We're going to leave the puns about "sure bets" and "taking career gambles" aside and play this one straight. If you're looking for a new job, you might want to look in Las Vegas.
No, you don't have to be an Elvis impersonator to have a lucrative career here, and no, tourism and entertainment aren't the only industries hiring, either. Sure, casinos are still the state's top employer, but Las Vegas and the state of Nevada have completely diversified the economy in recent years.
And it's paying off—Moody's Analytics reports that Nevada has the best employment forecast in the country and is set to add jobs at a yearly rate of 2.6 percent through 2020.
Who knew there was so much opportunity in the desert? If you're looking for a change of scenery, here are four reasons to bet on—er, consider a move to Las Vegas.
1. It's a Hub for Tech Opportunities
In 2013, Zappos' Tony Hsieh moved his Amazon-owned mega-company to the Strip as part of the $350 million Downtown Project initiative to entice more entrepreneurs to Sin City. Apple, eBay and Microsoft have also set up offices within Nevada. Casinos are also keen to hire techies to keep on top of their information technology—someone's gotta keep those slots wheeling and dealing on the casino floor.
Digital content creator Morgen John credits his move to Las Vegas from Atlanta last summer as a huge boost to his budding career.
“When I came out to Las Vegas, I took a big, calculated risk," says John, who says that up until then his creative work “was just a side hustle." Now, he's working full time in the digital space and loving it, with enough work to give him the ability to pick and choose the projects he wants.
Though John says the move from Atlanta was “a crazy transformation," he says it was the right thing to do for his career, as his professional network has expanded greatly.
“I consider this an amazing city for young Internet professionals looking to be disruptive and break the rules of business," John says.
2. Tax Benefits Bring More Jobs
It's a trend: when a state offers tax incentives, businesses start to move in. And more employers mean more opportunities to advance your career.
“Las Vegas—and Nevada as a state—are actually great places for an entrepreneur to start a business because of its minimal business taxes," says Deborah Sweeney, CEO of MyCorporation.com. In fact, Nevada, which is no. 5 on the Tax Foundation's 2017 State Business Tax Climate Index, is known as a tax haven because there's no corporate or personal income tax.
If you're looking at joining a startup, you'd be right to think that young companies normally headed for the Valley are now flocking to the desert. According to the 2016 Kauffman Index, a report that analyzes startup activity across the country, Nevada ranks no. 2 for startups among the 25 smallest states by population. Fandeavor, which received backing by Zappos' Hsieh, is one such startup to keep an eye on, as are iovation LaunchKey and Banjo.
3. You Can Become Part of America's Playground
With more than a dozen of the world's 25 largest hotels located right on the strip—many with world-class headlining acts—Vegas continues to be a prime tourist destination. It's enough to make employees in entertainment and the arts—think performers, stage managers, and producers—very happy. According to the 2016 Career Happiness Index from kununu, the arts and entertainment industry ranked in the top five happiest industries nationwide.
And that's not all the city has to offer—along with top hotels come top casinos. But working at one doesn't mean you have to be a card dealer or clock routinely late nights. In fact, the casino industry is just another big business with a variety of positions ranging from entry-level spots to vice president positions in fields like marketing, finance and many others. You just work steps from the strip.
Moritz Kothe, kununu's CEO, says in this year alone, “Las Vegas has already increased its happiness level substantially, indicating that job creation is not just a numbers game, but also that job seekers are researching the quality of jobs that companies are providing."
4. It's an Awesome Place to Live
Sure, at one point in your life, Las Vegas may have been the place you lived out your own version of The Hangover, but if your version of Vegas involves wrangling a tiger in your hotel room, you need an update.
Just outside the strip, you can find some pretty amazing suburbs heavy on restaurants and parks and light on neon signs. Consider Summerlin, where you can think about your next career move while watching the sun set at Red Rock Canyon or jogging through one of the community's large parks. Or, try the city of Henderson. Sure, the commute's a bit longer, but it's a small price to pay to live in a city that's been called the second safest city in America and “one of the best cities to live in”.
So, are you in, or are you out? (Ok, promise, no more puns.) With these optimistic employment projections, a strong career could await you in Las Vegas.