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CSU and California’s Workforce Needs

As the largest source of the state’s skilled, diverse workforce, the California State University provides thousands of graduates in hundreds of fields each year. This workforce has and will continue to provide the foundation for California’s success in the global economy. CSU graduates have the skills, expertise, and preparation to succeed and excel in emerging knowledge-based fields like life sciences, information technology, and the emerging “green” industries. The CSU is also an important contributor to the public sector workforce, educating a substantial number of teachers, criminal justice employees, social workers, and policymakers. For all of these fields, the CSU strives to build a workforce based in a range of backgrounds and experiences, and to provide educational opportunities to students regardless of their financial means.

This analysis focuses on key knowledge-based and service industries that account for nearly five million jobs in California:

  • Agriculture, Food and Beverages;
  • Business and Professional Services;
  • Life Sciences and Biomedicine;
  • Engineering, Information Technology and Technical Disciplines;
  • Media, Culture, and Design;
  • Hospitality and Tourism;
  • Education;
  • Criminal Justice;
  • Social Work;
  • Public Administration.

The CSU's contribution to these industries is evident when analyzing the percentage of graduates in California who receive their degrees from the CSU. The figure to the right demonstrates the CSU's strong showing across California's key industries.

Percentage of California Bachelors Degrees awarded by CSU, 2007
Industry Percentage
Agriculture 62%
Business 54%
Health/Medicine 44%
Hospitality & Tourism 64%
Engineering 45%
Media Culture & design 44%

Of particular note is the CSU’s significant contribution to graduates in the fields of Hospitality and Tourism, Business, and Agriculture. In each of these fields, the CSU produces well over 50 percent of the bachelor’s degrees awarded in California.

But the CSU’s strategic importance to California’s workforce is not limited to supplying the state’s industries with well-prepared professionals. The CSU is an even more important producer of workers for critical occupations in the public and non-profit sector, from education and social work to public administration and criminal justice.

In fact, the CSU remains California’s largest source of educators. More than half the state’s newly credentialed teachers in 2007-08—52 percent—were CSU graduates, expanding the state’s ranks of teachers by more than 12,500 per year.

Newly Issued California Teaching Credentials (regular credentials and internships) by University, 2007-08
University Teaching Credentials
CSU 52%
UC 4%
Other 44%

The full CSU Impacts report contains a more detailed breakdown of each industry as well as notable examples of programs and contributions from various CSU campuses.