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Industries and Opportunities in Denver

Set against a backdrop of soaring mountains, crisp air and mild weather, Denver is a popular destination each year for travelers who enjoy hiking, skiing and camping. For those who are less “outdoorsy,” Denver also offers a thriving art scene1 and a growing number of restaurants and breweries.2

The reality is that Denver is more than just an ideal place to visit; it may be an ideal place to live and work. The reason why is because opportunities are numerous and growing. As many as 32,000 new companies have opened in Denver since 2011, bringing with them more than 165,000 jobs.3 When you combine this kind of hiring momentum with the attractive features that have long made Denver a great travel destination, you may have an optimal job-seeking environment for new college graduates and tenured professionals alike.

What Types of Industries Are in Denver?

In 2017, Colorado actually boasted the lowest monthly unemployment rate in the nation on more than one occasion,4 and in Denver, job-seekers are finding professional opportunities with established corporations and cutting-edge start-ups in a variety of industries. In addition, you’ll find numerous public and private centers of support such as professional organizations and industry associations – all of which can help you build and expand your professional network in the Denver area.5

Technology

Recently identified as one of the U.S. cities creating the most technology jobs in 2017,6 Denver is enjoying its moment in the spotlight. Companies like Oracle and IBM7 have opened offices in Denver, and a lively start-up scene has emerged. Given Colorado’s low unemployment rate, developers, engineers, digital marketers and other tech staff are in high demand – so much so that companies are initiating “out of the box” recruitment efforts such as opening offices in popular downtown areas, targeting older workers, and creating various “boot camps” and “tech academies” to appeal to candidates who may only have entry-level technical skills but a strong willingness to learn.8

Cybersecurity

For every news headline announcing a computer system hack or a widespread data breach, there’s a company scrambling to contain the damage and prevent the security violation from recurring. This may be good news for professionals with cybersecurity skills. In Colorado, there were as many as 9,500 open cybersecurity positions in 2017.9

The state also approved $8 million to renovate the former TRW manufacturing plant in Colorado Springs and turn it into a National Cybersecurity Center, further proving the importance of cybersecurity to the area.10

Aerospace and Defense

With five major military installments, including the United States Air Force Academy, North American Defense Command (NORAD), U.S. Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) and five strategic military commands, Colorado’s military assets back some of the most critical defense and intelligence missions in the world,11 and top aerospace and defense organizations such as Lockheed Martin, Ball Aerospace and United Launch Alliance are located in Denver.12 These companies, in turn, may need professionals with effective technology skills. Case in point: As of 2016, Denver ranked second in private-sector aerospace employment out of the 50 largest metropolitan areas in the U.S., and Colorado was also considered the second-largest space economy in the country.13

Broadcasting and Telecommunications

Denver is known as the “Mile High City,” and this unique geographic feature means it is the largest region in the U.S. to offer one-bounce satellite uplinks. This capability provides companies with real-time connections to six of seven continents in one business day, and as a result, some of the world’s most well recognized broadcasting and telecommunications companies are situated in Denver. In fact, Denver had the fifth-highest employment concentration of broadcasting and telecommunications professionals out of the 50 largest metropolitan areas in 2016, and the concentration of broadcasting and telecommunications jobs in Denver was approximately three times that of the nation.14

Are you ready to pursue your education in the Denver area? Request information about Colorado Technical University’s Aurora campus.


1. “Sloan, Gene and USA Today. “Denver’s Art Scene is Soaring Thanks to New Art Galleries, Events.” ABC News. Retrieved from: http://abcnews.go.com/Travel/story?id=3778457 (Visited 12/11/17).
2. Parham, Kate. “Why Denver should be on every Foodie’s Travel List: Chef Secrets.” Condé Nast Traveler. Retrieved from: https://www.cntraveler.com/stories/2013-12-08/best-restaurants-in-denver-guide (Visited 12/11/17).
3. Gelber, Mack. “This city is a millennial hiring paradise.” Monster. Retrieved from: https://www.monster.com/career-advice/article/denver-millennial-hiring-paradise-0816 (Visited 12/11/17).
4. Svaldi, Aldo. “Colorado’s Unemployment Rate, 2.3 Percent, is Nation’s Lowest for 2nd Straight Month.” Denver Post. Retrieved from: https://www.denverpost.com/2017/05/19/colorado-unemployment-rate-april/ (Visited 12/27/17).
5. “A Magnet for Top Talent.” Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade. Retrieved from: https://choosecolorado.com/living/working-here/ (Visited 12/12/17).
6. Kotkin, Joel and Scholl, Mark. ‘The Cities Creating the Most Tech Jobs 2017.” Forbes. Retrieved from: https://www.forbes.com/sites/joelkotkin/2017/03/16/technology-jobs-2017-san-francisco-charlotte-detroit/#73b9d23f38f6 (Visited 11/2/17).
7. Vara, Vauhini. “The Tech Boom’s Second Cities.” The New Yorker. Retrieved from: https://www.newyorker.com/business/currency/the-tech-booms-second-cities (Visited 11/6/17).
8. Chuang, Tamara. “Tales from Denver’s High Tech Hiring Front.” The Denver Post. Retrieved from: http://www.denverpost.com/2016/05/06/tales-from-the-high-tech-hiring-front/ (Visited 12/12/17).
9. Grossman, Dan. “More than 9,500 Vacant Cybersecurity Jobs are in Colorado.” 9News. Retrieved from: http://www.9news.com/tech/more-than-9500-vacant-cybersecurity-jobs-are-in-colorado/478943606 (Visited 12/6/17).
10. Chuang, Tamara. “Tech Industry Ponders how to Fill Colorado’s 10,000 Cybersecurity Job Openings.” Denver Post. Retrieved from: http://www.denverpost.com/2016/10/19/tech-industry-ponders-how-to-fill-colorados-10000-cybersecurity-job-openings/ (Visited 12/6/17).
11. “Where Security Meets Might.” Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade. Retrieved from: https://choosecolorado.com/key-industries/defense-homeland-security/ (Visited 12/12/17).
12. Keeney, Laura. “Colorado Remains at the Top of National Aerospace Employment in 2014.” The Denver Post. Retrieved from: http://www.denverpost.com/2015/02/06/colorado-remains-at-the-top-of-national-aerospace-employment-in-2014/ (Visited 12/12/17).
13. “Aerospace.” Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation. Retrieved from: http://www.metrodenver.org/industries/aerospace/ (Visited 12/12/17).
14. “Broadcasting and Telecommunications.” Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation. Retrieved from: http://www.metrodenver.org/industries/broadcasting-telecom/ (Visited 12/12/17).

CTU cannot guarantee employment or salary. Find employment rates, financial obligations and other disclosures at www.coloradotech.edu/disclosures.