An Unparalleled Workforce Near D.C.

Diversified as it is skilled, Northern Virginia talent is the backbone of business in Fairfax County.

Few places in the world offer the depth and range of the Fairfax County workforce, a labor pool totaling more than 3.4 million people. Educated and internationally progressive, 62 percent of the population holds at least a bachelor’s degree, some from well-known Northern Virginia universities, and nearly 40 percent speak at least one foreign language. Long known as a defense industry hub, Fairfax County has long attracted professionals with military experience, technology expertise and security clearances. And now as sectors such as cyber and cloud, AI and machine learning, software and satellite technology grow in the county, the range of technical skills and expertise has broadened even further.

Given the depth of Fairfax County’s educated workforce, the supply and pipeline of tech talent is strong. Annually, there are more than 12,000 tech degree completions across the region which represents a 34.1 percent increase since 2014.

Fairfax County’s strategic location to the Washington, D.C., metro area is another feather in the cap when it comes to availability of tech talent considering that D.C. is the third most concentrated tech talent market in the U.S., second only to the San Francisco Bay area.


Exceptional Expertise

Leidos, Google, Inova, Microsoft, Facebook, Northrop Grumman and other Fairfax County businesses recruit from an impressive talent pool of 3.4 million-plus people.

More than 61 percent of the population has a bachelor’s or higher degree, representing double the U.S. average educational attainment. Northern Virginia universities and colleges confer 90,000 degrees each year.

The regional workforce has a higher-than-average concentration of occupations in the fields of finance, information technology and management. Companies in high-growth markets such as artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, data analytics and personalized health easily recruit the talent they need. In fact, one in four jobs in Northern Virginia are filled by a high-tech worker.

Beyond the books, the Fairfax County workforce includes one of the largest millennial-generation populations in the region. Internationally-minded, 39 percent of the area’s population speak a language other than English, an especially valuable asset for Hilton, Volkswagen and other companies with a foreign customer base.

The region’s national defense presence attracts talent with military expertise and security clearances, a boon for government contractors Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics and Booz Allen Hamilton.

Higher Education

Supported Talent Pipeline

Fairfax County workforce continues to expand thanks to scores of accredited higher education institutions in the Greater Washington region, where more than 90,000 degrees are conferred annually. More than 60 colleges and universities are located throughout the greater region. Among them, Georgetown University, Howard University and the University of Maryland.

Ten college and university campuses operate in Fairfax County.

Workforce Resources

Put Our Resources to Work for You

A wide range of programs, many of them free, help Fairfax County businesses with employee recruitment, education and training.

Northern Virginia Community College (NVCC) and George Mason University work with employers interested in hiring current students or graduates for full-time, part-time, cooperative education or internship positions.

Fairfax County companies work with NVCC to develop customized workforce training, and they may establish distance learning at their own sites through the Commonwealth Graduate Engineering Program.

Seven workforce centers and the Virginia Employment Commission provide free employer services. Virginia Career Works oversees an Employer Solutions Team solely focused on helping companies with new hire recruitment.

The Virginia Jobs Investment Program offers consulting, training and training funding support. Businesses must directly or indirectly derive 51 percent or more of their revenue from out-of-state sources and meet criteria for employee count, net new jobs and/or capital investment.

What the Data Says

Unemployment in Fairfax County

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Educational Attainment in Fairfax County

Census 2019 5-Year Estimates

Looking to hire talent, create apprenticeship programs or upskill existing employees? Let us help.

Michael Batt

Director, Talent Initiatives

Rankings & Facts


Residents who speak a language other than English


Population that identifies as Asian, African-American or another race


Scoring Tech Talent Report
(Greater Washington Area)

CBRE 2020


Workforce development/talent attraction (Virginia)

Business Facilities 2020