Silicon Valley is flashy, but if you’re looking to make an impact in a town that won’t decimate your bank account, check out Dayton. And then pack your bags and join the team that’s giving traditional tech hot spots some serious competition.
Reason 1: Opportunity
About 30 years ago, chief engineer Michael Bennett was an intern in the Dayton office, supporting a team of 20. Today, that number has increased to 400 and is still growing strong. What keeps him here? “The interesting work,” he says. “We hire smart people with fresh ideas. They won’t stick around unless you give them challenges."
One of those people is engineer Brittany Sommers Woods, who’s getting her master’s through Booz Allen’s tuition assistance program. “The firm gives us time to learn. They provide specific training for specific projects, and if you need more help there’s a whole company to ask,” says Brittany.
Reason 2: Impactful Projects
For Site Lead Brian Gunderson, what differentiates Booz Allen is the chance to own your career. “You can pave your way and learn about business as well as technology,” he says. The Dayton office handles cyber, data science, cloud services, software development, and other specialties, so there’s plenty to learn. The nearby Wright-Patterson Air Force Base is also a source of continued funding and opportunity for projects with purpose.
“People are most passionate about new ideas they come up with,” Brian says, noting the connection between innovation and mission. “When they create a project and drive it to the end, they become leaders. Being in the right role can change the world.”
Reason 3: Cost of Living
Dayton’s cost of living is 17 percent below the national average and its economy is thriving. Located near several major cities—just a quick drive to Cincinnati, Columbus, and Indianapolis—with 20 metro parks and more than 33 miles of biking trails, Dayton has the entrepreneurial spirit of a major city paired with the quality of life you can only find in the Midwest.