Tulsa – the Oil Capital of the world – is the second biggest city in Oklahoma in the United States. Being the 47th most populated city in the country, it has more than 4 lakh residents, with around 10 lakh people in the MSA and more than 1 million in the CSA of the Tulsa Metropolitan Area. The city has been one of the most significant areas for the US oil industry; hence it acquired the name of being the oil capital of the world. The city no longer just depends on oil though. With a motto of “a new kind of energy”, Tulsa now focuses on aviation, finance, energy and technological sectors. The most inland river port of the country exists in Tulsa – the Tulsa Port of Catoosa – which provides access to international waterways.
Tulsa has an area of around 187 square miles. The city has developed on the sides of the Arkansas River. It has a plethora of parks and water bodies as well as prominent hills and mountains like the Turkey Mountain and Shadow Mountain. The tallest peak of the Tulsa Metro Area is the Holmes Peak reaching more than 1300 feet. The Downtown Tulsa plays the role of the city’s business and financial district, along with historic architecture. This area has the Bok Center, ONEOK Field and Tulsa Convention Center. Midtown of Tulsa boasts the historical residence with upscale areas, portraying even architecture from Greek Revival, as well as possesses a major portion of Tulsa’s manufacturing sector. This area has the University of Tulsa, Utica Square, Philbrook Museum, Woodland Hills Mall, and Brookside. West Tulsa exists on the west side of the Arkansas River, with huge parks and oil refineries. It has the Tulsa International Airport, Tulsa Zoo, Gilcrease Museum and Mohawk Park.
Tulsa hosts various sports at collegiate and professional levels. The city has two universities – University of Tulsa and Oral Roberts University – which have sports teams at the NCAA Division I level – Golden Hurricane and Golden Eagles respectively. The city is known to be the cultural center of Oklahoma State, with two world famous art museums, ballet organizations, art deco architecture and opera. With a vision to boost the infrastructure and tourism sector of Tulsa, the multipurpose BOK Center was established for hockey, football, concerts and conventions. Various dance and concert groups come from Tulsa including Tulsa Opera, Tulsa Ballet, Light Opera Oklahoma, American Theatre Company and Theatre Tulsa. The Tulsa Sound is popular for its blend of country, blues and rock and roll. The city is often referred to as one of the most livable cities of the United States as well as cities of the future by Forbes and FDi Magazine.
Businesses tend to get attracted to Tulsa for various reasons, including its central location in the United States. The city has lower operating costs compared to that of the US average, in terms of low taxes, rental cost and energy costs. The city’s economy was primarily based on the energy industry. Tulsa predominantly used to be the Oil Capital of the World until World War 2, especially with the establishment of the United States Oil and Gas Association, which offered petroleum to the allied forces. Several big oil firms were headquartered in Tulsa including CITGO, Warren Petroleum and Getty Oil. Currently the city has headquarters of many other international gas and oil germane corporations, including ONEOK, ONE Gas, SemGroup, Excel Energy, WPX Energy, Williams Companies and many more.
The city started to diversify and focus on other industries to lessen its dependency on oil alone, namely the aerospace and aircraft industry along with other industries such as finance, manufacturing and technology as key players. The aerospace sector has turned out to be the biggest industry of the area currently, with more than three hundred aviation pertinent firms. This sector alone provides over 32 thousand jobs in Tulsa and 140 thousand jobs in the state, contributing over 960 million dollars as payroll per year. Other big industries are insurance sector, manufacturers like Whirlpool and Ford Glass, telecommunications and car rental sector. The telecommunications industry is Tulsa employs more than 15 thousand people every year. The city has a vital healthcare sector as well with more than 30 thousand employees, with around 1.4 billion dollar of contribution as payroll. Various imperative financial services companies have headquarters in Tulsa, including the BOK Financial Corporation. The city also has several popular chains such as Mazzio’s, the pizza chain, QuikTrip, the convenience store chain and Camille’s Sidewalk Café, the restaurant chain. The media industry is also growing rapidly in Tulsa.
Tulsa produces appliances, boilers, burners, fiber optics, feed, fishing rods, metal pipes, meat and natural gas. The Tulsa Port of Catoosa helped the city become a significant inland port, offering low cost shipping of coal, grain, oil and fertilizer around the world via the Mississippi River. The products manufactured by Tulsa make up around 60 percent of the exports of Oklahoma. The city has acquired the rank of being second in terms of income growth in the US a decade ago by Forbes. It is usually found quite below in the list of cost of doing business in the nation. With a number of key employers being small and medium sized, at least 30 firms with more than a thousand employees, and small businesses making up over 80 percent of the organizations in Tulsa, it can be seen that the entrepreneurship is quite high and favorable in this region. There are around 79 thousand business entities in this area with fewer than 10 employees, around 26 thousand entities with 10 to 50 employees, around 6 thousand firms with 50 to 250 employees and around 8 hundred businesses with over 250 employees.
Tulsa is the 78th best place for business and career. The unemployment rate in this city is around 4 to 4.5 percent which is below the US average and the job growth is around 1.2 percent. Due to the city’s historical dependence on oil industry, over 20 thousand employees still work in the exploration and production of this sector. However because of this sector’s volatile nature, more and more people are shifting to other industries. Even startups and entrepreneurial firms are rapidly expanding in Tulsa. The city is now known for its job market in aerospace, health care, manufacturing sector and of course, the oil and gas industry. There are good job prospects in the area in sectors such as construction, wholesale and retail trade, education and health services, nondurable goods manufacturing, and leisure and hospitality.
The top employers in Tulsa are American Airlines with more than 9 thousand employees, Tulsa Public Schools with more than 7 thousand employees, City of Tulsa, St Francis Hospital and St John Medical Center with more than 4 thousand employees each. Bank of Oklahoma, Hillcrest Medical Center and Tulsa Community College each has over 2 thousand employees. The top jobs in the city in terms of average annual pay are legal occupations, management occupations, physical and social science occupations, engineering occupations, healthcare occupations, computer occupations, financial occupations and so on. According to the CES survey, there were more than 4 lakh jobs in Tulsa in the month of October 2016, with 2 thousand jobs added in October alone.
Tulsa has an academic history dating back to more than a century. Tulsa has 3 primary public school districts. With 9 high schools and more than 41 thousand students, Tulsa Public Schools is the second biggest school district in the state of Oklahoma. This includes the 65th best high school in the nation – Booker T. Washington High School. The 2 other primary districts of Tulsa are Jenks and Union schools. The city houses over a dozen well known institutions of higher education with 2 private universities. The 2 universities are University of Tulsa and Oral Roberts University. Tulsa also has 2 of the flagship research universities of the state: Oklahoma State University and University of Oklahoma. The city also has trade schools such as Tulsa Tech, Oklahoma Technical College, Virginia College and Vatterott College. The biggest and oldest vocational technology institution of the state is Tulsa Technology Center.
The very first institute of higher education in the area was Kendall College with merely a few dozen students which later merged with McFarlin College to become what is now the University of Tulsa, with more than 30 thousand students. This private university has an enrollment of more than 4 thousand students: more than 3 thousand undergraduate and more than 1 thousand graduate students. Undergraduates can participate in the Tulsa Undergraduate Research Challenge which allows them to carry out advanced research under the guidance of top professors. It offers programs in English, Law, Computer Science, Engineering, Psychology and Natural Science. The university currently has 6 programs, colleges and departments: Henry Kendall College of Arts & Sciences, Collins College of Business, College of Engineering and Natural Sciences, College of Law, Oxley College of Health Sciences and Division of Continuing Education. The university also has National Energy Policy Institute. It has acquired the 86th rank among the US national universities according to US News and World Report and also ranked among the best 123 Western Colleges in terms of the students’ life quality, happiness and community relationship, according to the Princeton Review. The renowned Gilcrease Museum is also managed by this university which has one of the biggest collections of American Western art in the world. The university also has the Bob Dylan Archive. The athletic teams of the university are known as the Tulsa Golden Hurricane. As members of the American Athletic Conference, they compete in the Division I of the NCAA. The university has won 6 national championships, including 3 NCAA.
Oral Roberts University is a comprehensive liberal arts university with an enrollment of more than 4 thousand students: more than 3 thousand undergraduate and 1 thousand graduate students. It was also ranked as one of the 123 best universities in the Western US according to Princeton Review and among the top 50 Master’s Universities in the West according to US News and World Report. The university has a campus of around 263 acre and offers 65 undergraduate degree programs as well as various masters and doctoral degrees. The university has College of Business, College of Education, College of Science and Engineering, Anna Vaughn College of Nursing and College of Theology and Ministry.
Oklahoma State University – Tulsa, formerly known as University Center at Tulsa, is the newest institution in the Oklahoma State University System. With the overall campus area expanding on over 200 acres, OSU - Tulsa has 3 campuses: the OSU–Tulsa, OSU Center for Health Sciences and OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine. There is an advanced materials research facility and Oklahoma Center for Poets and Writers in OSU–Tulsa. The Oklahoma State University – Tulsa works with the main Oklahoma State University and Tulsa Community College to enable students to complete 4 year undergraduate study by providing freshman and sophomore courses.
Tulsa Community College is the biggest community college in Oklahoma with 4 campuses across the region along with a conference center in Midtown with a yearly budget of around 112 million dollars. This public institution formed in 1970 and formerly known as Tulsa Junior College has over 29 thousand students per semester. It is the biggest 2 year college in the state, with around 3 thousand employees, including 275 full time faculty and 843 adjunct faculty. The college comes first in US in terms of granting associate degrees to students coming with Native American origin. Over 36 percent of the college’s students come from underrepresented communities.
Tulsa also houses the Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology founded in 1928 with the name Spartan School of Aeronautics with the initial aim to provide pilots and technicians for Spartan Aircraft Company. This aviation institution has 1500 students enrolled in the offered flight programs close to the Tulsa International Airport, with training in aviation, electronics, flight, testing, maintenance and quality control. The college has trained more than 90 thousand aircraft pilots and technicians.
With a healthy job market, rapidly growing industries and prominent educational institutions, Tulsa Oklahoma is a place to for the ones seeking specialized training as well as cultural productivity and social liveliness with a hint of Southern charisma.