Technology and innovation remain signature traits of the business scene in San Jose and the Silicon Valley. Therefore, the region is rich in human resources, with a large population of highly skilled, creative talent in computer science and engineering.
The list of companies either headquartered or with a significant presence in Silicon Valley reads like a virtual Who’s Who of high-tech entrepreneurship and the 1990s computerized revolution: Adobe Systems, BEA Systems, Cisco, eBay, Hewlett-Packard, Hitachi, IBM, Lockheed Martin and SunPower, to name just a few.
There are 6,300 technology companies located in the San Jose Metropolitan Area, employing approximately 256,000 people. That means high-tech firms account for more than 30 percent of all employees in the area. Among the prevalent professions in San Jose are semiconductor processors, computer hardware and software engineers, sales engineers, electronics engineers, electromechanical equipment assemblers, electrical engineers and engineering managers.
Entrepreneurs and Venture Capital
San Jose is one of the best cities in the country in terms of encouraging entrepreneurship, with 85 percent of new job growth in the region coming from companies that are less than 10 years old. More than $7 billion in venture capital was invested in San Jose-area companies in 2008, and the city leads the nation in the number of patents generated. Because of the proliferation of high-paying engineering and computer science jobs in the region, San Jose households enjoy among the highest rates of disposable income in the U.S. The median household income is $77,000, and 67 percent have incomes of more than $50,000.
Airport of the Year
The presence of so many national and international companies in the region led to a $1.2 billion modernization project at the Mineta San José International Airport. The airport built a new concourse and terminal, refurbished an existing terminal, consolidated its rental car garage and put in all new infrastructure. In 2008, the Airline Pilots Association International union named San Jose International the “Airport of the Year.” Nearly 10 million passengers flew out of the airport that year. For more information, visit www.sjc.org.