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Old 02-05-2013, 02:56 PM
 
145 posts, read 332,646 times
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Hi,

Sorry if this is a dumb question, but I was wondering how good DC is from a private sector employment point of view. I am attending grad school for accounting and will be looking for employment in the upcoming months as I go through recruiting and DC is one of my top places as far as where I want to settle down (NYC, San Fran, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago being the others). I really like how it has the same cosmopolitan, intellectual, big city feel as NYC while also being a bit cheaper, having better weather, and is less crowded/hectic as NYC (I would miss having a nice skyline, but oh well). However, since I'm in accounting, I'd want to be near some large corporations in order to gain better experience auditing large, public companies. In addition, I want to eventually work with entrepreneurs and a strong startup scene (which I hear DC has) is good. It's a strange dichotomy (large, public companies or small, private companies are my main interests), but I was wondering if DC fits this bill or if I should look elsewhere.

In case it matters, my favorite industries are biotech/pharma/healthcare, infrastructure/energy, media, financial services, and software (especially security related issues as I think this is hot area in the future) in order from favorite to least favorite (with bio/energy being tied for first).

Thanks!
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Old 02-05-2013, 03:52 PM
 
361 posts, read 805,795 times
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The short answer: the DC area is and will always be a government town with a parasitic private sector focused on contracting, lobbying and cottage industries related to helping the private sector navigate the government bureaucracy.

But there IS a vibrant private private sector that often gets short shrift as the area doesn’t have the Fortune 500 “corporate” feel you get in places like, say Houston, Dallas, Minneapolis or Seattle, cause well there’s not much fortune 500 here:

2012 Top DC Companies — The Washington Post


I’ve worked in the software and financial services industries in the DC area for nearly 20 years and only for about 4 of those years did I work in a government contracting. I’ve worked for a number of small, innovative firms with lots of bright people, quietly doing innovative work and making lots of money. The opportunities are here.
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Old 02-05-2013, 04:39 PM
 
720 posts, read 1,476,892 times
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Healthcare is big here
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Old 02-06-2013, 05:11 AM
 
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Both positions I've had have been in the private sector (although not the industries you express interest in). One was at a very large company, and now I work at a really small one (I really prefer this). With your accounting background I think there are a lot of opportunities in DC and Tyson's and Northern Virginia in general.
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Old 02-09-2013, 04:47 AM
 
Location: London, NYC, DC
1,118 posts, read 2,161,959 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DC Bossman View Post
Healthcare is big here
Life sciences, particularly in upper Montgomery County, is huge (I think DC and Boston vie for life sciences capital of America).
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Old 02-10-2013, 08:34 PM
 
145 posts, read 332,646 times
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Really? What are the big pharma companies in DC/why is it considered a hub? NE makes sense because you have schools like Penn, Harvard, MIT that feed life sciences, but I don't think Georgetown or UVA are known for engineering or anything.
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Old 02-10-2013, 09:27 PM
 
Location: East Coast of the United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by west_2_east View Post
Really? What are the big pharma companies in DC/why is it considered a hub? NE makes sense because you have schools like Penn, Harvard, MIT that feed life sciences, but I don't think Georgetown or UVA are known for engineering or anything.
The I-270 corridor in Maryland is the biotech/pharma hub. Bethesda, Maryland is also where NIH (National Institutes of Health) is located. Basically, the DC area economy attracts people with university degrees from all over the nation (and world). It's not limited to just the local universities.

BTW, there are also a lot of biotech and engineering- related jobs in the federal government and law firms as well. Even the FBI hires engineers. It's an interesting job market.

Last edited by BigCityDreamer; 02-10-2013 at 09:38 PM..
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