California is a land of opportunities, what with some Fortune 100 companies including Apple, Adobe, Google, Yahoo!, Hewlett-Packard, Intel and eBay headquartered in its Silicon Valley. Home to one out of eight Americans, California is the most populous state (37.7 million people) in the United States of America. It is located on the West Coast of the US and borders with Oregon to the north, Nevada and Arizona to the east, Mexico to the south, and the Pacific Ocean to the west.
The climate of California is varied. The state is home to Death Valley, a desert considered the hottest location in North America. While much of the state has a Mediterranean climate with cool, rainy winters and dry summers, the cool California Current offshore often creates summer fog near the coast. Northwestern California has a temperate climate and the Central Valley has a Mediterranean climate but with greater temperature extremes than the coast.
The State motto is ‘Eureka!’ Its solar energy market is the fastest growing in the US, and already has capacity for 1.2 gigawatts – the equivalent of two large conventional power plants. California's GDP is larger than the GDPs of Russia, India, Canada, Australia and Spain. During the FY 2011, its GDP was about $1.96 trillion, the largest in the United States. Not only this, California is responsible for 13.1 percent of the United States' $14.96 trillion gross domestic product (GDP).
Major industries are concentrated on trade, transportation, and utilities; government; professional and business services; education and health services; and leisure and hospitality. In terms of output, the five largest sectors are financial services, followed by trade, transportation, and utilities; education and health services; government; and manufacturing.
California's public post secondary education has three-tiered system: The research university system in University of California (UC); The California State University System (CSU) and The California Community Colleges System (CCCS). There are ten general UC campuses, and a number of specialized campuses in the UC system. The CSU on the other hand has almost 430,000 students, making it the largest university system in the United States. The CCCS is the largest network of higher education in the US, composed of 112 colleges serving a student population of over 2.6 million.
California is also home to such notable private universities such as Stanford University, the University of Southern California, the California Institute of Technology and the Claremount colleges.
The top 10 universities in California State are:
|University/College||US News and World Report Rank||Tuition Fee|
|Stanford University, Stanford||National Universities #5||$41,538|
|California Institute of Technology, Pasadena||National Universities #10||$43,245|
|University of California--Berkeley||National Universties #20||$25,056|
|University of California Los Angeles||National Universities #23||$35,574|
|University of Southern California, Los Angeles||National Universities #23||$46,298|
|University of California, San Diego, La Jolla||National Universities #39||$36,112|
|University of California, Davis||National Universities #39||$36,774|
|University of California, Santa Barbara||National Universities #41||$36,624|
|University of California, Irvine||National Universities #49||$37,566|
|Pepperdine University, Malibu||National Universities #57||$44,902|
|University of California, Santa Cruz||National Universities #86||$36,294|
|University of California, San Francisco||National Universities #117||$40,294|
At Stanford University, the averagegraduate salary is$116,954.The average starting salary for Caltech's Class of 2012 was $83,000 while that of the MBA class of 2011 at University of California Berkeley was around $110,000.