At Covario Inc., a San Diego search engine marketing firm, its global employment increased from 135 at the end of last year to 220 today, including 133 people who work at its local headquarters office in the UTC area, said spokesman Rick Clancy.

“The company is growing both in breadth of the software products it offers for search engine analytics, and in the automation tools it offers for SEO (search engine optimization),” Clancy said.

Among the positions that Covario has been adding most often this year are software developers, SEO strategists, and paid search strategists, he said.

TechAmerica, the high tech industry trade group, released a study in late 2010 that stated San Diego was only one of two cities (the other being Denver) that had net gain in tech jobs in the prior year. The same report found the average salary for high-tech workers in San Diego to be above $93,000, nearly twice the region’s average.

The Requirements

To qualify for such well-compensated positions a person needs at least a bachelor’s degree, with the most common area of study being computer science, Slapin said.

While the preponderance of reports coming from industry trade organizations or directly from companies show a clear increase in software hiring, not every business is doing so.

Intuit Inc., the Mountain View based software corporation that maintains its TurboTax subsidiary here, said its total local staff declined by about 200 people in July following a company-wide “re-alignment strategy,” said spokeswoman Julie Miller.

Intuit now has a local workforce of about 1,000 people with 550 of those working in the TurboTax division. The remainder work in corporate functions including finance, information technology, and a mix of other things, she said.

As for the reasons behind the job cuts, Miller said the TurboTax unit has less need for seasonal workers, and has become more efficient.