I'm worried I'll be stuck in stinky Toronto forever if I want to keep working and making decent money. (It's fun, but I want to move somewhere smaller for my health.) But I don't know if the wage I'd make in a smaller city would be the same if I change jobs.
I'm supporting both myself and my partner on about 95k right now doing web dev work. To find that wage I had to do remote work for a company in the US. That said, since I'm a sole-proprietor I've gotten used to saving 50% of my wages, 26% of which will go into taxes minus deductions. So I could probably live on less. But then how will I retire? I'm screaming toward forty. I need to make the most of the next ~25 years.
I see on Glassdoor that the average wages for front-end developers are a bit lower in Canada. Whenever I leave a job I have companies lining up to interview me but I suspect that's because the hiring industry is so inflated right now. It could be because I'm a developer with a long history on Linked-in but I always have that twinge of impostor syndrome.
When I was in university my friend and I did freelance work for local businesses, so by the time I was in my final year I already had a bit of a career going. Before university I was reading the RFCs for Internet protocols, reading hacker docs and the jargon files. I really WANTED to be in programming. Long story short, I haven't even finished university. I hate how maths are presented and I could never finish the courses. So I took a gig at a marketing company and I've been doing full-stack or front end web development ever since.
All of that said, my university career was in the early 2000s. The Internet was HYOOOOOOJ. There was far more unchecked excitement in general and among investors. My career was all but guaranteed. I was born at the right time. I think we are starting to see the plateau of computer careers. There will be spikes just like any industry but I think the demand will be a lot more stable but possibly less from now on.
The outsourcing issue certainly is one. Half of my co-workers are from around the world. The reason is that the wage is cheaper than it is in the US. I don't know what to say there. The USD is stronger than ours and they can buy more work from us for each dollar. There are a lot of strange things going on in the economy and for the social welfare of Americans that goes far beyond the scope of this post. My sincere hope is that the US decides to care for its own and invest in its future by nurturing its relationships with foreign countries. This current trajectory probably will end in disaster for a lot of people, and probably not the cronies of the people making it happen.
(Sorry this reads like an anonymous CV but I think the context matters.)