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Economy

San Diego Is One Of Top Metro Areas For Computer Software Industry

Lisa Barnett, a Rancho Bernardo teacher, debugs a computer program with her classmate at a San Diego State training program on July 16, 2012.
Katie Schoolov
Lisa Barnett, a Rancho Bernardo teacher, debugs a computer program with her classmate at a San Diego State training program on July 16, 2012.

San Diego ranks seventh among 50 top U.S. metropolitan areas for its computer software industry, which has an annual economic impact of $12.2 billion, according to a report released Tuesday by the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation.

The study looks at venture capital, talent retention and acquisition and other metrics that detail San Diego's competitive advantages for local companies that are looking to expand or move into the region, according to the Economic Development Corporation.

San Diego ranks ahead of Austin, New York City and Portland, Oregon, among others, according to the report. San Jose was No. 1, followed by Seattle, San Francisco, Boston and Raleigh.

More than 100,000 jobs in the San Diego region depend on the area's software industry, according to the study.

A survey of employers found that employment is expected to rise around 18 percent this year, according to the Economic Development Corporation. The report noted that many local software employees work for local defense contractors and biotech firms, rather than on consumer applications, so the local industry flies somewhat under the radar.

"From Intuit to Illumina, software development permeates nearly every facet of San Diego's economy," Mayor Kevin Faulconer said. "Software development is helping to increase our workforce talent pool, diversity of job opportunities and capital investment."

Software workers in San Diego are two times more likely to work in research and development than in the rest of California, according to the study.

"From mapping the genome to piloting unmanned systems, software is the foundation behind most of San Diego's breakthroughs and innovation," said Mark Cafferty, theEconomic Development Corporation's president and CEO.

"With this study, we now have the ability to quantify the depth of the software ecosystem for the first time," Cafferty said. "We know San Diego is a good place to build and locate a business — and companies are following suit."

According to the Economic Development Corporation, Silicon Valley startups — Wrike and Bizness Apps announced relocations and/or expansions to San Diego in the past two months — a sign that the region is gaining visibility.

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