Located in the Southeastern United States and bordering Washington, D.C., Virginia's largest cities include Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Norfolk, Arlington, and Richmond, the state capital. Major industries span the government, military, farming, and technology sectors. In addition to its fourth place national ranking in K-12 education, many fine colleges and universities are located in Virginia. University of Virginia, ranked second by U.S. News & World Report among the country's public colleges and universities, The College of William and Mary, a public college that received a sixth place ranking, and Commonwealth University are examples.
Many large employers call Virginia home, making Virginia an attractive location for job seekers. Capital One Financial, Smithfield Foods, Alliant Techsystems, and Computer Sciences are among the several Fortune 500 companies that hail from the Commonwealth of Virginia. With technology being a major industry in Virginia, Computer and Information Research Scientists have an extremely positive earnings outlook according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics with an average yearly salary of more than $109,000. Computer Support Specialists and Programmers are among the lowest earners in computer-related fields with a still very decent annual salary of $55,000 and $76,000 respectively. Among government-related and protective services occupations, detectives and crime investigators have an average salary of more than $86,000 yearly. For those who wish to pursue a farm and agriculture-related career, first line supervisors of farming, fishing, and forestry workers have an average yearly salary of over $48,000.
Regardless where a potential employee plans to live and work, the first step to gaining a rewarding career is to pursue higher education. Job seekers with advanced degrees and certificates tend to command higher salaries and are better able to find positions that are an appropriate fit for their desires and skill set. Moreover, advanced certificates and degrees enable a potential employee to attract job offers from employers across many states, and these workers are the most competitive in today's changing workforce.