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Known popularly as the Bay Area, San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose form a hub that is known for high-tech companies such as Google, Yahoo, Intel and Cisco (Silicon Valley), as well as incredible views of the world-famous Golden Gate Bridge and Pacific Ocean. The Bay Area has a population of 6.8 million, with San Jose (894,000) and San Francisco (777,000) as the largest cities.

In 2004, this part of California boasted an average personal income of $49,276. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce's Bureau of Economic Analysis, the average Bay Area resident earns 49% more than the average American. Average income has grown 7.6% over the past 35 years, just above the national average.

Supermarket giant Safeway and home-grown Hewlett-Packard are the Bay Area's largest employers, while Chevron, Wells Fargo and Gap also have their headquarters and large workforces in the area. Globalization plays a large and growing force in job creation in the area: 60% of Bay Area manufacturers' revenues come from overseas.

According to a 2004 AT Kearney study, five fields will continue to contribute to growth in the Bay Area:

  • Entrepreneurship
  • Advanced technology R&D
  • New product concept marketing
  • Cross-disciplinary research
  • Global integrated management


Three areas continue to weaken in the Bay Area:

  • Mass production
  • Back-office operations
  • Product and process enhancement

For more information on colleges and universities in California, explore our California state page.


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San Francisco, California (CA) Colleges and Universities

Note: This list also contains online schools that accept students from this state.