Located in Kern County between Los Angeles and Fresno, Bakersfield is home to approximately 358,500 residents. Boosting the residential population is the student population at area colleges and universities. Bakersfield schools attract regional, national and international students each year, partly because of the diversity of schools available. In addition to traditional four-year colleges and universities, Bakersfield has community colleges and online postsecondary schools. Oversight for Bakersfield’s community colleges is managed through organizations such as the California Community College Chancellor’s Office, the California Postsecondary Education Commission and the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education.
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Academic Landscape in Bakersfield
Several of Bakersfield's colleges and universities operate as part of a parent-school, for example, San Joaquin Valley College-Bakersfield, Santa Barbara Business College-Bakersfield and California State University-Bakersfield. Bakersfield College and California State University-Bakersfield are the largest public postsecondary schools located in the city. Combined, these two schools enroll nearly 24,000 students annually.
A co-ed liberal arts college, Cal State Bakersfield is the 19th campus in the state university system, with a 375-acre campus. The university hosts schools of Engineering, Mathematics and Natural Sciences; Education and Social Sciences; Business and Public Administration; and Arts and Humanities. Students can choose from more than 50 bachelor's and master's degree programs at this campus of California State University.
Part of the Kern Community College District and founded in 1913, Bakersfield College is one of the United States' oldest community colleges. As many as 15,000 students study at the school's main campus and at its two smaller campuses. Operating on a 16-week semester schedule, Bakersfield College offers degrees and certificates in a broad range of subjects, including agriculture business management, child nutrition management, architectural drafting, registered nursing, biology, business administration and chemistry.
Below is a glance at a some of Bakersfield’s colleges and universities:
|College||Student Enrollment||Average Tuition||Type||Areas of Emphasis|
|California State University-Bakersfield||8,584||$6,709||Public||Arts & Humanities, Business, Natural & Social Sciences|
|Bakersfield College||15,000||$11,462||Public||Liberal Arts, Nursing & Business|
Online Education in Bakersfield
Bakersfield colleges and universities with a history of teaching classes using traditional formats have expanded into online academics. Focus areas within distance learning programs include child development, mathematics, medical terminology, veterinary assisting and accounting. Students may be required to take and pass proctored or non-proctored tests before they graduate from these programs. Enrollment in online programs at schools like California State University-Bakersfield is completed through systems such as Blackwood. With systems like Blackwood, students can also access dozens of online courses.
Distance learning at Bakersfield colleges and universities encompasses dual or combined programs, which use a combination of computer-based, classroom and audio programs like teleconferencing.
Online colleges, as well as traditional schools in the city that operate distance learning programs, complement their degree programs with a range of personal and professional certificate programs and credential courses, such as financial reporting and accounting, contracting and outsourcing, and organizational structure and processes. At some schools, credential courses are offered through an Extended University platform.Find Online Programs Now »
Leading Industries and Employers
Oil and energy industries are major industries in Kern County, the county that Bakersfield is located in. The county produces about three quarters of California's oil and as much as half of the state's natural gas. According to California's Employment Development Department, Bakersfield Memorial Hospital is one of the top employers in the state. Industries in which the city's biggest employers operate include:
- Hospitals/Health Care
- Oil Refining/Manufacturing
The Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce lists other major employers in a wide range of activities, including military, agriculture, health care, energy and finance:
- Edwards Air Force Base
- Grimmway Farms
- Mercy Hospital
- Kern Medical Center
- State Farm Insurance
- Salter Labs
- Kern Schools Federal Credit Union
According to The Bakersfield Californian, the city leads the nation in job growth in the manufacturing sector. Health care is another industry in the city that is expected to experience continued job growth. Through departments like Community Development, Public Works, Purchasing and Financial Services, the City of Bakersfield's government offices also employ local residents.
Resources for Students
Student organizations and career services coordinators at Bakersfield colleges and universities offer valuable resources to first-year and continuing students. This includes students attending full-time, part-time or via a distance learning program. Other resources that students attending postsecondary schools in Bakersfield have access to are the California Community College Chancellor's Office and the Kern Community College District. These organizations provide skills training and student services programs to strengthen the employability of college students.
Colleges & Universities in Bakersfield
Colleges & Universities in Bakersfield
|California State University-Bakersfield||9,456||$5,472||Public|
Community Colleges and Vocational Schools in Bakersfield