Santa Barbara is a great place to live as a student or a rich professional. I can't really give you much info on the professional job market cause I don't know much about it here but if you're young there are tons of jobs to be had to get you through school. As for rent, on average you are gunna be paying bet. 500-700 a month to share a room (everyone shares rooms here) in popular areas such as Isla Vista. This is for duplexes and stuff right on the ocean or around it. You can find places for much less in other places in SB though (500 a mo for your own room). Hope that helps.