San Diego, CA

These Are Some of the Fastest-Growing Industries in San Diego

Mike Peterson

If you’re looking to kickstart a career in San Diego, there are a variety of quickly growing industries to choose from.

San Diego may be known for its beaches, fish tacos, and year-round sunshine, but the city is also home to many important industries that drive the local economy. From defense contractors to aquaculture companies, here are some of the fastest-growing industries in San Diego.


One of the hottest industries across the U.S. is cybersecurity, which involves a range of disciplines aimed at securing data and fending off cyber attacks.

There’s also a distinct talent shortage in cybersecurity. Although employment in the field is growing in the double digits in San Diego, cyber-focused firms are having trouble finding qualified talent. Some roles in this area include penetration testers, security operations analysts, and security engineers.

Green & Blue Tech

San Diego County is the country’s most biodiverse county and also has a strong connection to the sea. Because of that, it makes sense that some of the biggest industries in America’s Finest City involve ocean technology or sustainable technology.

The clean and blue technology industries range from solar panel manufacturers and installers to companies working on offshore renewable energy and natural seafood farming. There’s likely a role for everyone, no matter your interests.


After the passage of Prop 64 legalized recreational cannabis in California, San Diego became one of the first cities to allow an entire cannabis supply chain — including cultivation, testing, and retail.

Despite any stigma surrounding the business, many workers in the cannabis industry may never touch the substance. For example, there’s still a need for corporate employees such as accountants, marketing directors, and even software engineers.

Genomics & Biotech

San Diego is already a hotspot for biotechnology companies and firms researching genomics and other healthcare systems, but the biotech sphere isn’t done growing in the city. Some of the fastest-growing startups in San Diego are in biotech.

As a science field, working in the biotech industry generally requires at least an undergraduate education. But whether you already work in the field or you want to learn more about what it entails, now is the right time to start looking into pursuing a biotech career.

Software & Technology

Silicon Valley gets all of the attention when it comes to the technology industry, but San Diego is still a hotspot for engineering and technology roles. One of the most important chipmakers in the country, Qualcomm, is also based here.

San Diego has ended up on lists of the best places to launch startups, though not in recent years. However, its proximity to the Bay Area and the fact that the local colleges produce a lot of engineering talent means that San Diego is still a great place to pursue a tech career.


Because of the presence of the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps, San Diego has a strong military connection. Defense is the second-largest economic sector in the city. It isn’t just the government that provides defense-related jobs in the area, however. There are plenty of private companies that do as well.

The defense industry is a diverse one, too. In San Diego, you’ll find companies ranging from military artificial intelligence firms to manufacturers of drones. Many roles require a security clearance, which is perfect for those who previously worked for the federal government.

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Mike Peterson is a journalist, editor, and yoga teacher based in North San Diego County. He's a fan of indie bookstores, local craft beers, and excellent tacos.

San Diego, CA

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