Cyber Center of Excellence recently commissioned the San Diego Economic Development Corporation (EDC) to conduct a study on the current state of the cybersecurity industry in San Diego.
According to the study, San Diego's cybersecurity industry generates $2.2 billion in GDP and impacts 19,660 jobs annually – equivalent to hosting five Super Bowls or 15 Comic-Cons each year. The industry has grown by more than 16 percent in less than 3 years.
The study shows that San Diego has more than 150 core cyber firms that employ 4,920 people in the region. The Navy's Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) provides an additional 3,530 jobs to San Diego's cybersecurity industry. In total, there are 8,450 direct jobs – up 11 percent from 2016 (faster than the regional employment growth of 3 percent). The results of the study are viewable via an online web tool on the CCOE website located here.
"San Diego is home to some of the most innovative minds and companies that feed the global demand for cybersecurity products and security," said San Diego Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer. "This study shows how our innovation, education, research and defense industries have created a productive ecosystem for companies and talent to thrive together."
More than 58,000 technology specialists call San Diego home and work in a variety of cybersecurity-related occupations. San Diego's academic institutions confer 3,200 cyber-related degrees each year, mostly in the fields of engineering and computer sciences. Over the next three years, cyber-related jobs are projected to increase by nearly 5.5 percent, outpacing the regional growth rate of 3 percent.
"Too often San Diego worries about falling behind Silicon Valley or the East Coast, but this study conveys we have the talent and workforce to punch above our weight," said Rear Admiral (Ret), Ken Slaght, CCOE chair and president of Cyber Center of Excellence. "San Diego's premier educational institutions, existing industry base and robust federal assets, seed not only the cyber workforce but the innovation needed to protect our nation."
The study shows the reach of San Diego's cyber industry spans the globe, with nearly half of firms doing business internationally. It also highlights the rise of machine learning and artificial intelligence, with 59 percent of surveyed cyber companies actively developing or advancing their products and services in this emerging field. Access to customers and a skilled workforce are seen as San Diego's greatest strengths among cyber employers.
"Industry partners are critical to securing DHS networks and systems, and we need energetic and creative minds in the fields of cyber, technology and data sciences," said Dr. John Zangardi, U.S. Department of Homeland Security Chief Information Officer. "Collaborative innovation ecosystems across industries, like San Diego can help advance our country's homeland security."
"In just a few years, we have seen growth and diversification in San Diego's cybersecurity industry," said Mark Cafferty, president and CEO of San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation. "The collaboration between the private sector, academia and government, with leadership from organizations like CCOE, is what differentiates us from other regions."
The study was conducted to help quantify the economic impact, understand employer sentiment and analyze growth and changes since CCOE's previous study in 2016.