SAN DIEGO – Cyber is an important and rapidly growing piece of the San Diego regional economy. Notably, every Cyber job generates another job in other industries in the region. The cluster accounts for 24,349 San Diego jobs across 874 firms, and has a total economic impact of US$3.5 billion annually, shows the San Diego EDC study “Securing the Future: AI and San Diego’s Cyber Cluster.”
In other words, the cyber cluster impact to the regional economy is about the same as nine Super Bowls or 23 Comic-Cons.
“It’s clear that 5G, AI, ML and cyber warfare will define our future battlefields, digital and physical—and while we are encouraged by the report findings, we must all be ready to meet this new mission by fostering Cyber-ready tech talent, investing in up-skilling and reskilling programs, implementing rigorous cyber hygiene practices from the board level down, and coming together as a regional cluster to define how these new technologies will further—and safely—shape the San Diego region in the coming years,” said Jennie Brooks, Senior Vice President at Booz Allen Hamilton.
But demand for cybersecurity workers has exceeded supply for years, according to the report. While local cyber employment increased 7.4% since 2018, more than 80% of San Diego cyber companies reported difficultly finding qualified workers.
“Talent shortages present a key challenge for the cyber industry,” said Nate Kelley, senior research manager with the EDC. “Just because cyber companies want to hire more workers, it doesn’t mean they’ll be able to, at least not as many as they would like.”
There are still about three open positions for every qualified cyber worker across the San Diego region, according to the study. In a bid to sidestep worker shortage, some companies are advertising for remote positions. The study found that remote job postings made up 9.3% of all local cyber job openings in April, up from 3.3%in September 2019.