Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania brings a lot of opportunity to the approximately 2.3 million area residents. A strong economy is brought together with a rich culture and a thriving art scene. Additionally, the geographic location creates stunning views for those who appreciate a bit of nature in the metropolitan areas. The city is surrounded by rivers, hills, and valleys, helping to give the city a different feel than many cities of similar sizes.
Additionally, the area boasts a lower cost of living than many other major cities in the region and an average commute of around 27 minutes. Housing is generally considered affordable, with prices being well below the average for similarly sized cities throughout the country. This makes it a friendly destination for those interested in maintaining a high quality of life while still have all of the opportunities a large metro area has to offer.
Known as both “The Steel City” and “The City of Bridges,” most people focus on the steel industry when thinking about the city. However, the city of Pittsburgh actually has an economy that is strongly based on health care, technology, bio-science, and education. Overall, the gross metro product for the Pittsburgh area reaches over $140 billion annually. The area is also considered well educated with 93 percent high school attainment and 33 percent college attainment. In fact, graduate degree attainment reaches almost 13 percent, making it a strong workforce for work in advanced fields related to science, medicine, and technology.
The area is expected to see above-average economic growth through 2021 when compared to the national average. This is supported by low energy costs as well as a high quality of life for residents of the city and surrounding metro area.
Pittsburgh’s economy is also considered to be highly stable based on the strong presence of health care and education institutions which are not as subject decline during periods of economic uncertainty.
The Pittsburgh economy is based on a series of highly diverse industries, though many of them have science and technology at their core. Customer-focused offerings like health care services work in conjunction with larger research and development goals associated with BioMed and biotech. Additionally, a strong educational sector provides support to those industries as well as other growth areas like technology and finance.
Large, metropolitan areas often have strong health care needs, and Pittsburgh is no exception. Aside from numerous hospitals, clinics, and healthcare systems, the city also has research facilities associated with major universities and several private businesses. Some of the largest employers in the area are associated with the health care field including the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and the Allegheny Health Network. Additionally, growth in the home healthcare sector is also providing opportunities to those interested in the medical field from a supportive care standpoint.
Technology & IT
The technology industry is well established within the city of Pittsburgh. Multiple tech giants have chosen to add locations in the area including:
Development in the area also supports technological innovation including the Pittsburgh LAN Coalition, the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center, and the Pittsburgh Technology Center. Additionally, some companies in the industry have located their headquarters in the city. This includes:
A strong infrastructure supports all of the operations, making the city an ideal destination for professionals and businesses operating in the sector.
Pittsburgh is home to a variety of medical and bioscience research and development companies. Local universities provide access to cutting-edge facilities and some of the greatest minds in their fields. Additionally, pharmaceutical giants like Mylan and Bayer have found success in the city, as well as smaller organizations like Cognition Therapeutics. Large advocacy groups also operate in the city, including Life Science Pennsylvania who aims to promote innovation in the fields of bioscience while maintaining a favorable business and policy climate across the state. Additionally, Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse works to invest in life science companies within the area, focusing on developments in the areas of:
- Biotechnology Tools
- Diagnostics and Screenings
- Information Technology in Healthcare
- Medical Device Development
Many of these goals are supported by efforts at local universities, including by offering interested students degree options in the field.
One of the largest sectors in the city of Pittsburg is education. Including a large K-12 school system, a variety of institutions of higher learning also operate within the city. In fact, higher education accounts for the vast majority of high-wage jobs within Allegheny County. Both the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon are considered two of the largest employers in the area without including any associated medical centers.
The financial services sector is bolstered by the presence of PNC Financial Services and Mellon Financial Group, two of the largest employers in the metro area. Additionally, the size of the city supports multiple branches of national and regional banks, as well as a variety of investment and insurance firms. Local educational opportunities help ensure the availability of qualified employees running from entry-level positions to high-level management and operational personnel.
The educational sector is large enough to be considered a major industry within the city of Pittsburgh. This means interested students can find opportunities at all levels ranging from certificate and diploma programs through the Masters and doctoral degrees. Programs are available across a wide variety of disciplines, increasing the likelihood that almost any aspiring student can locate a school in the area that can meet their needs and help them further their educational goals.
Carnegie Mellon University
A medium-sized, four-year, private institution, Carnegie Mellon University has just over 6,400 undergraduates and 7,100 graduate students attending classes on campus. The university has a variety of unique features including a botanical institute, design studio, music halls, rare book collection, and recording studios.
Some of the undergraduate programs available at Carnegie Mellon University include, but are not limited to:
- Computer Science
- Computational Biology
- Computational Finance
- Health Professions
The university also stands out for its wide array of graduate programs including opportunities in:
- Energy Science, Technology, and Policy
- Information Technology
- Integrated Innovation for Products and Services
- Machine Learning
- Product Design
Additionally, the school supports interdisciplinary approaches to learning, allowing students to explore more than a single discipline while earning their degrees.
Duquesne University is a mid-sized, four-year, private university located in the city of Pittsburg. Undergraduate enrollment reaches just over 6,000 students, while graduate enrollment is just over 3,301 students. The campus offers a wide variety of unique facilities including:
- Bio Mechanics Lab
- Center for Pharmaceutical Technology
- DNA Sequencing
- Phenomenology Lab
Undergraduates have access to programs designed to help them find employment in Pittsburgh as well as outside of the immediate area. Some of the available majors are:
- Binary Engineering
- Corporate Communication
- Environmental Chemistry
- Information Systems Management
- Physical Therapy
- Supply Chain Management
Additional online programs are also available to adult students looking to further their education.
University of Pittsburgh
A large, four-year, public university, the University of Pittsburgh has almost 19,000 undergraduate students and just over 9,700 graduate students. The institution has an onsite observatory as well a laboratory of ecology to help students further their studies. All incoming freshmen begin in one of these four schools:
- College of Business Administration
- Dietrich School or Arts and Sciences
- School of Nursing
- Swanson School of Engineering
Students at the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences have the option of transferring to one of six other schools once certain prerequisites are met. The options include:
- College of General Studies
- School of Education
- School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences
- School of Information Sciences
- School of Pharmacy
- School of Social Work
Aside from traditional degree programs, the University of Pittsburgh also offers certificate programs to qualified students.
Any city with such diverse primary industries has employment opportunities for professionals working in most job fields. To demonstrate the range of options available, here are some of the city’s top employers and the kinds of jobs that may be available.
Allegheny Technologies Inc.
Allegheny Technologies Inc. (ATI) is a specialty materials manufacturer and components producer. The company provides products for a variety of major markets including automotive, aerospace, chemical processing, defense, electrical energy, oil and gas, medical, and mining. ATI has their world headquarters located in the city of Pittsburgh. Along with corporate business operations, ATI Powder Metals production is also located in the area. That means opportunities may exist for individuals interested in working on the business side of the house as well as the industrial, technical, or scientific. Additionally, the company has multiple other locations throughout the state of Pennsylvania for those interested in exploring new opportunities in the larger area.
PNC Financial Services
A large player in the financial services sector, PNC Financial provides services in the following areas:
- Asset Management
- Corporate and Institutional Banking
- Residential Mortgage Banking
- Retail Banking
Additionally, PNC owns around one-quarter of the publicly traded investment firm BlackRock. With corporate headquarters located in the city of Pittsburgh, as well as certain retail centers, employment opportunities are available to those specializing in finance, banking, and management. Support personnel are also required in areas like information technology, marketing, strategic planning, and more.
Founded in 1883 as Pittsburgh Plate Glass, PPG has strong roots in Pittsburg. The Fortune 500 ranked company maintains their corporate headquarters in the city as well as other operations. Positions available in Pittsburgh through the company can fall into the following categories:
- Account Development
- Color and Design
- Facility Maintenance
- Research and Development
- Technical Management
PPG is a global company, providing additional opportunities throughout the world to those interested in developing a career within or outside the Pittsburgh area.
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and associated health care system is the largest employer in the city. Opportunities are available throughout the majority of medical specialties including:
- Clinical Auditor
- Drug and Alcohol Specialists
- Medical Assistants
- Physician Assistants
- Research Technologists
Positions are also available for management and administrative personnel. Potential open positions include:
Administrative Assistant, Administrative Coordinator, Business Intelligence Developer
Patient Information Coordinator
Internship positions are also common. This helps support the educational goals of students participating in related programs at the University of Pittsburgh, ensuring a high-quality education coupled with proper patient care.
University of Pittsburgh
Outside of the medical center, the University of Pittsburgh proper is also one of the larger employers in the city. Positions include options for staff and faculty. Administrative positions can be found in a wide variety of departments including, but not limited to:
- Business Management
- Financial Aid
- Human Resources
- Information Technology
- Student Volunteer Outreach
Positions may also be available to students through an applicable internship or work study program, helping to further their studies while getting practical experience. Additionally, some opportunities for students may include standard pay or stipends to help support their financial needs.
Even though steel is not as large of an industry as it once was in the Pittsburgh area, U.S. Steel maintains their corporate headquarters in the city. Positions are available in numerous fields including, but not limited to:
Engineering, Facilities Maintenance, Finance, Information Technology, Management, Market Analysis, Procurement, Research and Development
Pittsburgh has a lot to offer residents in regards to art, culture, and entertainment. Some of the notable cultural sites and museums include: The Andy Warhol Museum, The Carnegie Mellon Museum of Art, The Frick Art & Historical Center, The Pittsburgh Center for the Arts
Additionally, multiple professional sports teams operate in the area including the Pittsburgh Penguins, Pirates, and Steelers. The varied topography has the city metro area divided into no less than 88 distinct neighborhoods, each with its own characteristics and feel. Each district functions as its own small town while providing the advantages of being a part of a larger city. To help bring a sense of nature into the city, four regional parks add thousands of acres of green space. Coupled with the various rivers and streams and a wide variety of trails, there are plenty of opportunities to get an outdoor-oriented escape without having to travel outside of the area.
All of these opportunities for education, employment, and entertainment make the Pittsburgh area a strong option for students and families alike. So, if all of this sounds good to you, then you may want to consider giving the city of Pittsburg a try. Just make sure to wear the city colors of gold and black, and you’re sure to fit right in.
Pittsburg, PA Resources