Do you have the pleasure of enjoying the southern state of Louisiana? Or, perhaps you don't currently live in this state, but you are certain that this state's culture is enough to draw you there while you work on furthering your education. No matter which of these scenarios fit your current situation, you will surely find some relevant information below. In fact, you can expect to learn of some basic employment projections for the state of Louisiana, along with a brief discussion of the most popular collegiate choices in the state. Have you recently completed your high school graduation requirements and now you are eager to begin working on a post secondary degree?
It is important to note that in this state a high school diploma will make you adequately qualified for more than 41% of the available jobs. However, you will also want to keep in mind that the rate of pay you will receive with this level of education will likely be less than what you could receive should you complete a formal training program at the collegiate level. In fact, once you have completed some level of collegiate training or a specific degree program you will find yourself qualified for 49-58% of the available jobs in this state.
The flagship learning institution of Louisiana is Louisiana State University, which is located in Baton Rouge. As one of the country's most popular universities, Louisiana State University currently reports nearly 29,000 students enrolled. While the majority of these students are pursuing an undergraduate degree program, there are many graduate level degree programs that are also offered to interested individuals. In fact, this learning institution offers prospective students nearly 75 different undergraduate degree programs to choose from. Situated on a vast 2,000 acre campus, this university is well known for its mechanical college, agricultural college, and their school of business.
As an added benefit, this university belongs to the Southeastern Conference, which means you can expect athletic programs to be a driving force at this school. Tulane University is another great option for Louisiana residents. Located in New Orleans, this university operates under a very selective admissions process. This privately operated university is currently home to approximately 12,000 students, with the majority of those working at an undergraduate level. Tulane University is known for its strong degree programs in the areas of research, the sciences, and liberal arts.
Loyola University, which is also located in New Orleans, is operated as a private Jesuit university. Although this university exists on a much smaller scale than the previously mentioned collegiate options, Loyola University still offers prospective students over sixty different undergraduate level degree programs to select from. Recognized as one of the highest ranked colleges in the South, Loyola University boasts a twelve to one student to faculty ratio. Located in Ruston and operated as a public university is Louisiana Tech University. Recent online statistics show that this learning institution is home to about 11,000 students. Although the majority of these enrolled students are working to complete an undergraduate degree program, Louisiana Tech University also offers students the option of completing a graduate level degree program.
As an added benefit, students who are considering attending this school can expect to experience a diverse student body. In fact, student enrollment at this school comes from 46 different states and nearly 60 different countries. Centenary College of Louisiana is located in Shreveport. This privately operated liberal arts college currently has an enrollment of less than one thousand. With an impressive average class size of only sixteen students, individuals will have the chance to thrive in a small educational environment. In fact, Centenary College is known to have an eleven to one student to faculty ratio. While there is certainly no guarantee, students who attend this college are known to have a high success rate of securing financial aid to help defray the costs of their education. The final school that will be discussed is Xavier University of Louisiana.
Located in New Orleans, this Catholic, black liberal arts university is known for having a high success rate of placing their students in medical school. Xavier University's recent enrollment reports only about 3,200 students; with the vast majority of these working to complete an undergraduate degree program. While this university is well known for its strong academic programs in liberal arts and sciences, there is a wealth of other viable degree program options for interested individuals.
The state has been going through some hard times over the past 10 years and the growing need for jobs has strained the school systems as many graduating seniors are faced to go to work directly after high school instead of looking into attending college. Of the workforce in Louisiana less than 30% have earned an Associate’s degree or advanced degree. This is disturbing news for the state as it struggles to maintain a highly education workforce. Companies moving to the state are also reluctant as they don’t feel they can higher the caliber of employees needed to run their companies. Graduate level degrees are only held by 7% of the working population compared to 12-15% nationwide.
Louisiana has 5 major occupations that make up over 50% of all the jobs in the state. Office support and sales make up over half a million jobs of the 1.9 million that are working. The median wage in the state is $40,810. Food service jobs make up a big percentage of the available jobs but only average $17,000-19,000 per year in salary. Companies however that are retail driving do enjoy a low labor cost which does attract all the major retailers in the state. Walmart for example hires over 36,000 in the state to run their 134 stores and 88 supercenters. The chemical and oil industry also plays a big role in hiring locals and companies such as Down Chemical and ExxonMobile employ over 12,000 people. Large medical companies like Lafayette General Medical Center and Opelousas Health Systems employ over 10,000 individuals.
Louisiana was hit the hardest with not only natural disasters but oil spills that put the state in an economic recession for years. The state had the 3rd highest unemployment rate in the county and still is struggling to maintain jobs. The budget crisis the state has been in is making many graduating high school wondering if they will be able to even find a job when they graduate as well as pay back their massive student loans. We have talked to many consultants in the state regarding the job outlook and they like other states are advising individuals to focus on training in areas that will get them a job and avoid “generic” degrees that although you might enjoy, will be harder for you to find a job. We are talking about trade and “hands-on” training that will lead you to an actual job or career after graduation.
The state has some of the top colleges in the county including Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Tulane University in New Orleans, University of Louisiana, Louisiana Tech University in Ruston and Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond. One of the issues facing the gulf coast states is the shortage of skilled trade employees, especially in manufacturing and construction. Several companies we found stated they have been trying to fill over 200 jobs and can’t. One company stated they had to go outside the state to recruit individuals which of course is never a good thing for the state or its economy. During hard-times like this one way you can find a job quicker is to focus on training in a trade related field. Trade schools in the state can focus and train you in areas that are center around a particular trade. Even if you are looking to switch industries the quickest way to get training is from a program that is around a year in length. Getting a degree is still a good idea however without hands-on training you won’t be able to show the employer your skills. Below are just some of the areas we found online that had open positions and schools offering training programs.
Culinary Arts – One thing Louisiana does right is food. Anyone that has ever visited the state knows when it comes to fine cuisine that Louisiana has some of the best food in the county. Why not take your passion for food and start training in the culinary arts. Many of the schools offer training programs from 6 to 18 months. We found several schools in Baton Rouge and Shreveport to start your career training.
Healthcare Industry – When times are tough and the economy isn’t bouncing back and quickly as one would like the one industry that always seems to have jobs available is in the medical industry. Careers in medical assisting, surgical technology, pharmacy technician, medical office administration, medical laboratory technology and massage therapy seem to be always available.
Trade – One of the areas outside of construction is the need for HVAC technicians in the state. The average salary is $36,000 and we found positions open in Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Shreveport, New Orleans and Monroe.
Louisiana Department of Education