The Town of Blacksburg in Montgomery County, VA recently ranked 3rd out of 25 among metros with high ratio of IT graduates to IT jobs. This ranking was published in the July/August edition of Expansion Solutions Magazine based on information in 2015 when Blacksburg had 1,000 IT graduates, putting the ratio of graduates to jobs at 1:1.
Based on information from The Bureau of Labor and Statistics published in 2017, the New River Valley as a whole has nearly 2,000 IT employees, marking a significant increase of 35% since 2011, which is well above both the state (3%) and national (12%) averages.
This puts IT companies in a place to thrive in Virginia’s New River Valley. Currently with 154 IT establishments, the NRV is becoming an IT hub that benefits from a lower cost of living and better quality of life for employees. Onward NRV, the region’s economic development organization and parent organization for the Virginia’s New River Valley brand, will continue to focus on Information Technology as one of the four targeting industries for the region.
Overall, the IT industry offers a range of occupations and high average earnings. The presence of multiple higher education institutions, which offer programs and graduates in various technology related subjects provides a regional advantage. Based on recent job growth, industry presence, and related criteria, the IT sectors of focus for the region are Software Development, Cyber Security, IT Support Services, and Digital Creative Firms.