The student wondering where to attend college should seriously consider Phoenix, Arizona. First of all, it is absolutely beautiful. Of course, northern Arizona has the Grand Canyon, but that isn’t all Phoenix has to offer. Imagine studying in constant warm weather amongst copper mountains, flowing palm trees, and splendid pink and purple sunsets. Phoenix, as a major city, offers an abundance of attractions, and history. All of these advantages will calm the roughest days, keep one motivated to learn, and steadily on their way to independence and adulthood.
According to legend, Cambridge-educated discoverer Darrell Duppa gave the city its name when he saw the ruins and primitive canals of the Hohokam and believed another society would raise from the ashes, like the Phoenix bird legend.Phoenix is the fifth largest city in the United States with a growing population of over 1.6 million. The sun shines more in Phoenix than in any other city in America. Its annual rainfall is only eight inches and the average annual temperature is seventy-five degrees. In the summer months, it’s usually about 100 degrees Fahrenheit. The highest temperature ever recorded took place on June 26, 1990 - 122 degrees. The city hosted three Super Bowls - Super Bowl XXX on January 28, 1996, Super Bowl XLII on February 3, 2008, and Super Bowl XLIX on February 1, 2015. Fifteen major league baseball teams hold their spring training there, as well.
The top industries in Phoenix include:
• Leisure and Hospitality
• Transportation and Logistics
• Professional and Business Services
• Financial Services
The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the Education and Health industries to be both Arizona’s and Phoenix’s fastest growing areas for work and predicts twenty percent growth in those industries over ten years. There are fifty-eight school districts in Phoenix. Such comprises more than four hundred public schools and five hundred private and charter schools. Arizona students achieve above the national average on the SATs and continue to perform on an upward trend. For fifteen years, jobs in Phoenix’s Health industry grew at three times the national average. There are more than twenty-five major hospitals, including the Barrow Neurological Institute at St. Joseph’s Hospital and the Mayo Clinic. The aging populace and increasing citizenry in the state overall will go impacting growth.
Phoenix’s warm weather promotes its Leisure and Hospitality services. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects this industry to increase six percent. Phoenix boosts over 40,000 acres of gorgeous acres of mountain parks, deserts, and preserves – perfect for hiking. There’s also award winning restaurants and local hangouts, unique boutiques, and a team for every major sport. Plus, it’s also a great place to golf. Downtown is filled with culture, including a wealth of museums, the Phoenix Symphony Hall, and the Pueblo Grande Museum and Cultural Park, where one can learn about Native American life.
Because Phoenix is situated along interstate highways that stretch across major market areas such as southern California, Colorado, Texas, Utah, and Mexico, it’s Transportation and Logistics industry remains strong. It has two transcontinental rail lines and over fifty companies offering vehicle freight service. The Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport also allows air and wide-body freight service for major airlines such as American West and American Airlines. The industry is expected to grow seventeen percent over the entire state of Arizona through 2022.
Phoenix’s stable and pleasant climate also impacts its Professional and Business Services sector. EBay and PayPal manage one of the most proficient data centers in the world and PayPal alone employees over 1,500 residents. Edward Jones, which has been in the state for sixteen years, recently moved its local headquarters and national training center to Phoenix. GoDaddy has numerous modern information centers and IO Data Centers is the biggest data management center in America to attain top certification from the Uptime Institute. The industry is expected to grow thirty-three percent over the entire state of Arizona through 2022.
Financial Services, which comprises insurance companies and national banks, also appreciate Phoenix’s reliably good weather, and that it’s far from Wall Street’s negative image. Many businesses, including Charles Schwab, State Farm Insurance, and American Express retain thousands of local residents, with USAA and Wells Fargo recently planning on hiring even more. LearnVest, financial management advisers, also launched a local training center. The industry is expected to grow twenty-eight percent over the entire state of Arizona through 2022.
Other Fast Growing Industries in Phoenix
Tech and Automotive are Phoenix’s rapidly growing industries. It may very well become the next combination Silicon Valley and Detroit.
Phoenix is one of the top growing tech industries. U.S. Intel owns two factories and employees more than 66,000.
Phoenix’s automotive industry is also growing. The Barrett-Jackson collector car auctions have taken place there for years and have set automotive history. Now, the self-driving car industry is flourishing and Google recently announced that Phoenix will be the center for promoting and analyzing its growing squadron of self-driving test cars. It currently has fifty-five independent automobiles and just revealed a deal with Fiat-Chrysler for another hundred.
GM currently creates its global software in Phoenix and employees around 1000 employees, many of whom were recent college graduates. GM also acquired Cruise Automation, a startup self-driving system and opened facilities in Phoenix. Toyota, Uber, Beepi, which sells used cars, and Turo, a car rental service, also enjoy significant presence. Local Motors, another quickly growing business, utilizes modular construction, 3D printing, and open-source know-how to create automobiles that resolve certain transit issues. One of its creations, “Olli,” an electric vehicle, transports up to twelve people and is equipped with IBM technology that permits communication with the vehicle and improves the passenger adventure.
In 2015, the Phoenix Business Journal noted that the job market was gradually deteriorating and that Phoenix ranked forty-two in a study with regard to quality of life and job satisfaction.Also in 2015, however, Forbes Magazine identified Arizona the top state for future job growth. Revived relocation, preferred site for expanding businesses, choice real estate, and a diversified economy were just some of the reasons cited for the positive news.
And, in 2016, Kiplinger believed Arizona’s sunny weather and low taxes would go on brining young people and retirees to the state and the low cost of living would continue to build its tech industry and reamp its construction services. Specifically in Phoenix, Farmers Insurance and Cenlar, a loan service provider, were expected to expand and create jobs. Between 2015 and 2016, the Phoenix employment rate grew by three percent.
Phoenix’s top employers include:
• State of Arizona – The state employees roughly 50,000 people. Phoenix is the capital of Arizona and its main state offices are located there.
• Wal-Mart – though based in Arkansas, Wal-Mart employs over 30,000 in the state of Arizona. Many work at Phoenix stores, distribution centers, and Sam’s Clubs.
• Banner Health – a non-profit healthcare association with more than eight locations and facilities including hospitals, outpatient clinics, and imaging centers. About 24,000 work for Banner Health.
• City of Phoenix – the city itself employees more than 15,000 residents.
• Wells Fargo – over 13,000 work at its banking offices, branches, operations and support centers, and offer advice on its behalf.
• Bank of America – over 13,000 staff the world’s largest financial institution’s offices in Phoenix, which offer banking, asset management, investment, and other risk management and financial services.
• Maricopa County - more than half of the residents in Arizona live in Maricopa County. It ranks fourth in citizenry among all U.S. counties and employees over 12,000 people.
• Arizona State University – more than 11,000 people work at this large university, which educates over 73,000 students from all over the world.
• Apollo Group, Inc. – this college provides degrees in dental, healthcare, and veterinary sciences. While there are nine campuses across the U.S., roughly 11,000 staff the two in Phoenix.
• JPMorgan Chase – over 10,000 work in Phoenix’s Chase Home Finance Loan Center, Chase Card Services, and Chase Bank offices.
Cost of Living
The following contain 2016 amounts.
The 2008 recession seriously affected Phoenix and its home values. According to Trulia.com, the median costs for homes is:
• One-bedroom: $126,097
• Two-bedroom: $186,901
• Three-bedroom: $255,660
• Four-bedroom: $385,696
The average, all around property cost is $298,625.
Myapartmentmap.com monthly average figures are:
• Studio: $620
• One-bedroom: $770
• Two-bedroom: $1,061
• Three-bedroom: $1,435
Numbeo.com estimated the average cost for both renters and buyers, for all basic utilities, as $176.14 per month. Such included electricity, water, trash, and heat. It comes to roughly 14% more than the national average. Wi-Fi costs around $55.20 per month, about seven dollars more than the national average. Numbeo.com projected, at minimum, $9.83 per day or $304.74 per month, for food. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, Phoenix has some of the lowest health insurance premiums in America. In 2015, a forty-year-old smoker could afford a plan for $166 a month. SmartAsset property tax calculator estimated 0.81% as the average effective property tax rate. Income tax rates are low, too, and range from 2.59% to 4.54%, depending on income bracket.
The Maricopa county sales tax, however, is high at 8.3%. Then, you have to add the 5.6% state and 2% city sales taxes. Phoenix is essentially a driving city. Gas costs about $2.07 a gallon, below the national average. There is public transportation – a monthly pass costs $64 and provides all access.
Arizona State University
Arizona State University is one of the largest colleges in the nation with five campuses across Phoenix. It’s proud of its innovation and dedication, accessibility and social awareness. The school is one of the best with regard to research, patent awards, and study proposals. Its faculty includes three Pulitzer Prize winners, four Nobel Laureates, and two MacArthur Fellows. The Sun Devils perform in the Pac-12 Conference and have won twenty-three NCAA championships. ASU offers undergraduate and graduate programs in media, healthcare, public service, arts and sciences, education, law, journalism, and more. In-state tuition is $10,158. Out-of-state tuition is $25,458. Total annual cost is $41,004. Its graduation rate, for two or four years, subject to degree, is 42.8% and 63.4% respectively.
Maricopa Community Colleges
Maricopa County is the main county of Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale, AZ. Maricopa Community Colleges consists of ten colleges, two skill centers, and various education centers, all of which serve the citizens of the county. Colleges are spread across Arizona with the following specifically located in Phoenix:
• Gateway Community College
• Paradise Valley Community College
• Phoenix College
• South Mountain Community College
The schools offer over 1,000 occupational degree and certificate programs, including Healthcare and Nursing, Industrial Design and HVAC, Beauty and Wellness, Fire Investigation, Marketing, Paramedicine, Culinary Studies, Dental Hygiene, Theater, and Paralegal Studies, just to name a few. Tuition is $86 per credit hour for residents, $327 per credit hour for non-residents. Twenty-eight percent of those who enroll eventually graduate.
Grand Canyon University
Despite its name, Grand Canyon University is located in Phoenix. It’s a private, Christian college, offering degrees in the social sciences, business management, psychology, engineering, communications, theology, technology, athletics, health science, and more. It strives to guide students to be responsible leaders, critical thinkers, worldwide citizens, and efficient communicators.Annual full-time tuition for students, regardless of residency, is $26,400 for all students. Graduation rate is 28.9%.
Phoenix Institute of Herbal Medicine & Acupuncture (PIHMA)
PIHMA’s icon is the phoenix, a symbol in Egyptian mythology that lives for five hundred years, devours itself by fire, and then comes back renewed, and lives another five hundred years. It stands for strength, continuity, determination, immortality, wealth, hope, excellence, beauty, and idealism - concepts grounded in Oriental healing and treatment, which focuses on longevity, the life cycle, balance, harmony, and health. Such ideas play large roles in PIHMA’s programs. Undergraduate and graduate degrees and courses include Asian Medicine, Acupuncture, Herbal medicine, Acupuncture, Chinese Herbal Medicine, Homeopathy, and Tai Chi. Tuition is around $15,439 per year and 36% graduate in four years.
Avalon School of Cosmetology
The Avalon School of Cosmetology offers courses in cosmetology, makeup artistry, esthetics (skin care), instructor training, and more. Its classes prepare students for the state boards and provide a background that enables them to succeed in the beauty industry.Average tuition is $9,489. Seventy-eight percent of those who enroll eventually graduate.