If you are a resident of sunny California and you are ready to begin working on your post secondary degree program, then you definitely have some heavy decisions that have to be made. Doing your research regarding potential collegiate choices is a great place to start; this will allow you to make the most informed decision possible. Keep in mind, the better you do your homework now, the less likely you are to not be happy with the learning institution you choose. In the state of California you can expect approximately 59-63 % of the available jobs to require you to hold a post secondary degree. On the opposite end of this spectrum, only about 19-27 % of employment opportunities will be appropriate for individuals who have only completed their high school diploma requirements.
As with any other state, California has an endless supply of feasible collegiate choices; no matter if you are looking for a vocational institute, a community college, a private university, or a public university. The post secondary educational system in this state provides students with strong learning environments; especially in the areas of research and liberal arts. One of California's larger public universities is University of California at Berkeley, which is home to approximately 35,000 students. Berkeley is well recognized for the research programs that are available to their students. Should you choose to attend this learning institution you can also expect to have the opportunity to enjoy the extracurricular activities that are found in and around the San Francisco Bay area. On a much smaller scale, perhaps you should consider the Claremont McKenna College, which is located in Claremont. This private liberal arts college is noted as one of the most selective colleges in the country. In fact, a current estimate shows only about 1,100 undergraduate students enrolled at this learning institution.
The University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) is another great option for prospective students. A recent statistic shows that this public university has approximately 38,000 students enrolled. Of this number, about 25,000 are pursuing an undergraduate degree program. This learning institution has been ranked as one of the top public universities in the United States and is well recognized for its degree programs in the areas of liberal arts and sciences. Still haven't found that perfect choice yet? What about Stanford University? This private research facility offers students both undergraduate and graduate level degree programs. Although this university is ranked among the top ten learning institutions in the United States, they are primarily recognized for the strength that is found in their liberal arts and sciences degree programs.
Currently, Stanford University is shown to have about 20,000 students enrolled in their educational programs. Another large university (current enrollment is approximately 33,000 students) that you may want to peruse is University of Southern California (USC). This university is classified as a private research facility that offers prospective students over one hundred different degree programs to choose from. While there are many great educational programs that you may choose to pursue, this university is especially recognized for its strengths in the areas of sciences, liberal arts, and research.
If you are interested in pursuing a degree in the area of engineering then you will certainly want to consider applying to the University of California at San Diego (UCSD). This public university is ranked as one of the top engineering schools in our country. In addition, this university is also recognized for strong academic programs in the liberal arts, sciences, and research areas. However, if a small scale university is what you are in the market for, then this institution may not be ideal for you. Currently, the University of California at San Diego is home to about 26,000 students, with the majority of these pursuing an undergraduate degree. For the females who are interested in pursuing a liberal arts degree you may want to look at Scripps College. Located in Claremont, this small college (with current enrollment under 1,000) is known to be one of the top women's colleges in the country. Therefore, you can expect a fairly selective admissions process. Pomona College is a similar option that is open to both men and women. With a small total enrollment of approximately 1,500 undergraduate students you can expect a small, intimate type classroom setting. In fact, this learning institution boasts an eight to one student/faculty ratio.
California has a lot of different education options when it comes to training. With over 40% of their population working close to 39% have received at least an Associate’s degree. This is in-line with the national average. Because the cost of living is higher in California it forces more individuals to turn to education in order to not only get a job, but make more money in their existing job. Over 20% of the documented population has a high school diploma, 20% have earned a Bachelor’s degree and 11% have earned an advanced degree which is much higher than the national average. Again the main reason is not only for individuals to make more money but the job market requires higher education.
In terms of race over 51% of whites have earned some sort of degree vs 33% of blacks and 59% of Asians. The Hispanic population is the lowest with only 17% having earned some sort of degree. The county with the highest level of education is San Francisco with over 62% of the population with a degree. This is followed by Marin County, Orange, Ventura, Alameda and Nevada County. The tech areas in San Francisco also had the highest number of its population with a master’s degree.
California employs over 15 million workers with an average salary of $55,200. The highest percentage of the population works in an office setting in an administrative role. Over 2 million employees in this sector make around $40,000 per year. Sales positions make up the #2 spot with over 1.5 million jobs. The vast number of restaurants employ over 1.4 million jobs but represents the lowest pay of around $25,000 per year. Unlike most of the county medical positions do dominate the stats with the highest salaries however computer positions is a close second mainly due to Silicon Valley. CIS managers for example make $164,000 per year and the larger internet companies are willing to pay even more for top talent. Another area that employs a lot of individuals is lawyers and marketing managers which each make approx. $164,000.
One reason why so many people end up attending school in California is the wide variety of choices they have when it comes to their education. You can choose from local Community Colleges, traditional degree granting state ran schools or choose from the 100’s of different vocational and trade schools that are available in the state. Once you graduate the dense population and vast number of companies makes finding a job that much easier. People say the weather is also one of the main reasons why they stay in California and study.
Not counting agriculture which usually requires little to no education and it mainly dominated by undocumented workers the technology industry is extremely becoming the top area for college graduates. Silicon Valley employs higher end college graduates than any other area in the United States. When looking into colleges it is recommended that you earn your master’s degree in computer science in order to complete in the technology field. It is extremely competitive however the pay is great and benefits far succeed other industries.
For years now California has dominated the aerospace industry and with large companies such as Lockheed and Boeing in the state it seeks out to find the top graduates each year to come work for them. High school seniors that are looking into this industry should focus on degrees in Science and Engineering when they attend college.
As you would expect one of the top industries is the tourism industry that employs over 2 million jobs in the state. Large amusement parks such as Disneyland and others have lots of positions to fill. It is recommended that you earn at least an Associate’s degree in a related area such as hospitality and or management. Hotels are always hiring both for resorts but also in hotels in general, especially during the seasonal time from March through October.
Not all of the population that decides to continue with their education after high school goes to college. In fact the majority of the high school graduates in California turn to a trade school to help them learn a specific talent so they can get employed and start working quicker than that of a college graduate. The trade-off is that they are specifically being trained for a job and usually don’t have the flexibility when it comes to moving into another industry. Below are just some of the top trades in California
Electricians and HVAC-R Technicians
With 300+ days of sun in California each year it is not a surprise that a big need is for trained and licensed HVAC technicians and electricians. The state has over 75 trade schools that offer HVAC training and many of them can be completed in 10-12 months. The state also has some of the highest salaries for electricians. Orange County and Riverside County are the top 2 counties in the state with the highest median salary for HVAC technicians and some can earn close to $80,000 per year.
With such a large population, California has some of the largest hospitals and medical facilities in the nation. With so many offices the need for pharmacy assistants is always in great demand. Large chain stores and even retail stores all have pharmacies that need talented individuals trained to be a pharmacy assistant. The great thing about this career is that you don’t need an Associate’s degree in order to get a job. Most trade schools offer pharmacy assistant training in less than a year.
The technology industry in California, especially the San Francisco, San Diego and Orange County area are reporting double digit growth. Programmers have always been in demand however recently the increase has been on the management side of the IT industry. It is recommended that you can take a short term programming course on a particular coding programming which will get you hired, then you can work towards a higher level degree while you are working.
The state of California is considered one of the top states when it comes to culinary foods and top restaurants. Some of the top chefs in the world have restaurants in California and it all starts with the right training from the right school. Most culinary arts programs are from a year to 2 years in length. Some schools offer specialized areas including desert and breads. The state also has a lot of individuals that own their own catering business as weddings and specialty parties are big business in the state.
Medical and Healthcare
When it comes to the healthcare industry you can find lots of different training programs to choose from. These short-term medical training programs include: massage therapy, medical assisting, pharmacy technician, radiologic technology, vocational nursing, respiratory therapy, surgical technology, health information management and dental assisting. Nursing in general is really a big industry and schools are always packed and most students end up on a waiting list when applying to either a vocational or registered nursing program. The demand for nurses are in Northern California as well as South Orange County and Riverside County.