite likely that you can become king.  Or, at least, you will be able to walk with kings.  If you are a rare breed with specialized skills, you are likely to be pampered and given a metaphorical red carpet while on the job.  The last thing that your company wants is for you to quit.  Then what will they do?

For skilled IT workers, Detroit can be an attractive option.  There is a lot of potential there (can it get any worse?) and the cost of living is so low, that a worker can live very comfortably.  At some point, this will resonate and a few folks will start to trickle back to the Motor City.......