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California Colleges

California Colleges


California is far and away the most populous state in the nation.  The current population stands at thirty seven million; that number will be bigger tomorrow.  New York and Texas are a distant second and third at about twenty million residents each.  Historically the state has been divided into two sections: Southern California and Northern California.  The southern division consisted of the bottom third of the state, roughly, while Northern California was the northern two thirds of the state.  Much of the traditional division of the state has become meaningless, because of the massive growth in the inland agricultural areas and the influx of immigrants both legal and illegal.


The state has a massive economic engine.  If it were a nation, it would have the fifth largest economy in the world.  San Francisco has lost some of its national clout as a financial center, particularly when the Bank of America was purchased and its headquarters moved to Charlotte, N.C.  It remains an important city for its financial institutions however, particularly in the insurance and stock market related businesses.  San Francisco is also one of the premier attractions that make California among the top three most visited states in the Union. 


Los Angeles and its environs have been the industrial base for the state for some time.  The aerospace and defense industries that are base there employed tens of thousands throughout the Cold War.  Some of those industries have retooled and found other markets; others have shut down.  Oil production has been a staple in Southern California for decades and it has a number of refineries south of downtown Los Angeles in the Carson area and around the port facilities in San Pedro.  There are also a number of refineries along the San Francisco Bay. 


For all of the industrial strength, agriculture remains the number one economic contributor to California’s economy.  The massive Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys have untold numbers of acres in production, although thousands of those acres are turned into housing tracts on a yearly basis.  Next to agriculture and aerospace, the entertainment industry ranks third as a contributor to the economy.  Much of that is television production along with the traditional movie output in Hollywood; nearly all of the entertainment business is centered in Los Angeles.


The educational opportunities in the state range from the twelve campus University of California system through the twenty four campus State University system to the dozens of community colleges scattered throughout the state’s fifty eight counties.  It is a massive and sometimes confusing system.  Entering the system through a community college and then transferring to a state university can be like a high wire act.  The issue of credit acceptability combined with the question of admission into an overcrowded university system has been a frustrating challenge to thousands of California’s young people.


On the other hand, the opportunities in California, despite the dot com collapse, are unparalleled.  It’s an enormous place, with a lot of determined and energetic entrepreneurs still taking chances in the digital economy.  Job listings on the web help tremendously and increasingly, people in California are turning to the internet for their educational needs to obtain those jobs.

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