Richmond’s tech companies and jobs: your 2019 guide

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As the first state to establish a bill making computer science part of the core curriculum in grades K-12, and with an official “Virginia is for computer science lovers” campaign, it should come as no surprise that the state capital, Richmond, is flourishing in the tech space. In fact, tech job postings in Richmond have increased 11.62% since January 2018.

The state capital has undergone a technical renaissance in recent years, and Richmond is now making strides as an emerging tech hub with a thriving startup scene. This growth in startups is thanks in part to the help of programs such as Startup Virginia, a project aimed at providing a helping hand to businesses that will “build a long-term, sustainable economy” for the state of Virginia.

Richmond’s rapid growth in the tech space is also driven by the city’s backing of initiatives such as the VA Bio+Tech Park, a 34-acre life science and technology community that is home to about 70 non-profit and private companies, various research labs and valuable resources available for entrepreneurs.

With an environment that embraces startups and encourages entrepreneurship, a vibrant art and food scene, and a lower cost of living than the national average, Richmond is a major draw for someone looking for a fresh start in a new city.

We decided to dig deeper and research what’s driving the city’s growing tech demand. Using Indeed data, we analyzed job, salary, skills and companies in Richmond. We’ve also identified the city’s top tech opportunities, so if you’re looking for a fresh start in the state for CS lovers, keep reading.

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Finance and healthcare sectors lead the way in tech hiring

Our analysis of the top companies hiring in Richmond shows a significant demand in the finance, healthcare and health insurance industries (with a few surprises thrown in).

top companies hiring in richmond

Five of the top 15 companies hiring tech workers are in finance and banking, including Capital One (#1), GE Corporate (#2), Bank of America (#3), S&P Global Market Intelligence (#9) and Genworth (#14).

Since Richmond is home to one of the highest-ranked medical schools in the country, healthcare and health insurance also have a big presence in the city, including top employers like Anthem (#7), Virginia Premier (#10), Owens & Minor (#12) and VCU Health System (#15).

At the top of the list is Capital One, a company challenging the status quo of banking. Updating legacy systems and moving to the cloud are a few of the many efforts the financial giant has adopted in order to modernize the banking experience. With one major campus and various offices in the Richmond area, the environment at the company’s tech space has a startup feel, with an airy, open office, modern design and cafes where employees can grab a caffeine fix.

The grocery chain, Food Lion (#6) is a surprise contender and stands out as one of only two retail companies hiring for tech roles in the top 15 (the other being CarMax). As retail stores try to enhance their in-store experience for consumers, Food Lion is revolutionizing the way it’s engaging with their shoppers using creative methods via their mobile app while also optimizing their internal operations by incorporating AI into their food supply ordering process.

Data and software architecture skills stand out in Richmond

Since Richmond’s top industries are in the fintech and health technology space, where data is at the core of all business processes, employers in the area demand data skills the most, followed closely by software architecture and cloud solutions skills.

To find out more, we analyzed the technologies listed in Richmond job listings to come up with the 10 most desirable tech skills in this fast-growing tech hub.

Coming in at #1 is SQL, the database language used across roles and industries, including QA analysts to test and verify data, as well as data analysts to run queries and extract meaning from large volumes of data. Banks and healthcare companies look for those skilled in SQL to help them pull raw data and use it to identify facts and trends that inform important decision-making (especially as the number of electronic records grows).

Coming in at #1 is SQL, the database language used across roles and industries, including QA analysts to test and verify data, as well as data analysts to run queries and extract meaning from large volumes of data. Banks and healthcare companies look for those skilled in SQL to help them pull raw data and use it to identify facts and trends that inform important decision-making (especially as the number of electronic records grows).

Plus, software architects and cloud engineers can find a home in the city, as large companies look to redesign their clunky legacy systems and shift them to the cloud. This means strong demand for skills like Web Services (#4), AWS (#6), SOAP (#5) and REST (#7).

Standout skills: REST and SOAP are significantly in higher demand in Richmond than the rest of the United States, where they don’t even rank in the top 15.

Richmond employers want developers, architects and analysts

You’ll find many of the usual software engineering and development roles in Richmond, but what makes the metro area unique is that it’s fast becoming a data center hub—especially since we’ve seen that it’s home to industries driven by big data, like banking, healthcare and insurance.

top tech roles in richmond

As is true with any other major city in the US, software engineers and senior software engineers are in high demand, and they stake their claim to the top two roles on the list of most in-demand tech roles in Richmond. In fact, software developers and engineers take up six of the 15 spots of in-demand roles, and include Java (#8, #11) and front-end developers (#14).

Besides being a hotspot for software development, the introduction of MAREA—the high-capacity transatlantic submarine cable that multiple data centers in Richmond access—makes Richmond a prime location for large data centers. In fact, Bank of America has a large data processing center in White Oak, a technology park that’s home to data centers belonging to Facebook, QTS, Hewlett Packard and several other major tech companies.

This translates to high demand for systems administrators (#13) and technical leads (#15) to deploy servers in data center racks and cabinets, troubleshoot failed components and build server and data storage machines. Plus, employers storing such large volumes of data need data analysts (#5) and business analysts (#7, #12) to make sense of it all.

Architect and senior-level roles command the highest salaries

Like the rest of the US, senior-level roles bring in the most money in Richmond. To find out more, we analyzed the top-earning tech roles in Richmond, including their average yearly salaries, and compared them with the national average.

highest paying tech jobs in richmond

Software architects are the highest-paid tech professionals in Richmond (and one of the top paying tech jobs in the rest of the US). But what really stands out is that senior developers (#2) in Richmond earn $21,782 more per year than the national average, making the area a great place to climb the tech career ladder in a highly lucrative way.

Combine that with Richmond’s cost of living, which is 4% lower than the national average, and your salary will go even further.

Tons of opportunities in a city built for tech

With the second-highest concentration of tech workers in the country and a built-in workforce thanks to tech programs at Richmond’s top universities, Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of Richmond—the city’s tech community is flourishing and companies are taking notice.

So, if you’re looking to break into fintech or healthcare technologies, or want to advance your career in data analysis, software architecture or software development, Richmond is one of the top places to do it.


*Methodology: To measure the companies hiring the most tech roles in the Richmond metro, Indeed Prime calculated and analyzed the most commonly listed companies for Indeed.com tech job postings in the area over a six-month period from December 4, 2018 to June 4, 2019.

For the most in-demand tech skills in the Richmond metro, Indeed Prime calculated and analyzed the percentage of Indeed.com job postings in this metro that contain tech skills over a six-month period through June 4, 2019.

For the most in-demand tech roles in the Richmond metro, Indeed Prime calculated and analyzed the most commonly listed job titles in Indeed.com job postings for the area over a six-month period through June 4, 2019.

Our analysis for the highest paying tech jobs in Richmond was calculated based on the top-paying job titles on Indeed.com.

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