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San Diego: Tech City, U.S.A., babies

Average local tech wage, $114,300; non-tech? less than $50K (don't cry)

Metropolitan area technology employment rankings, 2014
Metropolitan area technology employment rankings, 2014

Technology accounted for 11.1 percent of San Diego County jobs last year but 22 percent of total wages, according to a new study by Kelly Cunningham, economist for the National University System Institute for Policy Research. The reason for this stark difference: the average tech salary was $114,300 last year, compared with $49,700 for the average non-tech job.

The number of tech businesses rose by 7.3 percent last from from 2013, while the number of overall establishments only increased by 1.3 percent. However, the number of tech jobs rose by 2.7 percent, not much better than the 2.6 percent rise in overall employment.

The tech jobs include computers and electronics, telecom, biotech/pharmaceuticals, medical equipment, computer systems design, environmental services, biological research, recreational goods production (mainly golf equipment), and transportation equipment. Computers and electronics production peaked in 2000 and has declined by half, says Cunningham. Golf equipment peaked in 1998 and has been in a slow decline. Environmental tech has been about flat.

The big winner is scientific research and development services — primarily, biotech and pharmaceutical industries; second is wireless communications.

San Diego has a significant presence in seven of eight major tech areas, notes Cunningham; none of the other 24 major metro areas can make that statement

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Metropolitan area technology employment rankings, 2014
Metropolitan area technology employment rankings, 2014

Technology accounted for 11.1 percent of San Diego County jobs last year but 22 percent of total wages, according to a new study by Kelly Cunningham, economist for the National University System Institute for Policy Research. The reason for this stark difference: the average tech salary was $114,300 last year, compared with $49,700 for the average non-tech job.

The number of tech businesses rose by 7.3 percent last from from 2013, while the number of overall establishments only increased by 1.3 percent. However, the number of tech jobs rose by 2.7 percent, not much better than the 2.6 percent rise in overall employment.

The tech jobs include computers and electronics, telecom, biotech/pharmaceuticals, medical equipment, computer systems design, environmental services, biological research, recreational goods production (mainly golf equipment), and transportation equipment. Computers and electronics production peaked in 2000 and has declined by half, says Cunningham. Golf equipment peaked in 1998 and has been in a slow decline. Environmental tech has been about flat.

The big winner is scientific research and development services — primarily, biotech and pharmaceutical industries; second is wireless communications.

San Diego has a significant presence in seven of eight major tech areas, notes Cunningham; none of the other 24 major metro areas can make that statement

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Comments
12

Don- What do the red and blue areas of the chart signify? - thanks

Aug. 27, 2015

swell: The blue stands for location quotient above 1.00, which means employment more highly concentrated in the tech industry. The red was not disclosed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The long and short of it, according to Kelly Cunningham of the National University System Institute for Policy Research, is that San Diego has concentrations in 7 out of 8 high tech clusters, and the other 24 metro areas can't make that statement. Eight categories were disclosed by the BLS, and San Diego has 7 of them. San Francisco and Seattle only have 5. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 28, 2015

So blue means LQ > 1.0 red means LQ <= 1.0 white = data not available Is that right?

Aug. 29, 2015

ImJustABill: Concentrate on one thing: San Diego has clusters in 7 of 8 major tech categories. The other metro areas do not. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 29, 2015

And "Silicon Valley?"

Tw

Aug. 28, 2015

Silicon Valley (San Jose metro area) shows only 2 of 5 tech sectors that are disclosed. (BLS does not show data if does not meet disclosure standards.) Silicon Valley is exceptionally high in computer/electronics, highest in nation, but not much in other tech fields.

Aug. 28, 2015

Kelly Cunningham: That is the best explanation yet -- right from the horse's mouth. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 29, 2015

Twister: Silicon Valley does not have the clusters that San Diego has. That hardly means San Diego is a bigger tech center than Silicon Valley. It just means that Silicon Valley is less diversified in tech than San Diego. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 29, 2015

In some quarters, National University has suffered a bit of a credibility problem. Several people I know and respect have taught there, but I've only asked one about her experience. It appears (from too small a sample) that, while other "universities" in the for-profit category might charitably be called "diploma" mills, is NU an exception in this regard?

Are there any independent studies that have inquired into this?

Aug. 29, 2015

Twister: I don't know about independent studies into National University's academic performance. However, I would not put National University into the same boat as the for-profit so-called educational institutions that are constantly under investigation.

People who graduate from National University are able to get jobs. People that graduate from the most widely-criticized for-profits such as Bridgepoint have serious difficulties landing jobs. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 29, 2015

For one thing, National University is not a "for-profit" educational institution. "National University is the second-largest private, nonprofit institution of higher education in California." http://www.nu.edu/OurUniversity/TheUniversity.html

Sept. 9, 2015

You're about as independent as they make 'em, Don. I'm relieved to hear that.

What are their financials and administrative performance like?

Are they more or less costly in tuition than Bridgepoint ad nauseam?

Tw

Aug. 29, 2015

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