San Jose is a popular expat destination due to its status as the 'Capital of Silicon Valley'. The city is at the heart of technology and innovation in the USA, and indeed globally, attracting many giant tech companies to establish a presence there. As can be expected, these companies, in turn, have attracted highly skilled workers from all over the world.
While electronics manufacturing dominates, other major industries in San Jose include finance, aerospace, real estate, retail, insurance and medicine. Legal services and tourism are also prominent sectors. While there's a healthy job market, San Jose has a highly educated population and competition can be fierce. Expats looking for work in the city will do well to network, and should be prepared to compete with highly experienced candidates from some of the top international universities.
San Jose is a multicultural and multi-ethnic society and foreigners are generally made to feel welcome. It goes without saying that as the heart of the tech industry, San Jose is one of the wealthiest of American cities. In line with this, the cost of living is also amongst the highest in the US. Housing, in particular, is in demand and will be one of the biggest expenses. However, high salaries often offset the elevated cost of living; households in San Jose generally have a higher than average disposable income.
Although it’s one of the largest cities in America, San Jose still maintains somewhat of a small-town feel. A temperate climate, relatively low crime rates, high salaries and lots of family-friendly facilities, ensure that San Jose offers expats an excellent quality of life. The city is also a good place to raise a family, and expats with children need not worry about their children’s education. There are many good public and private schools in the San Jose metropolitan area. The region is also especially renowned for its tertiary institutions – most notably, Stanford University in nearby Palo Alto.
San Jose is located near the southern tip of the San Francisco Bay and is surrounded by mountains. This beautiful region offers many recreational facilities, including parks, beaches and hiking trails. Those looking to escape the city can venture to Yosemite National Park, visit the Napa Valley wine region, or spend a day on one of the nearby beaches along the Pacific Ocean. San Francisco is also just a short drive away, and a ride along the Pacific Highway offers an opportunity to explore the magnificent western coastline.
Are you an expat living in San Jose?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to San Jose. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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