Higher Education in California

The system of higher education in California is comprised of three levels.

Undergraduate Education in California Public Schools

Community Colleges
California State Schools
University of California
Primarily vocational, job-training oriented majors Both applied/skills oriented and academic majors. Academic majors with a research focus Both applied/skills oriented and academic majors. Academic majors with a research focus
A student who wants to learn bookkeeping might best do that at a community college A student who wants to learn business management might best do that at a Cal State. A student who wants to learn business economics might best do that at a UC.
Students can also take general education requirements at a Community college and transfer to a four year school. Some majors teach applied, job-related skills in the classroom; other majors are primarily academic . Virtually all majors are academic. To acquire job-related skills consider internships, part time and seasonal jobs.

The UC's are the research wing of the California educational system. Their mission is to provide state-of-the-art discipline research in their fields, with teaching as a concurrent goal. All the majors at the UCs are academic and research based. They are not vocational. There can be some courses within majors that have applied aspects, but these are the exception.

The research orientation of the University of California is the basis for its world-class reputation. UCSB has several Nobel laureates as professors, and is one of the top 60 research institutions in the United States. Employers and graduate school programs across the nation find UCSB graduates among their most desirable candidates because of our outstanding research accomplishments. However, it will be important that students who want an applied component to their education or who want to find non-research employment after graduating, round out their education with work experience. Most employers seek a combination of education and experience in their new hires. Students can gain this experience through part time employment, summer jobs and/or internships. Career Services is a good place to come for help and placement assistance.