Why You Should Move to Philly and Study Computer Science

When it comes to choosing a college major, many people struggle. Thinking about what you want to do for the rest of your life at 18 years old is daunting. At 18 I had no real idea of what the "rest of my life" looked like. Somehow I ended up in the world of IT recruiting. For the last 4+ years, I have helped many recent grads land some pretty incredible jobs right out of school. Philadelphia is an amazing city. I feel like every day I am reading about a new startup or co-working space. I quickly realized that being a Software Developer in Philly makes you a part of an elite group of people are who in high demand.

CareerBuilder recently released an article about this high demand for Software Developers in the work place. “Because computers are such an integral and crucial part of our lives, the occupation is growing at a rapid pace.” As the Director for an IT Recruiting division in Philadelphia, I see this demand first hand. Computers aren't going anywhere. Cell phones aren't going anywhere. There is always going to be a need for developers. Being a Philly native myself, I feel strongly about continuing to retain engineering talent in this city. Below are a few reasons I think studying computer science in Philly, and staying local post graduation, is a good decision. 

Cool Internship Opportunities

As a Computer Science major the internships available to you are pretty amazing. You could intern with major players like Google, LinkedIn or Facebook. In Philly there are a number of startups looking for interns who are ready to get their hands dirty and jump into development. These companies tend to have  pretty awesome work spaces too. I would say a typical startup has a modern office that is open, collaborative and usually houses some sort of table game (foosball, air hockey etc.) They also allow you get real life hands on experience with programming. Great experience to put on your resume!

A Thriving Community

Living and working in Philly as an IT Recruiter I am able to be a part of the growing tech community in Philadelphia. Between Technical.ly Philly’s Philly Tech Week, Drexel’s Dragon Hacks hackathon or local Javascript Meetups, there are a ton of local events to choose from where you will get exposure to hiring companies and other local techies looking to network. The Philly tech scene offers endless opportunities to someone starting out in the field of Software Development. 

Financial Stability

According to a survey on Indeed the “average Computer Science salaries for job postings in Philadelphia, PA are 5% higher than average Computer Science salaries for job postings nationwide”. When is comes to entry level Software Developer positions in Philadelphia I tend to see that the average salary starts around the $50,000-$60,000 range. If my 18-year-old self had known that, my major might not have been Performing Arts! The cost of living in Philly is also significantly cheaper than that of some of the other major tech hubs in the country. You end up getting more bang for your buck! 

If you are looking for a fun career that is both rewarding and challenging in a growing tech city you should consider becoming a Software Developer. On top of that, do it in Philly!

Sarah Herrmann