East vs. West: Which coast is best for an IT career?

Everyone knows that in these two regions geeks rule, most parents explain their child’s career by saying say “my kid’s into computers” and somebody’s always stuck in traffic. But how do the locales stack up in a coast-to-coast showdown? From IT salaries and educational institutions, to climate and real estate, there’s much to debate about which is the best spot for an IT career.

Brain trusts

WEST COAST — Cal Tech, Stanford EAST COAST — MIT, Carnegie Mellon EDGE — EAST COAST

Tech nickname WEST COAST — Silicon Valley — Legendary EAST COAST — The Rte. 128 Corridor — Lame EDGE — WEST COAST

Big kahunas WEST COAST — Cisco, Google, HP, Intel, Microsoft, Oracle, Sun EAST COAST — EMC, IBM EDGE — WEST COAST

Storied VCs WEST COAST — Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Greylock, Benchmark Capital EAST COAST — Battery Ventures, Atlas Ventures EDGE — WEST COAST

Culture club WEST COAST — Liberal, laid-back and status-conscious EAST COAST — Uptight, ultra-competitive and status-conscious EDGE — WEST COAST

Show me the money! WEST COAST — Senior Software Engineer / Developer / Programmer salary: US$105,662 (San Francisco) EAST COAST — Senior Software Engineer / Developer / Programmer salary: US$96,961 (Boston) EDGE — WEST COAST

Real estate reality WEST COAST — Saratoga, Calif. — Median home price $1.4 million EAST COAST — Wellesley, Mass. — Median home price $1.1 million EDGE — EAST COAST

Coffee snobbery factor WEST COAST — Will drive miles to find a Starbucks EAST COAST — Swears by Dunkin’ Donuts, which is on every corner EDGE — EAST COAST

Signature commuting road WEST COAST — Highway 101 in San Francisco — Nightmare! EAST COAST — Rte. 128 through Waltham, Mass. — Only a bad dream! EDGE — EAST COAST

Preferred vehicle WEST COAST — Toyota Prius Hybrid EAST COAST — Volvo Cross Country EDGE — WEST COAST

Regional rep WEST COAST — Where “working-class millionaires” struggle to make ends meet EAST COAST — The “Least” Coast EDGE — EAST COAST

Chances of marrying a tech gazillionaire WEST COAST — High, especially if you hang around golf and yacht clubs EAST COAST — Low, unless you meet him or her while still a grad student EDGE — WEST COAST

Must-have tech exec clothing items WEST COAST — T-shirt, jeans, Teva sandals, leather jacket, messenger bag EAST COAST — Blue Oxford shirt, khaki pants, deck shoes, ski jacket, briefcase EDGE — WEST COAST

Hip-hop rivalries WEST COAST — Snoop Dogg, Suge Knight, Dr. Dre EAST COAST — Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs, Jay-Z, 50 Cent EDGE — Tie (Can’t we all just get along!)


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