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Help me choose a city in Florida

 
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Hi All,

Need some help from guys who know about Florida.

First the case - My wife is a nurse. She has signed up with a US agency who's helped us get our visa's & now we are in the final leg of our migration to the US. She is in agreement to work for a hospital in Florida for her agency for atleast 2 years(3 yrs max).

Now here's where I need your help. Since, wherever we go we'll have to stay there for a few years we'd rather go to a place where I can get a job as well. The agency has got around 40 hospitals in Florida & we don't know which would be the right one to choose. It'd be great if u guys could help us out here.

I'm interested in knowing how the IT scene is in the vicinity of these hospitals. Are there enuff IT companies in & around these places. I don't mind commuting for 1 or 1.5 hrs.(See the list below)

Currently we're being offered Gainesville. Now this place being rural(the interviewer said so), I don't think there'll be enuff job opportunities there. Tell me what u guys think about it ???

We're currently trying to get it changed(don't know if they will), probably to Miami/Tampa/St. Petersburg/West Palm Beach/Ft. Lauderdale/Jacksonville. These areas were short listed cause I did a short survey of job sites(HotJobs, Monster & a few others) & found that these have a lot of jobs in the IT sector & besides I do have some offers in West Palm Beach, Ft. Lauderdale & Miami.

So as long as there is a good density of IT Companies in & around the area, it'll be a good choice for me cause the probablity of me getting a job there would be higher.

Here's the list of cities/towns where the agency has got the hospitals(See Map-Scroll down)
  • Bradenton
  • Brandon
  • Bayonet
  • Sarasota
  • Port Charolette
  • Engelwood
  • Fort Myers
  • Largo
  • St. Petersburg
  • Brooksville
  • New Port Richey
  • Sun City Center
  • Aventura
  • Miami
  • West Palm Beach
  • Jacksonville
  • Atlantis
  • Ft. Pierce
  • Margate
  • Loxahatchee
  • Plantation
  • Okeechobee
  • Port St. Lucie
  • Tamarac
  • Gainesville
  • Ocala
  • Sanford
  • Twin Cities
  • Fort Walton Beach
  • Orange Park
  • Tallahassee
  • Lake City
  • Pensacola
  • Kissemmee
  • Panama City


  • Also, while u guys tell me your choices, do also let me know about the cost of living.

    Just hoping that a first person account will help us better.

    Thanx in advance.
    Ashish
    [ July 23, 2004: Message edited by: Ashish Hareet ]
     
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    Originally posted by Ashish Hareet:
    Hi All,

    Need some help from guys who know about Florida.


    [ July 23, 2004: Message edited by: Ashish Hareet ]



    The highest density of IT jobs (and also highest paying jobs) are in the South Florida area. Since you're willing to commute, that includes Tamarac, Plantation, Ft Lauderdale, Miami, West Palm Beach, and Boca Raton (not on your list but its between West Palm Beach and the others). I'm not sure where you are from, but house prices have increased about 50% in the past few years in these areas. Sometimes there are issues if you don't speak spanish in Miami, but they are minor.

    I'd seriously consider Gainesville and Tallahassee. Rapidly growing areas with lots of growth potential (research this...), much lower costs of living, less congested, less frantic pace of life...
     
    Ashish Hareet
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    Hi Herb,

    Thanx for the response.

    I'll try to get out a few facts on Gainesville.

    BTW I'm from India & I've got nobody in Florida, so I don't want my migration to be a bunch of annnoying surprises.

    Thanx
    Ashish H.
     
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    I have not checked recently, but when I was looking a few years ago it seemed that there were many more jobs in the Tampa area than in the Miami-to-WestPalmBeach South Florida area. There were also quite a few jobs in Jacksonville and Orlando.

    I suggest you get a map of Florida to see which cities are within commuting distance of which other towns. If your wife works on Orange Park, you can work in Jacksonville. If your wife works in Kissemmee, you can work in Orlando. I believe Tampa is close to Ft. Pierce or Ft. Meyers (I don't remember which).

    Gainesville is a university town. In the middle of a rural / small-town area it has there a huge university with about 50,000 students. There's not much industry there, and lots of competition with recent graduates who prefer not to leave. (Gainesville is about 45 miles west of Palatka, which is where I grew up.)
    [ July 23, 2004: Message edited by: Frank Silbermann ]
     
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    I have been living in Florida since 2 years (in Jacksonville). here's my observation.

    Miami / Ft Lauderdale is the biggest job market in general. you got to balance the work in those areas to living conditions.

    Tampa is a big Microsoft technologies town.

    Jacksonville / Orlando have good Java opportunities

    Gainsville as others noted earlier is a University town, not much for non-academic types.

    In general, I found it better in North Florida after checking out all those places. and i would'nt hesitate to recommend it to others
     
    Ugly Redneck
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    I'd be a little careful about North Florida from what I've heard though I could be very wrong. North Florida is almost like living in Alabama. That means you will be experiencing "deep south" living conditions. I've never lived in the deep south myself but I hear it aint pretty for folks like us.

    *This is only hear-say and there is a good chance that things are nothing like above*
     
    Desperado
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    I am a veteran of South Florida. Have lived here in two previous lives in addition to the present one .

    First one from 1979-1985 (in Dade County) and then from 1995-1998 also in Dade County. My present "life" has been since 2000 in Palm Beach County.

    North from Orlando is "southern USA". Orlando is OK and Tampa also.

    From West Palm Beach county south, that is, Ft. Lauderdale (Broward County) and Miami (Dade County) diversity is the norm.

    Sure in Dade county you will hear everyone speaking Spanish until English is called for, and they will speak it with no problem (the great majority; don't know about the recently arrived illegal immigrants from Latin America, but those are rarely if ever in a significant business position).

    I guess college towns are an oasis of diversity in central/north FL but there may not be that many business (programming) opportunities in them.

    I am a native Spanish and English speaker so I have never had a language barrier problem down here.

    As an added interesting fact: There are a lot of Haitians in Delray Beach. When they speak amongst themselves, I can tell how anglos feel/felt when (esp. in Miami) they heard hispanics talking Spanish amongst themselves in public while not understanding a bit of what they were saying to each other.
     
    Frank Silbermann
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    Originally posted by Paul McKenna:
    I'd be a little careful about North Florida from what I've heard though I could be very wrong. North Florida is almost like living in Alabama. That means you will be experiencing "deep south" living conditions. I've never lived in the deep south myself but I hear it aint pretty for folks like us.

    *This is only hear-say and there is a good chance that things are nothing like above*



    I'd be interested in hearing the hearsay. It can't be any more Deep South than Louisiana, and last year a 28 year-old Republican born in India and campaigning for governor (the highest office in the state) received a bit more than half of the white vote. (He only got 9% of the black vote, so he lost the election -- just barely, though.)
     
    Ashish Hareet
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    Thanx a lot guys.

    I feel, from your posts & a little bit of my own hunting that South Florida is the place where I stand a chance. The cost could be higher but then it's better than not having an opportunity. So, I've asked our agent to see if he can get my wife fixed some place in the Southern Florida & I'm praying that he gets it done for us.

    Now for some more help. You guys already know that my wife is being offered a job in Gainesville, FL. Worst case scenario , she has to take it. Meanwhile I've just got an offer from a company in Tallahassee & from Yahoo I looked up the avegrage commute between my wife's hospital & this company's work-site which is 2 hrs 49 min. All I want to know is that are there any means of public transport between Tallahassee & Gainesville & are they frequent, as in if I get too ambitious & I'd wanna commute keeping the base in Gainesville. As for driving 3 hrs, it'd be too much for me in the beginning - left hand drive person driving in a right hand drive world

    Thanx, I really appreciate your help
    Ashish H.
     
    frank davis
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    Originally posted by Ashish Hareet:
    Thanx a lot guys.

    I feel, from your posts & a little bit of my own hunting that South Florida is the place where I stand a chance. The cost could be higher but then it's better than not having an opportunity. So, I've asked our agent to see if he can get my wife fixed some place in the Southern Florida & I'm praying that he gets it done for us.

    Now for some more help. You guys already know that my wife is being offered a job in Gainesville, FL. Worst case scenario , she has to take it. Meanwhile I've just got an offer from a company in Tallahassee & from Yahoo I looked up the avegrage commute between my wife's hospital & this company's work-site which is 2 hrs 49 min. All I want to know is that are there any means of public transport between Tallahassee & Gainesville & are they frequent, as in if I get too ambitious & I'd wanna commute keeping the base in Gainesville. As for driving 3 hrs, it'd be too much for me in the beginning - left hand drive person driving in a right hand drive world

    Thanx, I really appreciate your help
    Ashish H.




    You're right, South Florida has about 20 times more opportunities than Gainesville or Tallahassee. I never heard of any public transportation bewtween Gainesville & Tallahassee, although I'm sure there are private shuttle buses on the weekends (as there are between Miami and those cities).
     
    Consider Paul's rocket mass heater.
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