Some Virginians sport a new specialty license plate on their vehicles to reflect the state's hottest industry. "Internet C@pital" is not a stretch, since more than half of the world's communications cables reportedly run through the state, and more than 277,000 people are employed in high technology in Virginia. The state has one of the highest concentrations of technology workers nationwide--9.8 percent of the state's private industry workers are involved in software, engineering or other tech services, according to Tech America.
Computer schools in Virginia
Some 70 public and private institutions offer tech related degrees in information management and computer science, reports the Virginia Economic Development partnership. Many of the state's community colleges offer job-specific certification training. The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia reports that 16,900 students were enrolled in information technology programs and over 3,100 degrees and certificates were rewarded in the state during the 2008-2009 academic year. Computer classes in Virginia are available on-campus or online, for those who prefer Web-based studies.
Virginia computer schools are often found in the suburbs of the nation's capital, for example, in the Dulles Technology Corridor surrounding the Washington airport. The metro area around the District of Columbia hosts numerous Virginia computer training schools for those seeking certification in vendor hardware, software, and security or network issues. Northernvirginiatraining.com, hosted by the Academy of Computer Education, provides a blog about different certification training options available in the area.
Virginia tech jobs: employment, salary and job outlook
Major technology companies such as these have a presence in the state, according to the Virginia Economic Development Partnership:
- Computer Sciences Corporation
- General Dynamics
- HP Enterprise Services
- Lockheed Martin
- Micron Technology
- Northrop Grumman
In addition, Microsoft is investing in an expansion of its new data center in southern Virginia, as reported in a September 2011 article on the Data Center Knowledge website.
The mean annual wage for those in the computer and mathematical occupations in Virginia was $88,730 in 2010, as estimated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. For tech jobs in the state, mean yearly salaries begin at about $52,000 for computer support specialists and range up to $107,000 for systems software developers, with higher compensation found in the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria metropolitan area.