The Story Behind the Story: Why the Qualcomm Study is Important
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pulpit to boost local innovation and encourage a new generation of entrepreneurs to the city that never sleeps. Extolling the virtues of San Diego as an innovation hub is something our political and business leaders need to learn how to do every day, Cafferty says.
Where San Diego is sometimes characterized as “the biggest small town in America,” Cafferty says, “My hometown of Boston is a small place that projects itself as large.”
Another key issue highlighted in the Qualcomm study, Cafferty said, is that high-tech companies like Qualcomm have a hard time finding qualified workers in the San Diego region. Bob Slapin of Software San Diego (previously known as the San Diego Software Industry Council) has been lamenting the shortage of software developers for years.
At a time when unemployment in San Diego County is 9.2 percent, the study says almost three out of five telecommunications and IT employers say they nevertheless have at least some difficulty finding qualified applicants for non-entry level positions. Just over a quarter say they’re experiencing great difficulty. Even for entry-level positions, 44 percent of San Diego County’s employers indicated at least some difficulty finding qualified applicants.
The demand for software development has followed the rise of smart devices, and represents a fundamental shift in technology innovation, especially in consumer technology. Software is ascendant, in other words, and producing software developers should be a priority if San Diego wants to maintain its place as a hotbed of technology innovation.
“Looking forward, employers in telecommunications and information technology are considerably more optimistic about hiring in the near future,” the report says. “Approximately half (48 percent) of employers expect to have more employees at their current location 12 months from now and 42 percent expect to maintain their current level of employment. Over the next 12 months, San Diego County’s telecommunications and information technology employers expect to add approximately 5,000 new jobs in the county.”
What’s left unsaid is that thousands of out-of-work job applicants apparently lack the requisite skills, education, or talent sought by … Next Page »