Straddling the James River near the Chesapeake Bay, Richmond, VA is a hub of the East Coast, affording cultural diversity and economic stability for residents and visitors alike. Rich in historical tradition, Richmond is home to numerous monuments, landmarks and museums from both Colonial- and Civil War-era America. Other cultural attractions include a symphony, ballet, opera, and theater companies. Although a moderately sized city proper with a population of just under 200,000, a lot of economic activity flows through this 'River City;' consequently, the costs of living are marginally higher than the national average according to the ACCRA cost of living index. Also home to a number of nationally recognized universities and colleges, Richmond can be a high-tech, high competition town.
Studying at Colleges in Richmond, VA
There are many quality universities and schools in Richmond, including Virginia Commonwealth University, University of Richmond, and several community colleges. There are also a number of branches of online colleges in Richmond. Many of these institutions work in partnership with community economic and cultural interests. A popular area for many Richmond students is 'The Fan,' a neighborhood that offers a taste of contemporary art, music, and nightlife. This largely residential area is also known for its beautiful architecture. Richmond is also located near mountains, the ocean, and Washington, D.C., giving students access to a wide variety of recreation.
Working in Richmond, VA
Traditionally known for chemical, food and tobacco manufacturing, Richmond industry has diversified in recent years. Biotechnology, semiconductors, insurance, banking, and customer services have invested in the area, generating a local median income just a few hundred dollars higher than the national average of $43,460. Federal agencies also offer great opportunity for employment in a variety of capacities. Other major local employers include:
- Capital One
- Phillip Morris
- Circuit City
Richmond's unemployment rate also beat the national average--as of July 2010 the city had an unemployment rate of 7.9 percent compared to 9.5 percent nationwide. An education from one of Richmond's colleges or universities can give you the technical or business skills you need to gain employment in one of Richmond's growing industries.