San Francisco Can Still Do More to Lure, Keep College Grads

Yahoo Contributor Network

A Brookings Institution study shows the gap is widening between metro areas that boast a large number of college-educated residents and those that increasingly have fewer. Yahoo! News asked contributors from cities around the nation to propose solutions on how their cities can attract and keep college graduates -- and what they're doing well.

SAN FRANCISCO

With more than 43 percent of its adult population holding a college degree, San Francisco's residents are among the most highly educated of U.S. cities. Still, more could be done to keep them here once that degree, or advanced degree, is in hand. Here's how:

Further tout that we're at Silicon Valley's doorstep: Home to UCSF's highly-acclaimed medical hothouse, the San Francisco Bay Area encompasses the University of California, Berkeley and Stanford University in Palo Alto, the heart of Silicon Valley. Home to Twitter, Facebook, Apple, Google, LinkedIn, Oracle, Salesforce, Adobe, Intuit, Cisco and hundreds more internet and hi-tech brands, the San Francisco Bay Area is a melting pot of coders, engineers, designers, nerds and other computer-savvy geniuses and entrepreneurs. We are home to 18 of the top 100 employers.

Decrease the costs: Rents are too high and few realtors work in rentals, leaving graduates to the questionable resource of trawling through classifieds. Gas prices hover around $5 per gallon. Caltrain, the public transportation option to Silicon Valley, is cutting back on service when it should be enhancing it. While San Francisco is ranked eighth in the United States for bicycle-friendly cities, it has fallen from sixth. San Francisco needs to diversify its work force, incorporating more jobs for arts, humanities and the service industry.

Fix international students' conundrums: Not uniquely, but in significant numbers, international students are attracted to the Bay Area for quality educational institutions. Yet, upon completion of academic pursuits, we bid adieu to this enormous resource so they can take up jobs elsewhere, as pointed out by President Barack Obama in his 2012 State of the Union address. "Send me a law that gives them a chance to earn their citizenship. I will sign it right away."

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