Best Places to Work in IT 2009 Employer Profile

No. 78

Fairfax County Public Schools

Falls Church, Va. [South Atlantic]

Why you want to work there

The IT Leadership Development Cohort program at this Falls Church, Va.-based school system, the nation's 12th-largest, was established three years ago to develop promising IT employees into leaders. IT senior managers select applicants though a competitive application process. Approximately 20 staffers attend the one-year program, which includes 16 hours per month of formal classes on the organization's time and 10 hours of projects on employee time. The curriculum includes exercises in leadership development, visioning, strategic planning, project management, business case development, negotiating strategies and understanding learning styles. The classes also teach ways to work with school principals, senior executives and directors. The program was rated as exceptional by 95% of past attendees and is comparable to a formal graduate school classes. The program, which was started by IT and is free for all attendees, has gained recognition across the organization and has been incorporated by other departments. IT staffers are given paid time off to volunteer at two elementary schools, assisting with mentoring, tutoring, science fairs and reading.

Read more about this Best Place to Work.

Rank by company size:
Large, No. 44

Employee Statistics

Total U.S.-based employees: 22,309

Total U.S.-based IT employees: 458

IT employee turnover in 2008: 6%

IT promotions in 2008: 4%


Training days offered per IT employee in 2008: 5

Training budget per IT employee in 2008: $1,139

Women in IT

Total percentage of women within IT: 36%

Percentage of IT managers who are women: 45%

Percentage of IT staffers (non-managers) who are women: 36%

Minorities in IT

Total percentage of minorities within IT: 34%

Percentage of IT managers who are minorities: 9%

Percentage of IT staffers (non-managers) who are minorities: 35%