You would think that the job market in a major metropolitan city like Washington, D.C., would be nothing short of booming. Surprisingly, though, its more residential neighbor of Northern Virginia has even more economic growth than the capital.
This region, often referred to as NOVA, has a notably strong economy and job market in the sectors of technology, health care, and consumer services, especially. According to a report published by the Fuller Institute, Northern Virginia gained three times as many jobs as Washington in 2018.
The future is looking bright for this cluster of East Coast towns. No longer is it just a place for Washington commuters to rest their heads; it's now a promising place to seek employment.
Northern Virginia's largest employers are a mix of private companies, universities, federal agencies, and military installations offering positions in tech, engineering, financial services, and health care.
CACI is an information technology company that assists the federal government in matters such as homeland security, defense, intelligence, and health care. While based in Arlington, CACI has offices worldwide and is always hiring experts across the board.
- Industry: Computer programming
- Location: Arlington, Virginia
- Approximate employees: 18,000
This nationally-recognized nonprofit provides emergency centers, outpatient services, primary care, and other health and wellness services throughout the region. Inova regularly seeks health care practitioners, educators, engineers, and technicians.
- Industry: Health care
- Location: Several locations across Northern Virginia
- Approximate employees: 17,000
Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) provides government services and IT support. While it's based in Northern Virginia, this company often has job openings—in the federal, state, and local governments as well as global commercial markets—all over the world.
- Industry: Technology
- Location: Reston, Virginia
- Approximate employees: 15,000
The United States Geological Survey (USGS) is under the U.S. Department of the Interior. It serves as the nation's "largest water, earth, and biological science, and civilian mapping agency." USGS is responsible for collecting, monitoring, and analyzing conditions pertaining to natural resources. The company regularly hires scientists, technicians, and support staff.
- Industry: Conservation
- Location: Reston, Virginia
- Approximate employees: 9,000
This nonprofit is responsible for a multitude of research and development centers sponsored by the federal government. Jobs in defense and intelligence, aviation, homeland security, U.S. courts, health care, and cybersecurity are always available.
- Industry: Information science
- Location: McLean, Virginia
- Approximate employees: 8,000
George Mason University (GMU) is Virginia's largest public research university, enrolling upwards of 36,000 students at a time. The school has three campuses: Fairfax (the main campus), Arlington, and Prince William. Job openings include anything from faculty positions and administrative jobs to custodial work.
- Industry: Education
- Location: Fairfax, Virginia (main campus)
- Approximate employees: 6,000
Woodbridge, Virginia, is home to an international security company whose capabilities include executive protection, threat analysis, aviation security, investigation, and beyond. If you're interested in becoming a security officer, this could be the place for you.
- Industry: Security
- Location: Woodbridge, Virginia
- Approximate employees: 500