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San Jose (CA) Vocational Schools, Trade Schools and Technical Schools

The economic recession has altered the national economic landscape, creating "knowledge metros," regions built upon technology and innovation. These areas have been creating high-wage jobs and attracting venture-capital investment to drive local industries. San Jose is the country's second-leading knowledge metropolitan area according to 2014 economic growth data released from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. As a hub of Silicon Valley, San Jose leads the nation in productivity growth between 2009 and 2011, increasing economic output by 10 percent.

This economic growth in the region is directly related to two core components of knowledge economies: a workforce with college degrees and the share of that workforce in technical or professional career fields. As a hotbed of economic development, San Jose should be an attractive option for individuals considering enrolling in a vocational training program, especially tech-related educational fields of study.

San Jose top employers

The bedrock of San Jose's economy is the technology sector. Home to more than 6,600 technology companies, San Jose employs approximately 250,000 individuals in technology-related positions. In addition to being the country's high-tech corridor, San Jose is also witnessing emerging industries take hold in the region, including bioscience and green technology.

While major technology companies such as Cisco, Adobe Systems, eBay, and NetGear are well-known to those outside of San Jose, the area is also home to some of the best private companies in the country. These companies rounded out the top five San Jose metro area companies on Inc.'s 5,000 list -- the list of the 5,000 fastest growing private companies in the country. The incredible three-year growth rates of the following companies has been unparalleled:

  • Superfish (26,043%)
  • Multicoreware (3,322%)
  • Smashwords (3,019%)
  • Ensighten (2,416%)
  • Duda (2,300%)
  • DrChrono (1,834%)

By employment figures, the largest employers in San Jose -- according to the State of California Employment Development Department -- are spread across industries such as health care, technology, higher education, aerospace and more.

  • Adobe Systems, Inc. (computer software manufacturing)
  • Bon Appetit-Café Adobe (restaurant management)
  • Kaiser Permanente Medical Group (health care)
  • Lockheed Martin Corporation (aerospace)
  • Philips Lumileds Lighting Company (lighting supplies and manufacturing)
  • San Jose State (higher education)
  • Sap Center (stadiums/arenas/athletics)

Fifteen San Jose companies make the Silicon Valley top 50

Each year, the San Jose Mercury News releases the Silicon Valley Top 150, a survey of the region's largest public technology companies. Fourteen companies in San Jose made the top 50 in the 2014 ranking of those companies:



# of Employees


Cisco Systems









Adobe Systems






Maxim Integrated Products









Brocade Communications






VeriFone Systems



Cadence Design Systems



Fairchild Semiconductor








Vocational careers in San Jose

The size and diversity of San Jose's economy presents prospective students with a multitude of education and, subsequently, career options to pursue. According to November 2014 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS.gov), professional and business services, trade, transportation and utilities, and manufacturing are three of the region's largest vocationally-related industry areas.

Below is an example list of San Jose area industries with the number of employees in November 2014, according to the BLS.

  • Professional and business services (202,800)
  • Manufacturing (162,300)
  • Trade, transportation and utilities (143,300)
  • Education and health services (155,200)
  • Information (68,300)
  • Construction (40,100)
  • Financial activities (35,200)

Students seeking employment in one of these industries can choose from a vast array of educational options, including universities, community colleges and vocational schools in San Jose. Additionally, the region also has employment and job placement programs operated by institutions of higher education, nonprofit organizations, religious facilities and more. Below are some example vocational assistance and training programs in San Jose:

  • Center for Employment Training
  • San Jose Job Corps Training
  • Center for Training and Careers, Inc. (CTC)
  • Central County Occupational Center/Program (CCOC)
  • Economic and Social Opportunities, Inc.

A review of employment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals that health care is the top employing vocationally-related career field in San Jose. In fact, the top ten fastest growing vocational occupations are in health care:


2013 Annual Average Salary

2012 - 2022 Projected Job Growth

Diagnostic Medical Sonographers



Occupational Therapy Assistants



Physical Therapist Assistants



Dental Hygienists



Cardiovascular Technologists and Technicians



Medical Equipment Repairers



Surgical Technologists



Ophthalmic Medical Technicians



Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technicians



Veterinary Technologists and Technicians



Other top vocational careers in San Jose include massage therapists (22.6% employment growth), HVAC technicians and installers (20.9%), manicurists and pedicurists (15.6%), and audiovisual equipment technicians (13.7%).

With a robust economy showing no signs of slowing down, diverse educational opportunities, and vocational career options, prospective students should investigate how completing a certificate, diploma or vocational training program can open the doors to success in San Jose.


The Atlantic, The Boom Towns and Ghost Towns of the New Economy, http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2013/10/the-boom-towns-and-ghost-towns-of-the-new-economy/309460/

City of San Jose, Economic Update, http://www.sanjoseca.gov/DocumentCenter/View/15825

Inc., 2014 Inc. 5000, http://www.inc.com/inc5000/list/2014/metro/san-jose

San Jose Mercury News, The SV 150, http://www.siliconvalley.com/SV150/ci_25548370/?appSession=120135331008617&RecordID=&PageID=2&PrevPageID=2&cbNewPageSize=250&

Bureau of Labor Statistics, San Jose, http://www.bls.gov/eag/eag.ca_sanjose_msa.htm

Vocational Schools in San Jose, California
Results:  10
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