June 29, 2017 • Beth Williams
How Every Generation Helps Richmond Companies Thrive in IT
Throughout the country, younger generations are entering the IT workforce and experienced ones are retiring. In many tech hubs, this generational shift is cause for concern as one group may feel like it isn’t valued while another senses that it doesn’t fit in. Luckily, that is not the case for one vibrant city. Richmond, Virginia is home to a robust IT community and provides a welcoming environment for any career level. That’s what makes it great for every generation of tech professional. Regardless of your age, here’s how your generation helps Richmond companies thrive in IT (and what you get in return).
Millennials in Richmond
If there’s one generation that tends to steal the headlines, it’s Millennials. In fact, Millennials are now the largest generational group in the U.S. workforce. In Richmond, this group has it made, and that’s what makes the city the #2 urban area attracting Millennials. The reasons why are clear, and it’s not just about the delicious foodie restaurants, hip breweries, music scene, Friday night drinks at the Museum of Fine Art, or the distinction of being the only U.S. city where you can experience Class IV whitewater rafting in an urban setting. A low cost of living compared to other tech cities means more Millennials live alone in Richmond than in any other city, a huge perk for a generation looking to set out on their own.
When it comes to Millennial IT careers in Richmond, there’s once again a wonderful outlook. Richmond is the #3 city in the country to launch a startup, with a state tax credit encouraging growth and making it a top destination for entrepreneurs. This provides a strong and secure future in the industry for those progressing in their adult lives and thinking of raising families in the near future. Growth also means more and varied IT opportunities, which can appeal to a taste for variety in a career. As they continue to gain deeper experience in the field, Millennials will be driving Richmond companies forward by entering managerial and strategic tech roles.
Baby Boomers in Richmond
It’s rare to find a metropolis that can cater to multiple age groups, but Richmond excels in this sweet spot. Baby Boomers are very active in the city, often arranging meetups with their peers. With 10,000 Baby Boomers retiring each day, many come to the area with retirement on their minds and Richmond does not disappoint. Whether it’s enjoying a professional golf event, visiting one of many local historic sites, or taking a drive to famous towns such as Jamestown and Williamsburg, Richmond provides many ways to spend a post-retirement weekday.
But many Baby Boomers are not retired yet, and Richmond companies rely on their IT expertise. These are the tech pros that have led industry growth for years, and it’s their vision that has been realized in today’s tech community. The treasure trove of their unique expertise and institutional knowledge is critical to continued success, and succession plans that impart these skills into younger generations are what will keep the industry’s momentum in the area. There are many costs associated with lost knowledge transfer due to retirement that can be avoided. As they first lead younger generations and subsequently train them for the roles retirement will leave behind, Baby Boomers are a valued part of the Richmond tech scene.
Generation X in Richmond
Not new to the scene and not near retirement, Generation X often gets ignored; but not in Richmond. It’s a wonderful place to raise a family, enjoy a restaurant, visit botanical gardens, tour an historic estate, take a day trip to our nation’s capital, or visit the ocean. Simply put, this generation gets to enjoy the best entertainment and lifestyle offerings of every other generation.
All the while, Generation X is diligently pushing Richmond companies forward through IT initiatives. Side by side with Millennials, they are providing the sheer manpower that is keeping startups and giants alike flourishing in the area. They are directly filling the shoes of retiring baby boomers and providing executive leadership. With easy access to local professional development and technology graduate programs, Generation X can continue to build skill sets and lead IT in Richmond into the next decade.
Generation Z in Richmond
As the youngest group, Generation Z includes the teens thinking about college and facing the big decision of what they want their future careers to look like. While Richmond provides many fun outlets for this demographic, it especially delivers superb options for pursuing higher tech education. The University of Richmond’s Computer Science program and VCU’s Computer and Information Systems Security program are just two of the great options the area’s youth can consider. Plus, the University of Virginia is only an hour away.
Generation Z is quite literally the future of IT, having already influenced the usage of technology. Richmond’s booming tech scene will rely on this group’s interest in STEM subjects as they go into and graduate from college and begin their careers. Luckily, the Science Museum of Virginia is a great local venue to spark and grow these interests. As Baby Boomers continue to leave the workforce it may be Generation X filling the exact positions left vacant, but Generation Z will be adding vast numbers to the industry to balance what is lost through retirement.
How Every Generation Helps Richmond Companies Thrive in IT
No matter your age, every generation is welcome and plays an important role in keeping Richmond companies thriving in IT. At a time when other locales only cater to one or two groups, this affordable, exciting city provides the full package to all. Whether it’s enjoying life’s pleasures like food, nature, and entertainment, or the professional fulfillment of a long and healthy IT career, Richmond delivers something for everyone.
Does it sound like Richmond could be a new home for you and your tech career? Send us your resume and we’ll take care of the rest.