Although at first mention of the state of Alaska all that may come to your mind is cold weather and igloos, this great state actually has quite a bit of educational opportunities to offer its residents. If you are ready to pursue a post secondary degree program in a specific area then you will definitely want to continue reading below for an overview of some of the most viable collegiate choices. Keep in mind, in addition to these popular choices there are many additional colleges and universities, along with vocational schools and online options. Take your time and choose an educational path that will easily correlate with your lifestyle and your goals. According to online research, over the next few years 59- 63 % of the jobs in the state of Alaska will require individuals to hold a post secondary degree. Conversely, over this same time period only about 28-31 % of jobs in this state will be attainable with only a high school diploma. Therefore, there is no time like the present to begin furthering your level of education in order to ensure your future success.
Not only does Alaska boast an idyllic environment, it is also known as a budget friendly option for students who are pursuing an undergraduate or graduate level degree program. As with most states, Alaska offers public and private universities for students to choose from, with a broad range of campus population sizes. In addition, you can choose from an endless supply of degree programs with which to focus on and can enjoy the outdoorsy life while completing your studies. In no certain order, below are the five top ranked collegiate choices in the state of Alaska. First is the University of Alaska at Anchorage. Although this learning institution began as a community college, in recent years it has grown to become known as the largest university in the state.
Currently, the University of Alaska at Anchorage is home to over 15,000 students. While the aviation technology program at this university is what it is known and recognized for, there are many other well qualified degree programs that you may want to consider. Despite the fact that the Alaska Pacific University is an extremely small populated campus, this university is very well known and highly regarded. However, this Methodist operated facility only offers twelve major degree programs at the undergraduate level. Keep in mind, this elite learning institution is famous for their master's level degree programs in the environmental focus areas. Therefore, if this is an area you plan to pursue, then this university may be the perfect option for you!
The University of Alaska is certainly one of this state's more well - known educational facilities. While this learning institution is well known for its Arctic and northern research, the faculty here also boasts nearly 170 different degree programs for students to choose from. In addition, this university is the only one in Alaska that offers doctoral degree programs to its eligible students. In order to accommodate the over 10,000 students that choose the University of Alaska as their educational home, this institution offers a flagship campus location in Fairbanks, as well as satellite campuses in Juneau and Anchorage. Although the Alaska Bible College is strictly devoted to Christian education and theological studies, this educational facility is still one of the more popular choices. Located in Glennallen, students can choose to complete a two year Associate's level degree or a four year Bachelor's level degree program. It is important to note that this institution is a private facility that is not operated in conjunction with any particular denomination.
Even though the University of Alaska, Southeast is considered to be a fairly new learning institution is definitely has earned its place in the top choices within the state of Alaska. With a primary brick and mortar location in Juneau, this university is much farther reaching than just these walls. In fact, many of the students who are working on their education through this facility choose to do so through a community college level or through distance learning courses. Due to the location of this facility's campus, many of the most well known degree programs offered here are related to the state's terrain, flora, sea, and fauna attributes. Keep in mind, if none of these educational options appeal to you, there are many others in this great state that may be more applicable to you and your goals.
Over 36% of all the population of Alaska currently possesses a 4 or 2 year degree. Less than 9% however hold a graduate degree or higher. The main reason could be that the state doesn’t have the jobs or infrastructure to attract individuals that have earned a graduate but also some of the individuals that make up the 9% are retired and move to Alaska and earned their degree from the lower 48 and worked there before coming to Alaska. By population whites make up 42% of the population that earned a degree while Hispanic made up 35%, Black 33% and Asian 28%.
The boroughs that had the highest percentage of college graduates include Anchorage Municipality, Juneau city and Borough, Sitka City and Denali. These had the highest percentage in Alaska. The boroughs that had the lowest percentage of their population that had earned any type of formal degree include Wade Hampton, Aleutians East, Northwest Arctic, Yulon-Koyukuk and the Bethel area. Many of these areas don’t have colleges or vocational schools which is the main reason why their percentages are lower than rural areas of Alaska.
The state of Alaska employs approx. 327,000 individuals with an average median wage of $55,700. The occupation with the highest number of employees is in office administration. This can include secretaries but also supportive roles in offices. This area employs around 53,000 individuals and has a median hourly wage of $20.36. The next highest in terms of population was those in food service, mainly fast food. These individuals typically only had an Associate’s degree and earned on average $13.25 per hour which is common in the industry. Sales and the construction industry both employed around 25,000 however construction workers earned over $65,000 per year where sales (including sales managers) only earned $35,300. The highest earners in Alaska were general practitioners and psychiatrists. Both earned over $234,000 per year. Dentists were also on the list and only 200 dentists were in the state however they earned over $217,000 per year.
Alaska has a population where 7% are foreign born and over 70,000 US military veterans call home. This is mainly due to the large military bases in Alaska and a build-up of military personnel in the state since the 1980’s. The state is highly education in terms of those with at least a high school diploma (currently 92% of the state). Housing is expensive compared to the lower 48 with an average median household income of $71,829 and an average home costing $246,300. Rent is also expensive averaging over $1100 for a 2 bedroom home.
Alaska doesn’t have that many colleges to choose from which is why many go out of state or decide to enroll in an online school or even local vocational school. The top school in the state with the most enrollments is the University of Alaska in Anchorage, AK. The university has a student population of over 27,000 and with tuition costs running around $20,000 it is a very popular school to attend. Other school are the University of Alaska Fairbanks and University of Alaska Southeast. Alaska also has a bible college which is the Alaska Bible College in Palmer, AK as well as Alaska Pacific University.
When looking into which school you would like to attend one thing to keep in mind is which industry you would like to eventually get a job in, especially if you plan on living in Alaska after graduation.
The largest industry and the one that employs over 100,000 people in the state is the oil and gas industry. The Alaska pipelane and Prudhoe Bay is the largest oil reserve in North American and responsible for employing so many in this industry.
Everyone loves Alaska and it brings in millions of vacationers each and every year to see their lakes and mountains. Fishing, hunting and hiking bring is over 2 billion dollars in revenue to the state each and every year.
Fishing and Mining
Although mining has decreased over the years gold and silver mining still employs over 4100 jobs. Alaska has one of the largest fisheries in the world and king crab and salmon are the top 2 most fished that add more than 60,000 jobs to the economy.
Trade Schools in Alaska
In Alaska one of the hardest things to do is decide if you want to attend a traditional 4 year college like the University of Alaska or attend a trade school or vocational school. These trade schools are usually hands-on and can last less than a year for all the training you’ll need in a particular field. Some of the top areas including training in: medical billing and coding, HVAC-R technician, computer technician, dental assistant, massage therapy, graphic design, hotel and restaurant management, criminal justice, automotive and CDL truck driving training.
Alaska Career Resources