Columbia, South Carolina Colleges, Trade Schools

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Colleges, Universities & Trade Schools in Columbia, SC


Columbia is the largest city in the state of South Carolina as well as the state capital. As of the year 2015, the estimated population was 133,803. The city sits in Richland County, extending to a portion of the neighboring Lexington County. The Colombian metropolitan area has an estimated population of roughly 767,598 as of the year 2010, according to the United States Census. This population has grown to roughly 810,068 as of July 1, 2015. The city of Columbia was named after Christopher Columbus; its reputation extending to both historical and current strides in expansion and commerce.


The city of Columbia is ideally located northwest to the geographic center of South Carolina by approximately 13 miles. Columbia lies in the confluence of Broad River and Saluda River. This area in which they join is known as Congaree River. Columbia has a vast range of career opportunities and college/university prospects including the University of South Carolina. The University of South Carolina is the state's largest university and is also home to Fort Jackson, the largest United States Army installation used for basic combat training. In 1860, Columbia became home to the South Carolina Secession Convention, marking the departure of the first state of the union during the events that led to the Civil War.


Reasons to Consider Career Training in Columbia


Columbia, being the state capital and the largest city in the state, works to accommodate a working age population. The working age population in the city has experienced a growth of roughly 6.1% in the years 2009 to 2011. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median household income as of the year 2011 was roughly $48,485. Many top employers exist in the city including Blue Cross, computer sciences Corporation, Palmetto GBA and more. The city is home to a variety of higher education institutions with sterling reputations including Allen University, Columbia College, Southern Wesleyan University, Benedict College and Midlands technical College. Additionally, the University of South Carolina has one of the state's top employers; based in the city of Columbia. Midlands technical College also offers many career opportunities for students and alumni as well as job search resources.


The city of Columbia has a diverse local economy based upon the input from major employers and South Carolina state government. Top employers include the Palmetto health hospital system, Palmetto GBA, the University of South Carolina, Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina and the South Carolina state government.


A wide variety of corporate headquarters for Fortune 1000 companies are also based in Richland County. Such companies include SCANA, based in the suburb of Cayce. Other major employers include Computer Sciences Corporation, Fort Jackson, the largest US Army headquarters for initial entry training, Shimano/tri-care, United Parcel Service, Richland school District 1 and Columbia Metropolitan Airport. Other top employers based in the city of Columbia include many major manufacturers like Square D, CMC Steel, Spirax Sarco, Michelin, International Paper, Pirelli Cables, Honeywell, Westinghouse Electric, Harsco Track Tech, Trane, Intertape Polymer Group, Union Switch & Signal, FN Herstal, Solectron, and Bose Technology.


Another top industry in the city of Columbia is insurance. Columbia is home to Colonial Life and Accident Insurance Company, which is the second largest supplemental insurance company in the United States. Additional notable companies with operational headquarters in Columbia include Ritedose Corporation, a pharmaceutical industry services company and AgFirst Farm Credit Bank, which is the largest bank headquartered in the state. Columbia is also home to South State Bank, which is the largest commercial bank in South Carolina and Nexsen Pruet, LLC, a multi-specialty business law firm with operational headquarters in North and South Carolina. A great deal of Colombia's local infrastructure is based on legal consul thing firms including Nelson Mullins and CSC's financial services group.


Popular Career Niches in Columbia


The South Carolina state government is among the state's top employers, offering many opportunities for training and development and career advancement. The division of State human resources offers training and development programs and certification programs including associate public manager, human resources professional development, certified Public manager and public professional development.


The State Department also includes online offerings including anti-harassment courses in new employee orientations. With more ways to branch into state government roles, civil service is one of the most reliable forms of employment in the state and especially within the city of Columbia. Other state-sponsored offerings include emerging leaders program's, emotional intelligence programs, harassment training, advanced supervisory practices training, and the University of South Carolina's professional educational programs. For those involved in state-sponsored jobs, employees can expect excellent health insurance, paid vacations and sick leaves and retirement plan options. South Carolina state government usually offers its workers opportunities for telecommuting and full-time/permanent positions. Employees have excellent work to life balances with flexible work scheduling options.


Law/police related jobs are also among the city's top wage jobs. The South Carolina Department of Corrections has headquarters based in the city of Columbia and operates to several correctional facilities throughout the city. The city of Columbia also has a very strong military presence through Fort Jackson (the U.S. Army's largest training post) and McEntire Joint National Guard Station (under command of the South Carolina Air National Guard). Such military headquarters and installations offer many high quality training/career opportunities.According to USA wages, some of the other highest paying jobs in the city of Columbia requiring an advanced degree of one form or another include:

Electronics Engineers (Non Computer)
Training and Development Managers
Sales Managers
Postsecondary Law Teachers
Nuclear Engineers
Purchasing Managers
Nurse Practitioners
Air Traffic Controllers
Human Resources Managers
Computer Hardware Engineers
Transportation, Storage, and Distribution Managers
Physician Assistants
Atmospheric and Space Scientists
Computer and Information Research Scientists
Commercial Pilots
Mechanical Engineers


Top Industries in Columbia, South Carolina


According to Forbes, Columbia earned an 86th Pl. out of a list of 200 cities considered best for business and careers. Employment opportunities exist in Columbia not only through its many colleges and military bases but also through local/state government itself. If small businesses are more up one’s alley, Columbia’s commercial/business areas have a variety of locally owned shops and restaurants eager to hire new employees.


Though other states were losing jobs during the recent recession, South Carolina has continued to gain jobs. As South Carolina’s top five industries continue to grow and expand, more than 1200 businesses have chosen to set up headquarters in South Carolina. Top industries in Columbia include aerospace and aviation, life sciences and biotechnology. Columbia has earned its reputation as being a business friendly climate looking to work with a talented new workforce.


Within the realm of aerospace and aviation, South Carolina has become home to over 100 aerospace related companies. To these companies, more than 16,000 people have been employed. Looking to employ a new skilled workforce, South Carolina was considered a good fit for the headquarters of so many aviation and aerospace companies, according to the South Carolina Department of Commerce.

Automotive manufacturing is another area that is continuing to gain momentum in Columbia. South Carolina was ranked third in the nation by the business facilities 2012 automotive manufacturing strength report. Colombia is home to many automotive manufacturing plants, companies and suppliers. To use of the city’s skilled workforce, a strong infrastructure has been developed around automotive companies small and large.


Life sciences and biotechnology is another top industry throughout the state of South Carolina. An astonishing 600-manufacturing/life sciences related research and development services companies are based in the state of South Carolina. These companies have employed roughly 13,000 individuals throughout the state.

Transportation is ranked as being another top industry in South Carolina as South Carolina is home to the seventh largest container port within America, the Port of Charleston.


Lastly, the recycling industry has a growing market in South Carolina with over 500 companies in the state dedicated to collecting and transforming recovered materials. The transformation of recovered materials into new products has contributed to over 37,000 employment opportunities to individuals across the state.


Top Colleges, Trade Schools in Columbia, South Carolina


• University of South Carolina: this public university based in Columbia is a coeducational research university with seven satellite campuses. The University of South Carolina was founded in 1801 a South Carolina college, the flagship institution of the University of South Carolina system. Today, the University offers over 350 programs of study including bachelors/Masters/doctoral degrees through 14 colleges and schools. A total enrollment of the University of South Carolina is approximately 49,222 students. Of this number, roughly 33,575 attend the main Columbia campus. Programs focus on business, law, pharmacy, engineering, social work and medicine. The college's acceptance rate is roughly 65% as of the year 2015. Undergraduate tuition and fees for in-state students is roughly $11,454 as of 2016 and $30,882 for out-of-state students. Located in Columbia, SC 29208.


• Columbia College: this little arts college is a private women's college based in Columbia, South Carolina. It has gained recognition by the US news and world report as a best value institution. Columbia College provides students with challenging academic programs, intellectual and professional competencies and experiment of learning. The United Methodist Church as a women’s liberal college founded the college 160 years ago. Today, Columbia College for his graduate and undergraduate programs as well as evening and online programs that serve both men and women. Overall undergraduate tuition and fees is roughly $27,350 as of the year 2014. The college's total enrollment was roughly 1367 as of the year 2010 and the college's acceptance rate is roughly 79% as of the year 2014.  

Located at 1301 Columbia College Dr, Columbia, SC 29203.


• Midlands Technical College: this comprehensive multicampus two-year college is a public college located in West Columbia, South Carolina. Holding the title of one of South Carolina's largest two-year colleges, Midlands technical College is a total enrollment of roughly 16,000 students. Students have the ability to enroll in comprehensive career skills and training programs before transferring to a four-year institution. Midlands Technical College offers roughly 100 associate degree programs, certificates and diplomas. 70% of the courses are conducted within the career-training program. The college offers an excellent transfer program so that students are able to take their first two years of higher education and use it towards a baccalaureate degree at one of South Carolina's four-year institutions. Midlands Technical College currently holds the title of the largest transfer student ratio within the University of South Carolina/Columbia. Located at 316 S Beltline Blvd, Columbia, SC 29205.


Job Growth in Columbia, South Carolina


The city of Columbia is thriving at the moment with an unemployment rate of roughly 6.60% any job growth of 2.17%. Future job drop bodes well for individuals getting certification in the area as the tenure prediction is for a 37.74% increase

The income per capita is $24,723, including adults and children and the median household income is roughly $41,454. Columbia stacks up well against national averages for economic growth. The statistics, as conducted by Sperling's best places and USA Wages are as follows:

ECONOMY Columbia United States
Unemployment Rate 6.60% 5.20%
Recent Job Growth 2.17% 1.59%
Future Job Growth 37.74% 37.98%
Sales Taxes 8.00% 6.00%
Income Taxes 7.00% 4.60%
Income per Cap. $24,723 $28,555
Household Income $41,454 $53,482
Family Median Income $55,515 $65,443


Top Employers and Top Wages in Columbia, South Carolina

According to USA wages, careers holding the top population to career ratio in Columbia, South Carolina include: Management, business, finance, engineering, computers, science, community, social services, legal, education, library, healthcare practitioners and technology. Secondary industries gaining momentum and popularity include firefighters, law enforcement, food preparation/serving, building maintenance, farming, fishing, forestry and construction, extraction, maintenance/repair. Top employers supplying best wages and reliable career opportunities in the city of Columbia include:

Palmetto Health
BlueCross BlueShield of SC
University of South Carolina
Richland School District 1
Richland School District 2
City of Columbia
Richland County
Corrections Dept.
Dorn VA Medical Ctr
Aflac Finance, Insurance and Real Estate
Bonitz Inc
Computer Sciences Corp
SC Department of Health & Environmental Control


Nerd Wallet. “Best Places for South Carolina Job Seekers.”

Sperling’s Best Places. “South Carolina Economy.” 2016.

USA Wage. “High Paying Jobs in the State of South Carolina.” 2016.