Coming from Michigan - where the economy is pretty much down and out - I was immediately hit with some type of culture shock when crossing the Virginia State line and settling down in a 3 bedroom home in Falls Church. $5 beers? $20 taxi rides? What was this world coming to?
It's just another world down here. The economy isn't falling flat on its face like the rest of the country (party - well mainly - because of the gigantic security blanket that all of these government jobs cast over the area) and there seems a lot of loose money hanging around these places - loose money that B2B's are able to scoop up and make a pretty good living off of.
The tech world is just one of those B2B types of businesses. Businesses like ImageWorks Studio and Diakon Logistics (not a tech company but another thriving B2B business) are able to pull their fair share of weight in the Nothern Virginia area - and luckily for people looking to be employed in the tech world, the Chantilly, VA area has been called "The Silicon Valley" of Virginia.
What's all the talk about SEO & SEM?
SEO, which is an acronym for search engine optimization, is a market that has exploded in the recent years. SEM, which is an acronym for search engine marketing (the two are related but not completely the same) is another tech related field that has blown up in recent years.
What do these two types of jobs have to with Chantilly being a hot spot for tech savvy jobs? Well since the Northern Virginia area is such a hot spot for B2B businesses and there is so much loose money in the area because of the government bubble and all of the government jobs, there is a high demand for web design and online marketing services.
Northern Virginia is one of the richest areas in the entire nation, with many of the area's cities being in the top 20 for highest incomes and richest counties. Arlington has the most amount of 25-34 year olds that are making over 100K in the entire nation.
Yes, a lot of them are doing government jobs (actually probably the majority of them) but many of them are in the tech field as well. The bottom line: If you are a web designer or online marketer than you should probably try looking in the Northern Virginia area for tech related jobs in cities like Chantilly, Manassas, and Arlington.