Advancing San Diego: Preferred Providers

Preferred Providers are education programs recognized by employers as delivering top-quality training for high-demand jobs.

Preferred Providers are helping address talent shortages while increasing diversity in high-demand jobs in San Diego. In 2020, Advancing San Diego is focused on identifying Preferred Providers in the fields of software engineering, general engineering, and business functions such as marketing, operations, and sales. The Preferred Provider designation is offered at two levels, full and partial. The key difference is the breadth and depth of training provided to students.

  1. Preferred Providers (full) prepare students for entry-level jobs in high-demand fields.
  2. Preferred Providers (partial) introduce the foundational skill-sets necessary for students to pursue internships in high-demand fields.

Preferred Providers can be any education or training entity. Applicants are evaluated on the following:

  • Course alignment with skills requirements for:
    • Entry-level positions (full designation) – or –
    • Internships (partial designation)
  • Diversity & inclusion, including demonstrated ability to reach and serve a diverse student body
  • History of employer engagement

We are accepting applications for Preferred Providers of Engineering Talent until June 1, 2020.

Advancing San Diego 2020 Preferred Providers:

The programs below were selected as Preferred Providers of Software talent in March 2020.

  • CSU San Marcos
  • MiraCosta College
  • San Diego Code School
  • San Diego Mesa College
  • San Diego State University, Department of Computer Science
  • UC San Diego, Jacobs School of Engineering
  • UC San Diego Extension

Applications are open for Preferred Providers of engineering talent until June 1, 2020.

The criteria for Preferred Providers of engineering talent was developed in partnership with engineering employers in San Diego.


We are currently running an employer working group to develop the application and associated skills criteria for Preferred Providers of Business Talent, focused on the fields of marketing, operations, and sales.

Benefits of Preferred Provider designation:

  • Priority access to fully-funded internships for students in small companies & referrals to opportunities in larger companies
  • Work-based learning opportunities for students including networking events, career & internship fairs
  • Preferred Provider marketing toolkit (badge, press release, marketing & outreach materials)
  • Feature on EDC’s Preferred Provider map (coming soon!)
  • Annual briefings on talent demand alongside local employers