Where is the Famed Silicon Valley and Does it Matter to a Computer Science Major?

Silicon Valley was once the center of computer innovation in the United States with the emergence of Hewlett Packard, but today the northern California region is the home of billion dollar companies like Google, Apple, eBay, and Facebook. Computer science majors interested in technology and coding, as well as in businesses that boast worldwide influence, would do well to look to California after graduation.

Finding Science Jobs in Northern California

Geographically speaking, Silicon Valley is at the southern end of San Francisco Bay and sits near affluent communities like Palo Alto and Mountain View. Freshly graduated science majors may find it necessary to commute from outlying areas around San Francisco Bay because of how major tech companies have increased local real estate values. The Bay Area is a curious mix of urban condos, luxury homes, and historical residences from almost every era.

However, one of the reasons why students flock to this technologically savvy part of the world is the promise of an impressive income. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) suggests computer science majors with a professional degree may enjoy median pay of more than $102,000 a year. Many workers in the computer industry earn even more with experience and career advancement.

Other Areas for Computer Science Majors

Northern California isn’t the only place for computer science majors, and depending on a student’s home state, it may be beneficial to look to the East Coast for employment. The famed Route 128 near Boston was one of the originating points of high-technology in the 1960s, and the area is still known as the Boston Tech Corridor. Students hailing from universities in the east like Columbia and Harvard may look to Route 128 before heading west.

Students hailing from the south may want to look to Texas since Austin is considered by many to be one of the most thriving computer science communities in the country. Texas weathered the “Great Recession” very well, and its affordable cost of living has paired beautifully with the high incomes possible from local jobs in computer science.

A Selective Environment

One of the reasons why computer science majors want to move to the San Francisco Bay Area is because of the reputations of famous startup kings like the PayPal Mafia, which includes Tesla billionaire Elon Musk. Dreams of entrepreneurial stardom aren’t uncommon in today’s age, and it would seem like moving to California would offer a recent computer science major the best chance at becoming the “next big thing.”

However, one of the essential considerations for any computer science graduate is the need to network and build professional connections before graduation. Moving to northern California without a job offer in the hopes of finding employment is taking a huge chance since companies like Google and Apple are incredibly selective in hiring. Talent and an impeccable education are essential.

The bottom line regarding employment for computer science degree holders is that the right education can take a student anywhere, and it doesn’t necessarily have to be California. Finding employment close to one’s university may help get a student the experience he or she needs to present a strong resume to a high-tech company with selective hiring practices. Silicon Valley is certainly one of the best places a computer science student can go after graduation, but the road often requires incredible dedication to one’s studies, as well as prior experience at a high-tech company.