Tech workers think Silicon Valley and startups are losing their luster

Life is just so, so good.
Life is just so, so good.
Image: Jeff Chiu / AP
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The job site found Silicon Valley’s hold on tech workers is slipping as opportunities, and the cost of living, changes the equation for living and working in one of the priciest places in the country.

“There is more opportunity for tech professionals in more places than ever before,” wrote Terence Chiu, vice president of Indeed Prime by email, citing cities such as Austin, Boston, Seattle, and New York City. “Obviously the San Francisco Bay remains the largest tech hub [but] what has made it so attractive has also made it expensive.”

Indeed’s most recent survey of professional tech workers found more than 66% of tech workers say living and working in Silicon Valley is either “not that important” or “not at all important” for a career in technology. Just 12% consider it “very important.”

Opinions were split on generational lines. About half of millennial tech workers say it’s important (26.5%) or very important (19%), but the number declined to 10.2% among the Boomer generation. “Seasoned talent is often searching for opportunity elsewhere,” stated the report. New employees may see the high cost of living as an acceptable tradeoff for building up a reputation and experience in the Bay Area, but that seems to fade over time.

That’s left plenty of people ready to move on to the next thing. The survey found 88% of tech workers “intend to leave their present employer for another job opportunity in the future,” and many are looking outside the Bay Area. Last year, 35% of tech job searches on from the Bay Area were targeting jobs elsewhere (based on 30-day averages and adjusted for seasonal factors). That share was up about 30% year-over-year, the company reports. “We think this is a continuing trend, but we’ll have to see how 2016 shapes up,” said Chiu.

Many said being an employee at a startup had limited appeal. Big brands and established companies were the preferred employer for 74% of those surveyed. Only 11% were interested in startups.

“We tend to think of the ‘start up’ as the poster child for the technology world, but according to the people Indeed Prime surveyed, medium size businesses are more attractive,” write Chiu. “This may be because the tech sector has matured – more companies have grown-up and there are tech job opportunities across sectors.”