#5. Milpitas CA
Silicon Valley is widely considered to be the heart of the computer technology world and the STEM-related jobs that go along with these high-tech industries. And at the heart of Silicon Valley is Milpitas, which is located on the southern tip of the San Francisco Bay, just north of San Jose with easy access to all parts of the Bay Area.
Because of its location, Milpitas attracts workers from throughout the region. The city’s population nearly doubles during the weekday, from approximately 77,000 to more than 130,000, as workers stream into the city that is often referred to as the crossroads of Silicon Valley.
Many of these employees are there for the wide range of STEM-related jobs available in Milpitas. Nearly 28 percent of the jobs in the city fall into the STEM category, the fifth-highest percentage in the nation. The median income for these jobs is $106,929, which is impressive even for this affluent community, where the overall median income is nearly $70,000.
The largest employer in Milpitas is Cisco Systems, with more than 3,600 employees. Other major employers include medical equipment manufacturer Lifescan, semiconductor manufacturer KLA-Tencor, computer data storage company Western Digital Technologies / SanDisk, and global electronics manufacturing services company Flex, which has its Customer Innovation Center in Milpitas. STEM-related employment also can be found at the city’s eight industrial parks and 550 manufacturing plants.
Milpitas is a popular location for young professionals and people with families thanks to the city’s quality school system, abundance of neighborhood parks and low crime rate (35 percent below the national average). Housing costs are less than average for pricy California, which has led to home-ownership rates of nearly 70 percent.
For outdoors lovers, the city maintains more than 30 community parks. There are approximately two dozen tennis courts to go along with a multitude of other recreational opportunities, including aquatics, cultural arts and theater, sports leagues, youth programming, and senior activities and services.
And for those who enjoy shopping as a recreational sport, there are plenty of retail options throughout Milpitas, highlighted by the Great Mall of the Bay Area. Originally built as a Ford assembly plant, the Great Mall has more than 180 stores spread out over nearly 1.4 million square feet, making it the largest enclosed mall in northern California.
Find out more about living in Milpitas.