NEW RIVER VALLEY, VA- The Blacksburg metro, known locally as the New River Valley, 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 the New River Valley had 1,000 IT graduates, putting the ratio of graduates to jobs at 1:1.
The New River Valley is home to three higher education institutions that offer a range of degrees in IT, including:
- Virginia Tech: Department of Computer Science, Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and the Business Information Technology Department
- Radford University Artis Information Technology Department
- New River Community College Information Technology Department
The New RIver Valley has a growing IT industry. According to data from The Bureau of Labor and Statistics, from 2011-2016 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 has identified IT as a target industry for the New River Valley and is collaborating with leaders from business, government, and higher education to support and grow the sector in 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.
Virginia’s New River Valley: For those searching for an inspiring place to live and do business, Virginia’s New River Valley provides both an eclectic small town atmosphere and an innovative, collaborative business community with a loyal, highly skilled, and educated workforce. Offering the best of both worlds – magnificent mountains, cutting-edge research, arts, entertainment, and education – it’s A NATURAL FIT.
Onward NRV: Onward NRV is a public/private, regional economic development organization whose mission is to attract and retain world class jobs, investment and talent in Virginia’s New River Valley. It’s also a movement where leaders from business, government, and higher education work together to promote the economic vitality of the region.