The Hot San Francisco Job Market

Thousands of people choose to get an undergraduate or graduate degree in San Francisco because of its culture, diversity, and employment opportunities. San Francisco is home to companies with a global impact and is a center of worldwide innovation. Technology companies – from spunky startups to mammoth companies – generate excitement for many who want to launch a career or move up the ladder. But are there really enough possibilities for employment in San Francisco? The answer is yes.

According to a recent California state jobs report, San Francisco and the adjacent San Mateo area added 10,000 jobs in a single month. In its summary of the report, the San Jose Mercury News cites a senior Wells Fargo economist who predicts further expansion of the local job market. In San Francisco, the unemployment rate is a low 3.3%, which is lower than both the California and National average according to the EDD.

Technology Companies Moving to San Francisco

Although the Silicon Valley remains the stereotypical location for technology companies, it is San Francisco that has become the “tech titan” according to Jenny Belotserkovsky, a startup professional who has been in the area since 1995. She cites a few big reasons why San Francisco has surpassed Silicon Valley as the place to be. A city tax break brought Twitter and Zendesk to the city’s  Mid-Market area. Rents for companies in the crowded Silicon Valley are rising. And, of course, talented people want to live in San Francisco rather than next to low-slung office parks, factors that brought Google and Mozilla to the Embarcadero.

Technology Companies Come to San Francisco
> Between 2012 and 2013, 24 companies relocated to San Francisco from the Peninsula and Silicon Valley, including Gigwalk, Detercon, and Seal Software.
> Out-of-town [out of San Francisco] tech firms that opened up an office in the city included Amazon, Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Mozilla, eBay, and LinkedIn.
> The next crop of fast-growing companies founded between 2004-10 chose to grow up in San Francisco…including Dropbox, Airbnb, Uber, Yelp, BitTorrent, Square, Slack, and Pinterest.

All of these companies are close to GGU, which is located in the SOMA (South of Market) Finacial District. In fact, the campus in the center of a 1.5-square-mile radius that covers the best established and emerging companies that San Francisco has to offer.

Just stand in front of GGU and you get a view of the new 61-story Salesforce Tower and Deloitte–one of the Big4 accounting firms. FitBit is a five-minute walk away. You will find virtually every major financial firm between campus and the Transamerica building less than a mile away. The area is also home to the three biggest advertising agencies in the city. Uber and the aforementioned Twitter are in the Mid-Market area southwest of campus–near the Civic Center Bart Station. Do-it-yourself-Web-design company Weebly is at the southern end of the South of Market area, also within the 1.5-square-mile radius of GGU.

GGU is the center of a 1.5-square-mile radius that covers the best established and emerging companies that San Francisco has to offer.

Because of its location, GGU has a cross-pollinating relationship with nearby businesses that stretches back decades. GGU draws talent from these organizations to teach, while local businesses have employed thousands of graduates throughout the University’s 116-year history.

Beyond Tech: Business Jobs in San Francisco

While San Francisco is becoming “top of mind for tech jobs,” other positions are needed at local firms. Demand for project managers is higher in San Francisco than anywhere in the U.S., according to TalentWorks. And it’s not just any Project Managers that are needed—highly educated and certified professionals that understand the industry are sought after. Business people that are savvy in both sales and IT are particularly in demand.

The San Francisco Bay Brea is also a hot job market if you want to apply your business skills in Healthcare Management, Marketing Events Management, Supply Chain, or Finance. Talents in these areas are the most scarce according to LinkedIn’s 2017 Workforce Report. TalentWorks also reports that the number of accounting jobs in San Francisco each month is the highest in the nation.

All considered, it is not surprising that San Francisco has been named the best city in the US for recent graduates to find a job by the highly respected American Institute of Economic Research (AIER). The study looked at many factors, including unemployment rate, labor force participation, and how many people worked in emerging industries.

The San Francisco Business Environment

If you are interested in learning about San Francisco’s reputation and position in the business world, we invite you to watch this video with Dr. Gordon Swartz, Dean of GGU’s Ageno School of Business.

#FirstSevenJobs: GGU Joins the Conversation

Over the course a lifetime, most individuals may have 7 careers and over 10 jobs by age 40.

It is not uncommon to find yourself unsatisfied in your career. Maybe you have been in a field 1, 2 or even 5 years and feel like a life-long commitment is not ideal. Well, you are not alone.

In recent weeks, the trending #FirstSevenJobs has inspired business professionals and even celebrities to join in this conversation sharing their own first seven jobs. Assistant Director and Career Consultant for the Office of Career Planning Julie Salzman can attest that your first few jobs are not an indicator of where you may find success. In 2011, the assistant director began her career at GGU as a Disability Services Coordinator leveraging her MS in Counseling to later obtain her current position.

Julie Salzman’s #firstsevenjobs: 

  1. Babysitter & house sitter: private clients (age 11 onward)
  2. Cashier: McDonalds (one week) & Heavenly Hamburgers (high school)
  3. Busser: Kenwood Restaurant & Highland House (high school)
  4. Wine Bartender/ Cashier/Accounting Assistant: Chateau Souverain (college summers)
  5. Student Athletic Trainer: Butte College & Chico State University (college internships)
  6. House cleaner: private client (college)
  7. Athletic Trainer/Physical Therapy Assistant: Mangrove Physical Therapy Clinic (college) & Sports Medicine Institute (after college)


You may be wondering how one can land a job in another field without previous experience and many concur the solution is furthering your education. According to a U.S. News and World report, respectively 26% and 19% of undergraduate and graduate students pursuing an online degree intended to change careers after graduation.  If you are a marketing professional considering a move to HR, an MS in HR Management may be something of interest. Or you may want to transition from an administrative role into a career as an accountant. The possibilities are endless!

For more information on GGU’s in person and online programs, visit our website. *Graduate and undergraduate programs are available


If you are a student, alumni, faculty or staff member, please join the conversation by commenting your #FirstSevenJobs below or tweeting using the trending hashtag and the #GGU. We would love to hear from you!







Fall 2016: 5 Tips for Success this Term

Golden Gate University would like to extend a warm welcome to new and returning students this term!

For over 110 years, our institution has helped over 70,000 seeking to change or advance their career to success. As a result, Washington Monthly ranked GGU as the #1 institution for adult learners nationally.  As the first week comes to a close, we encourage you to take a look at the following tips compiled by faculty and students to learn how YOU can make this trimester a winner in your academic career.

Tips for Success

  1. Become familiar with campus offerings. GGU’s campus, located in the heart of San Francisco’s Financial District, is equipped with the necessary resources to meet student needs. Be sure to jot down business hours for reference throughout the year.
  2. Bookstore – Hours: Monday through Friday, 9 am – 7  
    • Drop in for all of your textbook needs, GGU gear or even a phone charger.
  3. Cafe – Hours: Monday through Friday, 7:30 am – 9 pm, Saturday, 7:30 am – 2 pm
    • Stocked with snacks, our cafe provides a pick me up with Peets coffee products and seating perfect for relaxing.
  4. Library – Open 7 days a week
    • If you are looking to meet with a group, study or locate required course materials, our skilled librarians are available to help.

      GGU Cafe

2. Review eLearning for class materials. Most classes offered online and in person are featured on the eLearning website. To ensure you are optimizing your time, spend a few minutes viewing the online student orientation. Check your email for username and login details.If you are unsure if your class utilizes this site, reach out to your instructor ASAP.

3. Check important dates. We understand being a student is not your only title. Many students serve as professionals and parents. Before the second week begins, carefully review the academic calendar for drop deadlines, the last day to withdraw and other important dates. Failure to do so may result in a lower GPA or unexpected fees.

4. Download the GGU mobile application. Stay informed with our mobile application that includes information on our housing options, student discounts and on campus involvement. Click here to download free.


5. Make your presence known on campus. Many students make taking classes seem like a chore when in reality it is an opportunity to increase your network! Don’t let the classroom be your only learning platform. Join organizations on campus or attend student events to meet like-minded individuals seeking similar careers. Periodically check our event calendar for details.

Jenny LeMaster Photography_GGU-33m

Share your story. If you are a student interested in being featured on our blog, email for an opportunity to share your GGU experience!

The 2016 Braden Business Leadership Speaker Series

The Braden School of Taxation and School of Accounting’s 2016 Braden Business Leadership Speaker Series brings renowned thought leaders to GGU’s campus for 8, free one-hour sessions. The series provides the GGU community and the San Francisco Bay Area with an opportunity to gain information on becoming an effective leader.

On August 30th, Carol Isozaki, Strategic Brand Intelligence owner, executive coach and leadership expert, will kick-off the series with a talk on building one’s brand as a leader. Isozaki has over 20 years of experience in client service, human capital and leadership development expertise with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). Additionally, she has served clients such as The Walt Disney Company, Bank of America and Oracle.

Her signature call-to-action messaging, Plan to be Amazing!TM , creates a seismic shift in the way leaders think about themselves and their ability to lead through enhanced intentionality, leadership clarity and personal accountability.

Carol Isozaki

Upcoming sessions in the series will include topics such as growing a successful business, storytelling in the workplace and excelling in today’s innovative professional climate.

About the Schools

Located in the heart of San Francisco’s Financial District, GGU’s School of Accounting ranks in the top ten nationally by hiring authorities, as surveyed by  TaxTalent® 2016 and the Braden School of Taxation’s programs are ranked #1 nationally by tax hiring authorities, as surveyed by TaxTalent® Top in Tax Educational Survey 2016.

GGU West End IMG_8300 edit-sm.jpg

Upcoming Sessions

12 pm – 1 pm | 536 Mission St., Room 2201, San Francisco, CA 94105 

August 30 |  Plan to be Amazing!™ Building Your Brand as a Leader

Carol Isozaki, Owner of Strategic Brand Intelligence

Carol is owner, Strategic Brand Intelligence and an executive coach, leadership expert, and speaker with over 20 years of client service, human capital, and leadership development expertise.

September 13 | How to Grow a Successful Business to a Mega Successful Busines

Nanette Lee Miller, Partner at Assurance Services, Marcum LLP

Miller has more than 30 years of experience in public accounting, providing assurance, accounting and business consulting services to publicly and privately held businesses, as well as not-for-profit organizations. She is a trusted business adviser for start-up and emerging companies, as well as troubled entities that require restructuring.

Eleanor Chang, Founder and Director of UP Education Services LTD

Chang is the founder and director of UP Education Services Ltd., an educational summer academy for high school students from Asia, who aspire to attend universities in the U.S. UP’s mission is to provide international students with a true American classroom experience before they apply for admissions to schools in the U.S. She is a frequent speaker in Asia on how to educate youths to become global citizens of the 21 st Century. In 2014, Eleanor had organized and chaired a symposium in Hong Kong on “Women and Entrepreneurship” where one of the main topics highlighted was education and whether entrepreneurship can be taught in schools.

Rebecca Barfknecht, Member for the Board of Directors at International Women’s Forum

Barfknecht has made her career in Information Technology for over 30 years in the areas of infrastructure engineering and hosting and application development for financial services companies including Russell Investments, Intuit, Charles Schwab as well as Public Utility Pacific Bell. She is known for building strong teams, implementing effective processes, establishing financial discipline, strategic design and implementation of transformative workplace technology and delivering excellent service availability. She is an enthusiastic leader and team player who thrives on bringing out the best in people.

September 27 | Brain Savvy Leadership

Jenifer Lippincott, Principal at Lippincott Associates

Lippincott offers more than 25 years of experience aligning performance needs to achieve organizational goals. Her areas of expertise include leadership, communication and change and she infuses all of her strategy, analyses, design and delivery with a keen understanding of the latest neuroscience.

She is a nationally recognized author who has appeared on The Today Show and NPR. She holds a BA from Tufts University and an master’s degree in Human Development from Harvard University.

October 11 | Leadership, The Accounting Profession & Consumer Protection

Katrina Salazar, CPA, President of the California Board of Accountancy

Salazar was appointed to the California Board of Accountancy in December 2012 by Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. and served as Vice President and Secretary / Treasurer prior to her election as President in November 2015. She currently serves as the Controller for the California Correctional Peace Officers Association. Previously, she held positions such as the Executive Director of the Rotary Club of Sacramento, Chief Financial Officer at the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges and the American Red Cross Sacramento Sierra Chapter.

Salazar has also held several positions in public accounting, including senior audit manager for Reznick Group and has been an adjunct accounting professor for the Los Rios Community College District. She is a member of the California Society of Certified Public Accountants and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

For a complete listing of upcoming sessions, visit our website.

Ageno Welcomes New Project Management Program Director, Marie Spark

The Edward S. Ageno School of Business is home to over a dozen graduate business  degree programs and certificates that have led many to find career success.  On August 1st, Marie Spark, an adjunct faculty member since 2015, was appointed Project Management Program Director. The program includes an MS in Project Management and a Certificate in Project Management.

A total of 15.7 million PM jobs will be added in the U.S. and our 10 major trading partners by 2020 (AEG)

Spark brings more than 20 years of experience to the table in the area of project and quality management within the technology sector. She spent the beginning of her career at IBM Global Services as a Technology Project Manager before having a successful 9 year career at Bank of America. Spark’s educational background includes a bachelor’s from the University of California, Berkeley, a Six Sigma Black Belt, a project management certification and an MBA from the University of Arizona.

Marie Spark
Marie Spark

To learn more about our project management program, visit our website for more information.

Joaquin “Jay” Gonzalez: Public Administration Superstar

In the last 50 years, thousands have successfully completed our public administration program resulting in over 7,000 alumni.

Today, Joaquin “Jay” Gonzalez serves as a Public Administration Professor and Chair providing the Edward S. Ageno School of Business with the support needed to further develop Northern California’s oldest public administration program that now offers a Graduate Certificate in Public Administration Leadership and an Executive Master of Public Administration.

Professor Gonzalez holds a Ph.D. from the University of Utah, an MPA from the University of the Philippines-Diliman and a BA from De La Salle University. With over 20 years of experience, Dr.Gonzalez has earned many accomplishments throughout his career. He is a Mayor George Christopher Professor of Government and Society as well as a Russell T. Sharpe Professor of Business. He has authored numerous publications which include 15 books, 20 book chapters, and 30 journal articles that have been translated in Chinese, Korean, and Spanish. Two of his most recent works include Privatization in Practice: Reports on Trends, Cases and Debates in Public Service by Business and Nonprofits & Immigration and America’s Cities: A Handbook on Evolving Services.

Dr. Gonzalez speaking at an event

In addition to being a published author, Dr. Gonzalez lends his expertise as a guest speaker attending many events, globally and locally, and even speaking at U.S. military bases. He has also appeared as a commentator on various news outlets including The Filipino Channel and local outlets covering topics such as the upcoming U.S. presidential election and corruption in the U.S

This fall, Professor Gonzalez will instruct two courses which include EMPA 301: Research Methods and Analysis applying his real-word experience to the classroom.

Dr. Gonzalez

To learn more about our public administration superstar, visit his featured profile.


GGU’s Small Business Program: Alumni Success Stories


Since 1990, small businesses have added over 8 million new jobs while corporate America eliminated 4 million. To promote business ownership, the Edward S. Ageno School of Business and Chevron have partnered to launch the Small Business Program (SBP). The year-long program provides alumni with an opportunity to learn the fundamentals of business operations – free of charge – thanks to Chevron’s generous grant.

While many may have a million dollar idea, the large majority become nothing more than just that – an idea. Melinda Lee, MA ’16, SBP alumna and small business coach, describes launching a small business as an “unnerving endeavor”.  Our program provides check points throughout the year to ensure you are working towards your business goals. It begins with a multi-week workshop that will result in a business plan ready for launch. The duration of the year will utilize that developed plan to guide your future courses of action.

Melinda Lee, BA ’14

“…it was extremely powerful to have others to hold me accountable for my actions toward getting them accomplished.” – Melinda Lee

SBP alumna & founder of Carried Away Carrie Swing, MBA ’01, joined the program to grow her consulting business from a part-time gig to a full-time career. By the end of the year, she earned more than business principles. “I’ve made friends and business connections that have value way beyond what I can get just reading articles in my field or poking around on LinkedIn.”

Now you may be asking yourself if you’re right for the program. Swing describes the ideal participant as “Someone who takes their business [idea] seriously but needs a push, a refresher or a plan of action, together with the motivation and the validation of a group of individuals all in the same boat, is ideal for this program.”

Carrie Swing, MBA ’01

If you are a GGU alumni ready to take the plunge, review the following information.

Program Components

  • 10-week Workshop
  • Mentoring
  • Cohort Meetings

Application Details – Deadline: August 12, 2016

  • Statement of intent
  • Resume
  • Business Plan

Please submit all application documents to before August 12th. Participants will be notified by August 26th.

Mentorship & Speakers

If you are an experienced business owner, share your wisdom with those who can benefit from your real-world life lessons. Email us at to express interest in becoming a speaker or a mentor.

For additional details about the Small Business Program or the spring Small Business Preview Course, please visit,


Dr. David Yeske Explains Why Many Choose GGU’s Financial Planning Program

Founded in 1901, Golden Gate University offers two innovative financial planning degrees and a certificate that can be earned in the classroom or entirely online.

Ours was the first ever MS in Financial Planning, originally offered in 1980. We’re proud of our 36 year history of educating leaders in the financial planning profession. Our program is registered with CFP Board and completion of the core courses qualifies you to sit for the CFP® certification exam. Just as importantly, our exceptional faculty will become a permanent part of your professional network.  Our faculty’s commitment to the profession is unparalleled: we count three past national FPA presidents, five past national board members, two Foundation for Financial Planning chairs, five Heart of Financial Planning recipients, and a P. Kemp Fain, Jr. Award honoree among our professors. You truly learn from the best of the best.

Beyond the core courses, you’ll also have access to cutting edge electives that represent the best of 21st century financial planning, including the following:

For those who have already passed the CFP® exam, we offer the MS in Financial Planning & Taxation which allows you to earn an advanced financial planning degree while taking a deep technical dive into the areas of income taxation or estate planning. This program is taught in conjunction with GGU’s highly ranked Braden School of Taxation, the largest tax school in the country and routinely named among the top 10 by tax professionals.  Here’s a short video lecture by Braden School professor Michael Vinson: Baseball Can Be Taxing.

The program has also drawn favorable reviews from financial planning luminaries like Michael Kitces:

       “Another appealing option is Golden Gate University’s “Masters in Taxation and Financial Planning” program, specifically for those who have already completed their CFP marks, who want to go deeper into both financial planning and income or estate taxation. What’s the difference between getting a graduate degree in financial planning, and “just” the CFP certification? Simply put, the Master’s degree programs go deeper into the subject matter (even for those who already have their CFP marks, as in the end CFP classes are the equivalent of “just” undergraduate-level coursework).”

Financial Planning Association (FPA) members also receive a 10% tuition grant on all classes.

For more information, email

Guest Author

Financial Planning Director Dr. David Yeske,CFP®



Internship Success Panel & Networking Recap

In 2014, 65.4% of students completing a paid internship received a job offer prior to graduation according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers. Last night, GGU held the Internship Success Panel & Networking event that drew in dozens of students looking to achieve their career goals.

The panel consisted of five students and alumni who have acquired coveted internships through learned tactics and available on-campus resources provided by our Office of Career Planning. Associate Dean, Professor & HR Program Director Dr. Marianne Koch served as moderator while also providing helpful tips for success.

The panel during the event

Event Recap:

How long does an internship search typically take?

Before you begin your search, please be aware that all panelists mentioned it takes 3-6 months to land a position.  Panelist and alumnus Farhad Kazi, former GSN Games intern and current VF Corporation intern stated, “I set goals for the industry and the type of job I wanted” in response to being asked how he managed his search. The journey is not an easy one and to succeed one must learn how to “differentiate yourself” according to panelist Nabanita Talukdar, MBA and MS in Finance graduate. The adjunct professor and alumna applied to conferences where she spoke on her academic research positioning herself as a industry expert. Read more about her conference experience in a recent post.

What resources did you use?

“There are so many cool people in the city. I used Meetup to meet people.” – Hege Thorbjornsen, MS

All five of the panelists mentioned different methods such as sending InMails via LinkedIn Premium for more information on one’s career or attending networking events. Mamadou Kramoko, Audit Intern at Oracle, mentioned the importance of researching the experiences of your peers. He joined on-campus organizations to engage with those seeking the same opportunities with the hope of becoming more social and learning tips.

A shot of the crowd during the panel

What did you do to make the best of your opportunity?

The key to success, according to our panel of internship experts, was to never say “no”. If someone asked you to grab coffee or take the reigns on a big project, accept with an upbeat attitude to convey you are happy to be there and are ready to work. If a directive is given and questions remain, don’t be afraid to ask for clarification. This is a learning experience and they don’t expect you to know everything.

“When I don’t understand something, I ask a lot of questions whether that person is in my department or not.” – Stephanie Dodge, MAc

How did you recover from glitches?

Discovering there is an issue in your workflow can be devastating. To avoid repercussions, Kramoko advised everyone be honest. “Don’t lie. Meet with your manager and tell what happened and [ask] what do I need to do to avoid this situation again.” Over time, you will learn what questions you need to ask to be successful. Remember the goal is to maintain a relationship,so you can learn who you should turn to for guidance.

If you missed this event, view our calendar for upcoming events developed to help with your career search.

 Moderator & Panelists:

Dr. Marianne Koch, Ph.D., Associate Dean, HR Program Director and Professor 

Words of wisdom: “Don’t be afraid to say “I don’t know, but I will find out””

Hege Thorbjornsen, MS in Integrated Marketing Communications graduate, Marketing Associate at Stitch Fix

Words of wisdom: “Be proactive and say these are my skills and what I can contribute.”

Farhad Kazi, MS in Marketing graduate, Former GSN Games intern & current VF Corporation intern

Words of wisdom: “Reach out to alumni and don’t be afraid to negotiate.”

Stephanie Dodge, Master of Accountancy graduate, former KPMG intern & 2016 Accounting Cohort

Words of wisdom: “Try not to get discouraged during interviews. When saying no, please do so gracefully”

Nabanita Talukdar, MBA & MS in Finance, Adjunct Professor & Actelion intern

Words of wisdom: “Go into the position with the mindset that you want this to turn into a full-time internship.”

Mamadou Kramoko, MAc candidate, Oracle intern

Words of wisdom: “Get as many interviews as you can, so you can practice and learn from them”


Fall 2016: 4 Tips to Create the Perfect Schedule

The fall trimester is around the corner and registration opens Monday, July 11th. Don’t wait until the last minute to finalize your class schedule or to plan for future trimesters. To assist with this process, we have created a list of 4 tips.

Jenny LeMaster Photography_GGU-33m (2)
A shot of students on campus

Speak with your Advisor

If you are a current student and have yet to determine your fall schedule, reach out to your advisor to set up an appointment today. The same process can be followed for students participating in Open Enrollment.

Your advisor can help you:
  • Choose classes
  • Change your degree
  • Substitute courses
  • File a grade grievance
  • Waive program requirements

Review Projected Program Schedules

Plan your schedule for the remainder of your time at GGU by referencing our projected schedules which can be found online on your respective program pages or retrieved from your advisor. The schedules include a listing of all courses, when they will be available and whether the class will be held online or in person during that time.

Select Electives Wisely

For many, registering for an elective can be an exciting time. Before racing to complete all of your electives, try to complete as many required courses as possible to ensure you have flexibility when preparing your final schedule before graduation.

Choose an Online or In-person Course 

If you are a local student, you have an opportunity to decide whether or not you want to take in-person or online courses. If you plan to take more than one course per trimester, try one online to determine if that combination works best for your schedule. Remember that option is always available.

To learn more about our course offerings, please visit our course catalog.