San Diego Tops Southern California in BizJournals’ Tech Ranking

BizJournals posted their 2009 Top 100 Tech City Center listing on Monday.  Three SoCal locations ranked within the top 25 tech center cities, including San Diego (6), Los Angeles (12), and Oxnard/Thousand Oaks (17).

San Jose topped the list, with the San Francisco/Oakland area coming in 4th.

BizJournals’ methodology for ranking tech centers looks at a combination of factors, including:

  1. Number of high tech companies (definition)
  2. Number of high tech jobs
  3. Jobs per high tech company
  4. High-tech jobs/1000 private sector jobs
  5. High-tech companies per 1000 private sector companies
  6. Percentage in high-tech workforce of adults 25 and older with graduate degrees

The ranking methodology classifies high-tech jobs being within a list of “fourteen occupations classified as Level I, encompassing the aerospace, computer, control-instruments, pharmaceutical and semiconductor industries and scientific research-and-development services.”

Of the top 25 cities, there are a total of 2,530,145 persons listed as having Level I high-tech jobs.  Of that number nearly 18% of the high tech jobs are located within Southern California.  While the San Jose/San Francisco area has a higher city ranking, SoCal has a much higher number of actual jobs identified as high-tech. 

Smaller towns such as Santa Barbara and Irvine were not included in the survey.  Had they been included I am sure we would have a different lineup, as both cities clearly have a high density of tech companies.  It would also be very interesting to see a comparison of counties, with the same argument showing Orange and San Diego counties likely having a much better status than other locations around the United States.

The story is not so good for other California cities, such as Bakersfield (89), Fresno (94), Modesto (98), and Stockton (100).  These cities actually rank below other troubled cities such as El Paso, Little Rock, and Cleveland in the high-tech job index.  This is not too surprising as much of California is focused on agriculture, and would not be expected to rank near the top of a high-tech job listing.

Unfortunately I could not find a similar ranking for previous years, and could not easily determine the movement of San Diego and the LA/Ventura areas over time.  We will do this in the future.

As a frequent traveler along the 101/405/5 corridor between Santa Barbara and San Diego, I am always encouraged by the number of powerful companies listed on marquees along the route.  This is a great time for the tech industry Southern California, and we will continue to lead the nation in technologies such as cloud computing (3tera, Rightscale, Eucalyptus, etc) and biotech.

We look forward to seeing our progress as a community in next year’s review.

John Savageau, Long Beach, California

About johnsavageau
Another telecom junkie who has been bouncing around the international communications community for most of the past 35 years.

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