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5 Tips For Living in Silicon Alley

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Summary: Expats that work in the tech industry in New York City are among the luckiest in the world. Yes, it's competitive and it takes a great deal of resilience, but if you can make it happen, you'll live and work in one of the world's greatest tech cities in the world.

Expats in Silicon Alley - 5 Tips For Living in Silicon Alley

Silicon Alley is the name given to New York City's tech sector, initially the area in and around the Flat Iron District of the borough of Manhattan. Since Silicon Alley's early days, it has grown to mean the tech sector in New York City in general. Here's an introduction to what's happening in the New York City tech world, and how you can make it happen if you decide Silicon Alley is for you.

Silicon Alley Companies and Startups - Keep Tabs On Companies

Learn about the companies in Silicon Alley and the job and industry market it encompasses.

Obviously, there are huge tech companies in New York City. Google's New York City Office is its biggest outside of its headquarters in Silicon Valley. Google describes it by writing: "Solving programming challenges in a collaborative environment, our engineers play key roles in Google Drive, Search, AdWords, and Maps. Our sales team, one of Google’s biggest, caters to global clients including major media companies and ad agencies. We also developed Crisis Response Maps out of the NYC hub and are home to the Creative Lab, our in-house advertising and creative agency. With easy access to the High Line and breathtaking views, our Chelsea office is designed to inspire."

Every year several popular tech and business news sites release information about the tech companies in Silicon Alley - think beyond the obvious players, such as Google.

In an Inc.com article about What to Expect From the NYC Tech Scene in 2016, writer today, New York City is home to Warby Parker, Blue Apron, and Buzzfeed. There's FanDuel, OscarHealth, and ZocDoc. Each is valued at more than $1 billion. And in 2014 and 2015, two more New York City-born companies--OnDeck Capital and Etsy--went public at valuations of greater than $1 billion.

For instance, Forbes.com releases article regularly, such as 14 New York Tech Companies To Watch In 2016, or 15 Tech Companies Taking New York City by Storm.

And Business Insider publishes articles such as 15 New York Tech Companies to Watch in 2016 and New York City Billion Dollar Start Ups.

Life in Silicon Alley

Expats in Silicon Alley are treated to life in one of the great cultural destinations in the world. There are people from every country in the world.

Our Tips For Living in New York City article offers a lot of great advice on settling in and thriving there.

Making friends in the United States can seem challenging, but with so much to do in New York City, it's not hard to find people with common interests.

The best restaurants in New York City are some of the best in the world.

Expats that work in the Tech Sector generally live in New York City, but many people also live in the suburbs that surround New York

Public Transportation in New York and the surrounding areas offer many options for getting around.

H1-B Visas

The H1-B is the visa expats use for entering the United States to obtain technology jobs.

It is a visa in extremely high demand from people all over the world. CNN recently wrote a story about the 2016 H1-B program for expats coming into the United States, reporting that "this year, 236,000 foreigners applied for the H-1B, the most common visa for high-skilled foreign workers. That's up 3,000 from 2015 -- and up significantly more from 2014 which had 172,500 applications."

In the United States, the program is controversial. Many in the United States worry that the program is taking jobs away from U.S. citizens, that the program doesn't provide jobs to who it is designed for, among other issues.

The Los Angeles Times editorial board wrote an article about ending abuse of the program, and WSJ.com wrote an article about how to fix the H1-B program.

Many Tech People in Silicon Valley Want To Relocate To Silicon Alley

If you want to work in Silicon Alley - instead of Silicon Valley - you aren't alone!

A recent survey by Woo.io, a tech hiring research firm, showed an increase in tech workers in Silicon Valley who want to move to New York City's Silicon Alley tech sector:

"The data also showed that if Bay Area techies had to pick a favorite city to relocate to, it would be New York City, as they trade Silicon Valley for the increasingly popular Silicon Alley. Many of those surveyed said an increased emphasis on a work/life balance has led them to consider relocation."

Google and Engadget recently teamed up to keep tech talent in New York City.

Expats Will Find New York City Great For Start Ups

Think you want to start your own business in Silicon Alley? New York City is an entrepreneurs dream, but it is highly competitive. However, if you have the talent and the drive, there are few places that are better to make your tech dream a reality. You have to be flexible - if you have set views about the way things should work and aren't resilient in the face of challenges and setbacks, New York City probably isn't the place for you.

In an article about why expat start ups are a great fit for New York, Culture is one of the strong suits cited in BizJournal.com. New York City "is the melting pot of the world. Every nationality is represented, and the city is a magnet for talented workers. "

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About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000. Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Some of Joshua's more popular articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and 5 Best Places to Live in Spain. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

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First Published: May 04, 2016

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