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“There’s a supportive spirit of innovation here. Not only do all the universities have entrepreneurial fast-tracks or programs, but a lot of schools also have incubators.”

Cody Russell, Co-Founder & CEO, Tunnel Vision
Oct 2017

With its more than 80 universities – including the largest engineering school in the state – and world-class research institutions, San Diego is well-positioned to compete globally in attracting some of the most talented engineers, scientists and technology professionals in the world. The quality of life in the region, combined with strong technology-based industries, means only the best and brightest work and live here. Add to that a robust service sector with professionals in finance, marketing, sales, facilities management and other administrative positions, San Diego is a thriving, diverse economy. Forbes ranked San Diego the #3 "Coolest Cities" in America in 2017.

In early 2016, EDC released “Talent: Where San Diego Stands,” a comprehensive study that contextualized San Diego’s standing in talent growth and retention with regard to highly-skilled engineering, science and tech talent in nine peer metros including Austin, Denver and San Francisco. By analyzing key factors for firms and site selectors and comparing key characteristics that attract talent ensures San Diego maintains its competitive edge.

Industry Highlights/Contributions

  • UC San Diego, home to the Jacobs School of Engineering, is ranked among the top ten engineering programs in the country, and some specialized programs – including Computer Science – rank in the top ten worldwide. UC San Diego graduates more females in STEM than any university in the nation.
  • San Diego gained 72,000 degree holders in 2014 alone – more than any other major metro area in the country.
  • The nationally recognized College of Business Administration at San Diego State University has been ranked in a recent U.S. News & World Report survey as one of the top ten best business schools in California. 
  • San Diego is the #1 most patent intense region in the U.S., and ranks third worldwide.
  • Adding to the region’s quality of life, San Diego has the third lowest average commute time in the U.S.
  • San Diego has the highest concentration of life sciences lab space in the U.S. – more than San Francisco and Boston combined.

Cal State San Marcos

California State University San Marcos, is one of the youngest and fastest-growing CSU campuses, is a pioneer in providing broad access to quality instruction and a trail-blazer in hands-on education relevant to today’s global and technology-rich society.  CSUSM is nationally recognized as a model of public accountability, institutional innovation and community engagement.  The university builds regional alliances that foster economic, social, and cultural development. CSUSM’s faculty engages in the latest research and other creative activities, and prepares its graduates to lead and compete in the digital age.

National University

Since 1971, National University has been dedicated to making lifelong learning opportunities accessible, challenging, and relevant to a diverse student population.  As a nonprofit institution, National University invests in its students by providing them with quality educational instruction and learning technologies, superior faculty, and exemplary student services.

Point Loma Nazarene University (PLNU)

Point Loma Nazarene University is known for being forward-thinking.  At PLNU, academics, faith, and community are all vital.  Students benefit from the balanced approach to education and leave PLNU prepared to think, act, and contribute to the world.  PLNU offers more than 60 undergraduate areas of study and graduate program regional centers in Bakersfield, Mission Valley (San Diego), and the Inland Empire.  Founded in 1902, PLNU serves more than 3,500 students.

San Diego State University

Since it was founded in 1897, San Diego State University has grown to offer bachelor’s degrees in 84 areas, master’s degrees in 76 areas and doctorates in 21 areas.  SDSU’s approximately 31,000 students participate in an academic curriculum distinguished by direct contact with faculty and an increasing international emphasis that prepares them for a global future.

University of California San Diego

UC San Diego is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through excellence in education and research at the undergraduate, graduate, professional school and postdoctoral levels. The campus is committed to community engagement, public service and industry partnerships in order to advance the health and well-being of the region, state, nation and the world. Its academic community of world-renowned faculty, bright students and dedicated staff is characterized by a culture of interdisciplinary collaboration and innovation which spans the globe.  

University of San Diego (USD)

The University of San Diego is committed to academic excellence, Catholic intellectual and social interactions, and providing a top-notch liberal arts education for scholars of all faiths.  For more than six decades, USD has been dedicated to the values originally articulated by its founders, Mother Rosalie Hill of the Society of Sacred Hearth and Bishop Charles Francis Buddy of the Diocese of San Diego.