Best Colleges in California

California College Guide – What You Need to Know

The idea of the best college or university is not an absolute scale that applies to every student or situation. For each student, the best school is one that meets their needs, preferences, and educational goals. When comparing schools, many educational experts and surveys use ranking factors including reputation to rate colleges. California, beyond doubt, has a wide range of schools that have high accreditation and excellent indicators of quality education. California schools are among the leading research universities in the world; they have produced historical achievements and graduates that have influenced the well-being of the entire nation.

The best colleges & universities should include large public institutions, well-established traditional private schools, and the emerging institutions that are part of a current wave of progressive education. While there is no pure consensus, the frequently listed top California colleges include;

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What are the most popular bachelor's degrees offered in California?

The below-listed categories describe the most common majors in California colleges and universities. Some majors are vocational, as many students at state colleges take a utility view of education and hone-in on a degree that will equip them for a job or to start a career. Many popular majors seem more suited to further education or a non-vocational reward. The humanities or courses of study like literature or philosophy seem unrelated to career directions. It is interesting to note a trend in hiring in recent years for employers to look for graduates with majors that are unrelated subjects but that equip graduates with valuable skills. Philosophy majors that demonstrate critical thinking may be in demand with business employers just as students of finance.

The choice of major is an interesting piece of information for students when reviewing and selecting schools or colleges for a two or four-year degree. Across the US, the Department of Education listed the most popular bachelor’s degrees awarded in 2015. For California, the DOE listed the following:

How Much Can You Make by Having a Degree in California


Salary data always lags a few years in the past as the collection process requires time after the close of a calendar year. One useful survey occurred for the calendar year 2012. The average salary in the state of California was about $52,000 in a scale that put the national average at $45,000. California ranked fifth in that survey among states and the District of Columbia. California salaries averaged about 15% above the national average.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) national average salary for 2017 was $44,564. The BLS figure for California was $57,190. Using the 2017 BLS data, California workers averaged about 29% more than the national average. The national average increase in salary for persons with a bachelor’s degree over those without is 108%.

NO FORMAL EDUCATION HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA ASSOCIATE DEGREE BACHELOR’S DEGREE MASTER’S DEGREE DOCTORAL DEGREE
$30,784* $38,792* $43,024* $64,896* $77,844* $96,772*

Best Associate Degrees in California


Starting your college career at the community college level is a smart choice. Look for the best colleges in the state so you get the strongest start possible, whether you plan to transfer to a 4-year university or earn a vocational degree, is an even better one. Here you can find statistics and information that speak to each college’s quality, so that you can decide for yourself which school would be the best one for you.

Pima Medical Institute-San Marcos
College Type
2-year, Private for-profit
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
421
Graduation Rate
100%
Net Price
$21,360
Unitek College
College Type
4-year, Primarily associate's, Private for-profit
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
2,147
Graduation Rate
98%
Net Price
$52,638
Healthcare Career College
College Type
2-year, Private for-profit
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
333
Graduation Rate
95%
Net Price
$19,531
Spartan College of Aeronautics & Technology
College Type
2-year, Private for-profit
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
415
Graduation Rate
95%
Net Price
$24,890
Central Coast College
College Type
2-year, Private for-profit
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
236
Graduation Rate
94%
Net Price
$21,338
Advanced Training Associates
College Type
2-year, Private for-profit
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
82
Graduation Rate
93%
Net Price
$12,745
Hacienda La Puente Adult Education
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
812
Graduation Rate
91%
Net Price
$3,294
InterCoast Colleges-Riverside
College Type
2-year, Private for-profit
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
159
Graduation Rate
90%
Net Price
$20,419
San Francisco Film School
College Type
2-year, Private for-profit
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
38
Graduation Rate
86%
Net Price
$30,852
Mayfield College
College Type
2-year, Private for-profit
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
468
Graduation Rate
84%
Net Price
$25,208
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