We are not talking about the Silicon Valley TV Series here but the Silicon Valley- the hub of all the great and awesome ideas born in the United States and are now being used worldwide. The name comes from the “Silicon” that is used to silicon chips that are the main component in computers, one of the inventions that made this valley a phenomenon.
The actual name of the Silicon Valley is the Santa Clara Valley and it is located in northern California. Now we are not going to bore you with how the Silicon Valley started or who named it. Yocket as usual, comes with interesting yet relevant content and that is, how does the Silicon Valley benefit us students?
So, first question you might have is “I am going abroad to study, what’s the Silicon Valley got to do with it?”. Well, the Silicon Valley has some really awesome universities neighbouring it like California State University, East Bay and San Jose State University.
And not to mention some of the world’s top universities like Stanford University and UC Berkeley are situated close to the Valley. Thus top recruiters often hire students for jobs and internships from these colleges itself. And by top, I mean Apple (Apple Park, Cupertino), Google (Googleplex, Mountain View), Adobe Systems, Nvidia and such software giants: these companies are always in search for fresh talent and you might be the one they want. Allow me to tell you that there currently 387,000 high-tech job working people in the valley with the highest average salary in the United States at a monumental $144,800. Back in India, we hear news that people in esteemed institutes got placed with a 1 crore rupee package. Although, the myth is now busted, this is where those people work and even though it is not one crore, the salary figure is herculean.
In case you are looking for research rather than jobs, Stanford Research Park is also situated in Silicon Valley. Now, the title of this post was a little bit misleading: Chips that cannot be eaten not just include Silicon. Similarly, Silicon Valley is not just for a Computer Science Engineer: At the research park, notable companies include Stanford Genome Research Technology Center, Tesla Motors and Lockheed Martin. So a person from a biotechnology or aerospace background can also conduct research in the Valley. Stanford University and UC Berkeley are among the top 10 universities of the world and the research at these universities is equally awe-inspiring be it natural language processing or signal processing or aeroacoustics or virtually, anything!
In case, you are looking to be the next Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you are more than welcomed. At Silicon Valley, other than just the use of silicon chips, investors ‘stake gold chips’ if your idea is superb. Silicon Valley is known to be the “hub of start-ups and innovation”. In fact, a 2006 Wall Street Journal story found 10 of the 20 most innovative towns in America were in the valley. Most of the giants we dream to work for in undergraduate school started as start-ups (pun unintended). So be it a job, research or a start-up, Silicon Valley heartily welcomes you.
But it’s not a piece of cake,fellas. Don’t think if you are studying near the Valley, Google or Quora or any other giant is waiting for the moment you graduate and hand you the offer letter. Top universities nearby means lot of excellent students too and that means, tough competition. Getting into a Silicon Valley school is the first step; you need to study, develop your skills to be employable at the software giants. Similarly, the research park has limited funding slots: and people all over the world compete for the most coveted spots in the park. In case, you think start-up is easy, fundraising is difficult unless your idea is indeed one-in-a-million. Silicon Valley is a great place to live and witness innovation but it is equally tough to survive due to the huge and fierce competition and the high quality of living. You have to study hard in your college, network with people at conferences (like the Google I/O 2019 that happened recently) and build the required skills.
So in a nutshell, Silicon Valley is the new headquarters for innovation and the ideal work environment for students interested in jobs, research or being an entrepreneur. But, you have to work hard and build yourself up to a profile (much higher than the profile you had when you got the admit) so that your life in Silicon Valley remains awesome even after graduating.