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September 17, 2019
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Top 10 Jobs in DC Region: Computer Occupations in Greatest Demand, COG Reports

Washington, DC – Half of the top ten occupations in greatest demand in the metropolitan Washington region are computer-related, according to the new Trends in Workforce Demand Report by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG).

Based on a new analysis of millions of online job postings, the report found that the region’s growth in job postings outpaced the nation by the end of 2014 – a full year before job growth followed this trend. The region’s job growth rate exceeded the nation’s growth rate by the end of 2015 for the first time in three years.

The report identified the following as the top ten in-demand occupations in 2015:

1. Software Developers
2. Managers
3. Sales Representatives
4. Registered Nurses
5. Computer Systems Engineers
6. Management Analysts
7. Retail Salespersons
8. Information Security Analysts
9. Network and Computer Systems Administrators
10. Computer Systems Analysts

With the exception of Retail Salespersons, Sales Representatives, and Registered Nurses, the top ten occupations received higher average annual wages – ranging from $99,790 to $132,380 in 2015 – than the average annual wage for the metropolitan Washington region ($65,910).

Nearly half of job postings for the top ten occupations required a bachelor’s degree or higher. The top ten occupations also required technical skills such as JAVA, SQL, and software development, as well as project management and sales skills.

“This data can help inform workforce development programs in the region and better prepare workers,” said COG Executive Director Chuck Bean. “Having a trained workforce, especially with the education and skills needed for the top in-demand occupations, not only improves employment potential for job seekers, but also economic competitiveness for the region by being able to attract and retain talent.”

Additionally, ‘Leisure and Hospitality’ and ‘Education and Health Services’ are the two fastest growing sectors in the region, adding the most jobs over the past five years, according to the report. From 2010 to 2015, employment in the Leisure and Hospitality sector grew by 19 percent and employment in the Education and Health Services sector grew by 14 percent.

For many years, ‘Professional and Business Services’ dominated the region’s economy as the fastest growing sector, but has recently slowed down. Furthermore, the ‘Federal Government’ sector declined by the greatest number of jobs during the same time period.

“With the decline in federal government jobs and other sectors that the region’s economy has traditionally relied on, it has become increasingly important to diversify the region’s economy and support different industry sectors for growth,” said Bean.

The job posting data for the report was obtained from Burning Glass’ Labor Insight database, which pulls millions of job postings from over 40,000 websites each day, and reports the occupations, skills, and education requirements.

“This is an emerging data source and provides labor market information that wasn’t readily available in the past,” said COG Transportation Planner Nicole McCall, who was a researcher on the report.

The Trends in Workforce Demand report is the first step COG is taking to use online job postings data to learn about workforce trends within metropolitan Washington. A forthcoming report will analyze job trends within the seven advanced industrial clusters outlined in COG’s State of the Region: Economic Competitiveness Report.


The Council of Governments is an independent, nonprofit association where area leaders address regional issues affecting the District of Columbia, suburban Maryland, and Northern Virginia.


Release Date: May 12, 2016
Contact: Laura Ambrosio
Phone: (202) 962-3278

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