Los Angeles, California, commonly referred to as L.A., is the United States' second-largest city with a population of almost 4 million. Originally, the Los Angeles area was home to the Tongva and Chumash Indians. In 1769, an expedition of Spanish explorers led by Gaspar de Portola discovered the area. In 1781, a group of 12 families called the Pobladores founded a village there. Over time, the area became known as the Ciudad de Los Angeles, meaning "City of Angels". In 1848 the United States gained control of the territory and on April 4, 1850, it was incorporated as the City of Los Angeles.
Located in a region with a Mediterranean-esque climate, breezes coming off of the ocean give Los Angeles cooler summers and warmer winters than most Southern California cities. At times, summer temperatures of up to 90 F can contribute to smog; however, L.A.'s status for smog was acquired in the 1970's. Today, as a result of pollution awareness, its air is the cleanest it's been in decades. Ideal temperatures, clean air, and 325 days of sunshine each year support numerous outdoor activities including swimming, surfing, wind sailing, and jogging at places including Venice Beach and Athens Park.
Besides outdoor activities, L.A. offers a wide variety of arts and entertainment recreation. Sometimes called "The Entertainment Capitol of the World", it is known as a cultural capitol of the U.S. along with New York City, its east coast counterpart. It has over 2,000 galleries, theaters, and museums. As well, Los Angeles is known for the mural art that decorates the city by artists such as Diego Rivera and Jose Clemente Orozco. Complement the arts with an exciting nightlife and numerous restaurants including the famous All American Burger and entertainer Kenny Rogers Roasters Restaurants, and L.A. entices up and coming young professionals. For the sports-minded, L.A. is home of MLB's Los Angeles Dodgers and the NBA's Los Angeles Lakers.
As the United States' largest manufacturing center, Los Angeles' economy is fueled by entertainment, tourism, aerospace, petroleum, agriculture, and international trade. Several of the world's largest companies within the entertainment industry call L.A. their home including Twentieth Century Fox, Paramount Pictures, and Fox Sports Net. It's also a home to Fortune 500 companies including Northrop Grumman, KB Home, and Occidental Petroleum Corporation. Other business sectors include finance, law, telecommunications, healthcare, and transportation. Within the greater metropolitan region of Los Angeles County are businesses including Warner Brothers Records, Sony Pictures Entertainment, and The Walt Disney Company.
Going to School in Los Angeles
Los Angeles has several colleges and universities, both public and private, along with several professional/technical schools. Examples of some of these institutions are as follows:
Private Colleges & Universities
- University of Southern California
- Pepperdine University
- Loyola Marymount University
- Occidental College
- The Claremont Colleges
- Southwestern University School of Law
Public Colleges & Universities
- University of California - Los Angeles
- California State University - Los Angeles
- Los Angeles City College
- The Art Institute of California - Los Angeles
- Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandise
- American Career College - Los Angeles
- Los Angeles Ort Technical Institute
- Los Angeles Trade Technical College
- Otis College of Art and Design
While choosing an area of study can be a perplexing decision, students in L.A. are presented with a wide assortment of programs to choose from. Some programs offered are as follows, but are not limited to:
Aerospace , Anesthesiology, Statistics, Design, Urban Studies, Women's Studies, Film, Management, Theater, Television, Bioengineering, Communications, Dentistry, and Speech.
When presented with so many areas of study, how does a student choose? A student should consider personal interests and strengths. It is necessary for students to understand themselves and the area of study they are considering before making such a major decision. Students are encouraged to speak with a career counselor or an academic advisor if they need professional guidance.
As well, a student will want to examine the types of industry in the area. "L.A.'s economy is humongous," says David Rattray, Vice President of Education and Workforce Development at the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce. "We're large and diverse," he continues, "we had a large aerospace industry driving the economy twenty years ago, but now it's not just a single business sector driving everything."
Los Angeles is a city, rich in a diverse culture and a flourishing economy. Integrated with a vast array of educational resources and exciting entertainment scene, it's easy to see why L.A. is a great place to pursue higher education.