Northern Virginia has a long-standing reputation as a hub for technological innovation. From the early days of ARPANET, a project of the DARPA agency of the United States Department of Defense, to the present day, the region has been a leader in developing technology that has had a global impact. Bit-Cyber, located in the DC metropolitan area, is one example of how technology is being used to increase diversity in the region's cybersecurity talent pool. Nearly 80% of the students in the program come from a variety of cultural, linguistic, economic, ethnic, and life stages backgrounds.
In order to create a diversity pathway for cybertalent, the BIT-Cyber program team has partnered with regional business associations, local government economic development offices, federal and state internships and work-based learning programs, and the local business and academic community. This allows young people to access the cyber talent portfolio from high schools, community colleges, and bachelor's and master's education. Technology developed in Northern Virginia also supports the work of civil agencies. Savan Group, for example, is a small IT and digital transformation consulting firm headquartered in McLean, Virginia.
This firm has numerous federal clients including the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the Department of Health and Human Services. Neighborhood and Community Services also provides continuing education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) on current and emerging technologies for participants of all ages. Northern Virginia may not have the same level of prestige as Silicon Valley yet; however, it has plenty of options and a strong sense of purpose. In fact, 15,600 technology companies already call this region home; and in Fairfax County alone, one out of every four jobs is related to technology. At its core, Northern Virginia has a history of changemakers who have made advances in technology that have had an impact on the world. If you're considering a career change or interested in developing technology for public good, Northern Virginia is an ideal place to pursue your goals.
With its rich history of technological advancement and its commitment to increasing diversity in its cybersecurity talent pool, Northern Virginia offers plenty of opportunities for those looking to make their mark in technology.