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> I'd be very cautious about Atlanta. Outside of Google, many of the companies there are wanting to pay salaries I'd consider substantially below market (even including COLA) compared to the other hubs.

If most companies are paying a certain salary, doesn't that imply that salary IS market rate?

I don't think you can directly compare salaries across cities even after factoring in cost of living since it ignores the fact some places are more desirable to live in than others and thus should command "premiums".




I've heard this anecdotally as well. I've also heard that companies are willing to pay big money to get you in from other tech hubs only to screw you down the line on bonuses. It's tough to justify a raise at an Atlanta tech company when you're the guy or girl who's already paid more than everyone else.

Also, people overestimate the effects of cheaper housing. Yes, cheaper housing is nice but one has to remember that lots of things cost the same no matter where you live. Food, transportation, travel, and education costs are mostly static across the country. It's important to factor that in and not get dazzled by the fancy house or condo you can suddenly afford.


> If most companies are paying a certain salary, doesn't that imply that salary IS market rate?

In my particular case, the "market rate" at Location A is ~$40k higher (after COLA) than the "market rate" in Atlanta.

So, when I mean "market rate" I mean "My options at Location A + the options in Atlanta."

> I don't think you can directly compare salaries across cities even after factoring in cost of living since it ignores the fact some places are more desirable to live in than others and thus should command "premiums".

To be perfectly honest, I consider Atlanta vs. where I am now a wash in most respects and a $40k premium is simply too steep for the difference. It isn't like I live in the Bay Area where rent is $40k.


There isn't such a thing as "market rate"




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