Last year, I wrote about tech employers in San Diego whining that they couldn't find the tech talent they need because the city's considered more of a beach town "than Silicon Valley South." Like being a beach town is a bad thing. The takeaway was that San Diego's a great place if you're in the market for a job.
It still is.
Forbes recently ranked San Diego No. 3 on its list of the best cities for tech jobs, after Seattle and Washington, D.C. It noted that over the past decade, tech employment has grown by almost 30 percent and STEM jobs by 13 percent, while putting those percentages at 15.7 percent for tech and 6.5 percent for STEM jobs over the past two years.
It's also on the top 10 in Dice.com's list of the fastest-growing tech job markets. (Full disclosure: I blog for Dice, too.) The IT job site reported that defense and aerospace companies are recruiting there, while Forbes also pointed to the city's biotechnology and other life and physical sciences research.
Meanwhile, a survey by the Kosmont Rose Institute at Claremont-McKenna College recently pegged San Diego as the least expensive major city in California in which to do business. It studied the business taxes and fees, economic incentives and other programs, concluding that the expense in Los Angeles County and the Bay area were detriments to starting businesses there.
Mayor Jerry Sanders, gloating over the news, told TV station San Diego 6, that the city had worked to cut red tape, streamline the permit process and create city programs to encourage startups. He noted that the clean-tech industry had grown from about 140 companies to more than 800 in the past few years, the city had more solar installations than others, and that three of the top five companies in the algae-to-fuel industry operate there.
San Diego isn't Silicon Valley South and it might have to import talent and do more to convince students graduating there to stay. But employers still should play up the opportunities - as well as the whole allure of living in a beach town.
As Sanders told Channel 6:
We've worked very hard to bring every resource we have to make San Diego a place people want to come to.