QGIS 2.8 was released in February of 2015. It boasts a number of improvements and added functionality over previous versions. Binaries are available for Linux, Macintosh, and Windows. See the web site for details.
Below is a link to GIS analysis done to illustrate where most GIS jobs are located in the U.S.
A short summary? Southern California, Texas, and Washington, D.C. / the eastern seaboard top the list.