I worked at IBM Rochester 2001-2005 as a regular. You must have a good reason to go to Rochester. Otherwise, it's a poor job market. You may end up better at Mayo but that place is even harder to get in. If you're a regular at IBM, there's a constant fear of being laid off. If you're a contractor, it's the same fear plus the pay is terrible (not that regulars are paid any better). Not like many companies that pay contractors by hours and overtime, IBM hires contractor through companies like CIBER/ADECCO. They do convert contractors to regulars but not very often. Bottom line: Rochester is a good place to live but not for a hi-tech career. You can always commute to Minneapolis. It's a much better job market.