San Jose, California skyline

An Educator’s Guide to Career Opportunities in San Jose, California

The emerging tech centers of America . . .  

If you don’t live in California, chances are you don’t understand San Jose. San Jose might not even be one of the first California cities to come to mind if somebody asked you to name the most influential or important cities in California.

If you live or teach in the San Jose area, however, you know the real story about what a powerhouse the city is.

San Jose, not San Francisco, is the most populous city in northern California. It’s home to more than one million people. San Francisco, in comparison, is home to about 882,000 people. San Jose, after Los Angeles and San Diego, is the third most populous city in the state. Plus, more than two million people live and work in the greater San Jose metro area.

San Jose could be an even more expensive place to live than San Francisco. According to Kiplinger, the average price for a home in San Francisco is $875,000, compared with $1,086,000 in San Jose.

San Jose is the geographical, cultural, intellectual, and economic hub of Silicon Valley. Even if you don’t live in California, you probably already knew that. But even if you do live in the area, you might not fully grasp what a behemoth San Jose has become in tech innovation.

Major Companies Doing Business in the San Jose Area

Silicon Valley, of course, earned its name because of the computer companies doing business there. Yet businesses in a variety of other sectors have made the area their home too, including:

  • Intel, which employs 14,600 people
  • Cisco Systems, which employs nearly 10,000 people
  • eBay, nearly 4,000 people
  • PayPal, about 3,500
  • Adobe Systems, 3,000
  • Western Digital, 2,000
  • Super Micro Computer, 2,000

Plus Kaiser Permanente and Target are also major employers in the area. So if you are an educator in San Jose, chances are good that your students won’t have to move to other areas of the country to start or maintain their careers.

What Jobs Are San Jose Tech Companies Hiring For?

Computer businesses are hiring young people who have pursued majors like these in college:

  • Artificial Intelligence, including predictive analytics and voice and character recognition
  • Computer architecture
  • Computer security
  • Database design and administration
  • Mobile app development
  • Networking
  • Programming
  • Video game and graphic design
  • Web development

Sample Job Listings

A current posting for a Senior User Researcher at Cisco requires:

  • 5+ years of market research & insights experience
  • Extensive experience leading end-to-end research, from scoping to planning, executing, and reporting
  • Experience integrating user research learnings into actionable product changes
  • Strong understanding of different research methods (when to use quantitative vs qualitative, approaches to foundational and usability studies, etc.)
  • Exceptional communication and collaboration skills

And statements from a job posting for a Web Application Engineer at PayPal requires:

  • I’ve been writing modern JavaScript for 3+ years, and I’m very familiar with things like React, state management, and Node.js.
  • I care about writing high-quality code, and I’ve written my fair share of tests.
  • I’ve used or am familiar with GraphQL.
  • I understand how different devices and form factors impact web applications.
  • I’m passionate about creating beautiful user experiences.
  • I’m a problem solver, and I enjoy working both independently and collaboratively to get to the root cause of any issue.
  • When you join our team, here are a few things you’ll be doing regularly:
  • Contribute to the design and development of existing and new digital payment experiences using React, Node.js, GraphQL, and many other modern web technologies.
  • Actively participate in our architectural decision-making process.
  • Follow and be a strong advocate for clean and scalable coding principles.
  • Collaborate with product, design, and analytics team members to better understand what our customers need, and why.
  • Continuously learn and share your knowledge and experience across our team and others.

Recent Business News from San Jose

According to the Mercury News, Amazon.com has just acquired a major building site near downtown San Jose.

And according to the Silicon Valley Business Journal, Marvell Technology Group Ltd. has just acquired Inphi Corp. for about $10 billion. According to the Business Journal, “The deal is the latest in a flurry of chip deals involving Silicon Valley semiconductor companies that will likely redraw the competitive landscape around longtime industry leader Intel Corp.”

Where Can Your Students Learn the Skills they Need to Land those Jobs?

Many area businesses are offering internships to students, including Cisco and Adobe. Be sure to encourage your students to investigate them and apply. They offer exceptional learning opportunities as well as an entrée to possible future employers.

Plus, be sure to check out the following colleges and universities in California and the San Jose area:

Two-year colleges that offer some computer courses . . .

  • Carrington College
  • De Anza College
  • Evergreen Valley College
  • Institute for Business & Technology
  • Mission College
  • San Jose City College
  • West Valley College

Four-year institutions . . .

  • Menlo College
  • Mills College
  • Pacific Oaks College
  • San Jose State University
  • Santa Clara University
  • Stanford University
  • University of California Santa Cruz and other locations

We Invite You to Explore Your Students’ College & Career Options with Us. . .

Participate in the National Career & College Pathway Study to gain new insights about making educational decisions that align with your interests, passions, and aptitudes. Participants will receive information on college and career opportunities that match their interests.

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