A Large and Diverse Tech Ecosystem

Technology businesses relocating or expanding into Virginia join world-class tech leaders like Amazon, Microsoft, Google, and Facebook, as well as companies in emerging sectors such as artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML), FinTech, Manufacturing Tech, and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). 

America’s Top State for Talent

CNBC
CBRE
Wallethub
tech workers map

Highest Concentration of Tech Talent in the United States

Virginia offers tech firms access to the highest concentration of tech talent and the third largest tech industry workforce in the nation, with 315,000 people working in the tech sector and/or tech occupations. Virginia’s Mid-Atlantic location facilitates talent attraction from the entire eastern seaboard and beyond.

Amazon HQ2 Rendering, Arlington County

Amazon HQ2 Rendering, Arlington County

The Prime Location for HQ2

After a 14-month competitive site selection process during which Amazon received 238 proposals from communities across North America, the tech giant announced plans in 2018 to invest approximately $2.5 billion to establish a major new headquarters (HQ2) in Virginia, creating more than 25,000 high-paying jobs over the next 12 years. Virginia successfully secured the historic project through unprecedented state, regional, and local partnerships. The foundation of the cooperative pitch for Amazon HQ2 was centered on Virginia’s thriving tech sector and talent—including a commitment to a pipeline for the future.

Virginia Tech Data Science

Virginia Tech

Largest U.S. Investment in CS Education

Through its historic, innovative Tech Talent Investment Program, targeted philanthropic gifts, corporate partnerships, and K-12 computer science initiatives, Virginia is investing more than $2 billion to expand its tech talent pipeline, doubling the number of graduates each year in computer science and closely related fields.

Additionally, Virginia higher education institutions already produce roughly 12,000 tech-related degrees and certificates annually in areas ranging from computer science to modeling and simulation. 

Tech Talent Investment Program

There will be 32,000 additional graduates in excess of current levels in Computer Science and related fields over the next 20 years due to Virginia’s new education investments in tech talent.

Rural and Small Tech Metros Map

A New Frontier for Tech Talent

Big cities have long been synonymous with economic opportunity. But what if that’s not universally true? What if good opportunities also can be found in rural areas or smaller cities, where the cost of living and doing business is much lower? Rather than look overseas for this talent, more companies and leading site consultants that advise them are discovering they can save money and increase efficiencies by onshoring.

A Globally Diverse and Inclusive State

Virginia is home to one of the most diverse tech workforces in the country, ranking among the top 10 states for the percentage of tech workers who are Asian American (21%) and Black (12%). Virginia’s tech workforce also stands out for its international character, with 25% of tech workers foreign-born, representing the 10th most international tech workforce in the country.

The Northern Virginia / D.C. is the No. 1 U.S. Metro for Working Women (magnify money, 2020). Alexandria, Arlington County, Richmond, and Virginia Beach received perfect scores in the municipal equality index from the Human Rights Campaign (2020).

In 2020, Virginia became the first state in the South to extend workplace anti-discrimination protections to the LGBTQ+ community. The Virginia Values Act (VVA) expands the Virginia Human Rights Act by including the LGBTQ+ community and by increasing the number of employers subject to the law. Before this expansion, the Virginia Human Rights Act was only applicable to small employers, but these new changes extended the law’s protections for non-age-related discrimination to any employer with more than five employees.

Appian, Fairfax County

Appian, Fairfax County

Old Town Alexandria Waterfront

Old Town Alexandria Waterfront

Virginia Pride’s PrideFest, Richmond

Virginia Pride’s PrideFest, Richmond

MicroStrategy, Fairfax County

MicroStrategy, Fairfax County

World-Class Talent at a Competitive Cost

Tech companies can hire high-quality tech talent in Virginia at salaries that compare favorably with competing markets.

Salaries in Northern Virginia, one of the world’s leading tech hubs, average less than most major tech metros, and salaries for tech talent in other parts of the state are competitive with smaller markets in other states, enabling tech firms to choose the best market, talent mix, and budget for their particular needs.

East Coast Cities Map

Strategic Location that Enables Global Connectivity

Virginia’s Mid-Atlantic location offers tech firms proximity to economic centers up and down the East Coast, including critical customer markets like the federal government, Northeast Corridor, and Southeast metro areas. 

  • 16 commercial airports serving Virginia with direct flights to 100+ domestic and 50+ international destinations
  • #1 among Southeastern states for public transit usage via rail and bus systems
  • 2,000+ miles of fiber, ensuring ubiquitous access to broadband for tech firms
  • 47% of the U.S. population located in the Eastern Time Zone
  • $27 billion committed for transportation projects over the next six years
Microsoft Corporation, Fairfax County

Microsoft Corporation, Fairfax County

Microsoft Corporation’s Expanding Virginia Footprint

Microsoft is a global leader dedicated to digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. The company’s continued investment in the Commonwealth is a testament to the strength of Virginia’s tech talent and competitiveness on the national stage.

Appian is proud to be based in Northern Virginia. In our journey from start-up to IPO, we’ve found everything we needed in the region.

Matt Calkins Founder & CEO, Appian

Rural and Small Metro Tech Hubs

In addition to nationally ranked tech hubs, Virginia is home to many rural and small metro locations ideal for companies looking to attract and retain tech talent in lower cost markets. These target communities offer a growing, robust tech talent pipeline from the Commonwealth’s premier colleges and universities leading the charge on tech innovation, in addition to lower average tech wages, low turnover, and a high quality of life. Virginia’s rural and small metro tech hubs boast favorable operating costs for onshore delivery centers, software firms, and others.

VER Q1 2019 Cover HQ

Virginia Economic Review

The first issue is all about tech companies, tech talent, and tech education in one of America’s top states for tech.

America’s Best State for Business

Virginia is frequently recognized for its favorable regulatory climate, and it is consistently rated one of the best-run states in the country. Virginia has earned a top AAA bond rating for more than 80 consecutive years, longer than any other state, and it benefits from low risk of natural hazards in every region. Virginia also offers low and stable business taxes, as well as competitive utility and construction costs.

CNBC Top State for Business
forbes
SmartAsset

An Exceptional Quality of Life

Ranked No. 1 in the U.S. for Quality of Life by Forbes, Virginia offers a diverse range of lifestyle options; a mild, four-season climate; and a competitive cost of living.

Vibrant urban centers and picturesque small towns are alive with arts and culture and stunning landscapes. Outdoor enthusiasts can take advantage of a wide variety of beautiful outdoor settings, from mountains and hiking trails to beaches and rivers.

Virginia enables businesses to provide the affordable, exciting, and diverse environment that young professionals want in order to thrive both on and off the clock.

The high quality of Virginia’s public and private schools is responsible for a strong talent pipeline for headquarters operations. But it also plays a prominent role in influencing the relocation decisions of young and mid-career professionals, of which an estimated 80% will become parents in the next decade.

Canal Walk, Downtown Richmond

Canal Walk, Downtown Richmond

Dragon’s Tooth Trail, Catawba

Dragon’s Tooth Trail, Catawba

The Omni Homestead Resort, Bath County

The Omni Homestead Resort, Bath County

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