In the state of Mississippi, employment projections that expand over the next several years show that approximately 32-41% of the jobs that are available will be appropriate for individuals who have only completed a high school diploma. It is crucial to note that while this percentage is not extremely low, the rate of pay that will be associated with these available jobs is likely to be at the lower end of the spectrum. In fact, there is a minimal amount of difference between the percentage of available jobs for individuals who hold a college degree and those who only have a high school diploma. 49-58% of the jobs that are available in this southern state will require applicants to hold some level of a post secondary degree.
As with any other state, it is important to realize that your rate of pay will surely be directly related to the level of education that you have successfully completed. Below, you will find a brief introduction to five of Mississippi's top colleges and universities. You will definitely want to keep in mind that this list is certainly not conclusive. In fact, there are many community or junior colleges and vocational institutes that may be more appropriately suited to your career goals. Take your time, peruse the details provided for each of the schools discussed, and make informed decisions that will benefit your future and fit into your lifestyle.
Although it operates on a very small enrollment scale (currently only about 1,000 students), Millsaps College is recognized as having the highest graduation rate of any Mississippi college. This private liberal arts college that is affiliated with the United Methodist Church is located in Jackson and is primarily attended by individuals who are working to complete an undergraduate degree program. Millsaps College is recognized as being one of the top South Central colleges with an impressive ten to one student to faculty ratio. As an added validation, this college is featured in Loren Pope's publication Colleges that Change Lives. While this learning institution is recognized for its strong degree programs in the areas of science and liberal arts, there are certainly many other great degree options at this educational facility. The largest private college in the state of Mississippi is Mississippi College. Located in Clinton, this Baptist Church affiliated learning institution reports a current enrollment of about 5,000 students.
Despite the fact that the majority of enrolled students are working to complete an undergraduate degree program, it is possible to obtain a graduate level degree at this facility. Mississippi College has also been recognized as the oldest college in the state and boasts a strong community service commitment. According to online research, this learning institution offers about 80 different degree programs for prospective students to choose from. A third option for interested individuals to consider is Mississippi State University, which is located in Starkville. Recognized as the largest university in Mississippi, there are currently about 20,000 students enrolled. Of this number, about 75% are working to complete an undergraduate degree program in an area of their choosing. With a vast 4,000 acre campus and a well - recognized engineering degree program, this educational facility certainly has something for individuals to look twice at.
Belhaven University is another great choice for Mississippi residents to consider. This privately operated liberal arts university is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church and is located in the state's capital, Jackson. Belhaven University currently reports about 3,000 enrolled students, with nearly 2,500 of them pursuing an undergraduate degree program. One of the great benefits of this post secondary institution is the fact that they offer adult education centers in Orlando, Jackson, Memphis, Atlanta, Houston, and Chattanooga. Although their degree program in the area of business is what they are most noted for, with an impressive twelve to one student to faculty ratio, you are sure to have a great learning experience no matter what course of study you are pursuing.
In addition, you will surely have the chance to enjoy Belhaven University's beautiful campus, complete with a lake and walking trails, as you secure your future with a solid educational background. The final popular choice in this state is the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss). Located in Oxford, this public university currently has about 17,000 students enrolled. Despite the fact that students can pursue an undergraduate or a graduate level degree program at this facility, the majority of enrolled students are working on an undergraduate degree. Ole Miss is perhaps best known for its 30 state of the art research centers that are located on campus.
Mississippi has some of the most affordable schools in the county but also is home to several large universities that enroll over half of the states total student populations.
University of Mississippi – Located in Oxford it is currently has 23,838 enrolled and has a pretty high acceptance rate of 81%. It is the state’s largest university and has 15 different academic divisions. Of its’ student population over 60% of the students come from Mississippi and 24% are minorities. You can view more by visiting its website at www.olemiss.edu or calling them direct for more information regarding their degree programs.
Mississippi State – Located in Starkville, MS it enrolls the second highest number of students each year at 20,138 and has a 71% acceptance rate. Its website is www.msstate.edu. Students can choose to enroll in any of tier numerous academic units including the Art and Design, College of Business, College Education and even Veterinary Medicine.
University of Southern Mississippi – Just 70 miles north of Gulport is the university and is home to over 14,000 students. With a lower acceptance rate of 66.7% compared to the University of Mississippi and Mississippi State it has some of the top degree programs offered in the state. According to their website www.usm.edu it offers over 140 different master’s degrees and over 75 doctoral degrees.
Others schools to consider from the state include Jackson State University, Alcom State University, Delta State University and Mississippi Valley State University.
When it comes to finding employment in the state we tend to turn to colleges that offer quick training that allows you to get to work quicker. Not that a degree won’t help you get a job but sometimes earning a certificate in a field will get you that entry job needed so that then you can earn a paycheck. Below are some of the hottest fields we get requests from.
HVAC/R Technician – Technicians can earn up to $45,000 per year and many have earned OSHA certifications. Many companies like Sears hire Master-Level technicians and even general contractors and plumbers can qualify for these jobs. This is a great career choice for those who love to work with their hands and the freedom to not work in an office setting.
Dental Assisting – It is a requirement that you hold your DANB certification to work in Mississippi. The average wage is $35,980 according to the BLS however the top 10% can earn as high as $50,660. Dental assisting is a great way to get your foot in the door if a career in the medical industry interests you.
Medical Assistant – Most entry level MA programs will teach you how to draw blood and take vital signs. Depending on the size of medical facility that you work in you could end up doing a lot of the front office duties as well (booking appointments, taking messages, etc.). Over 3000 medical assistants hold jobs in the state and the number of jobs is expected to grow by 11.6% over the next 10 years.
Medical Billing and Coding – An advantage of earning a certificate in medical billing and coding is it does allow you to work for a multiple number of companies in different industries. Some of the top paying areas for medical coders include including Gulfport, Hattiesburg, Pacagoula and Jackson.
CDL Truck Driving – Many of the top truck driving companies are located in Mississippi due to the ports. Salaries for those who possess a Class A CDL can range from $40,000 to $65,000 per year and can even include a signing bonus.
Cosmetology – In Mississippi you need to complete 1500 training hours and most programs last 9-12 months. Being able to run your own business is what attracts so many individuals in Mississippi to start their cosmetology career.
Pharmacy Technician – As a Pharmacy Technician you’ll help fill prescriptions as well as work with insurance companies on behalf of customers. Kroger Stores is one of the state’s biggest employers.
Although improving over the last 5 years the state still falls behind in terms of the percentage of their populations that have earned a degree. Only 7% have earned a post-secondary graduate degree. Approx. 10% of kindergarteners are repeated which is twice that of the national average. The state’s economy is to blame as the state doesn’t fund any pre-k programs. Being behind so early on doesn’t help as they enter middle or high school and only 61% of all high school students graduate on-time. With the lowest test scores of every state it is as important as ever to help push the importance of education early on. Because of these low numbers we recommend a trade related education after high school for many looking to get started on a career quicker.
For many in Mississippi it is hard to attend school and work at the same time. Many are providing for their family as well as their extended family and simply can’t afford time off work while pursuing an education. Luckily many of the schools have realized this and have come up with a blended approach to learning. This approach is a mix of classroom attendance as well as online work. This enables the student to still hold down a job while attending school. Also many of the schools offer flexible schedules including nights and weekend courses. Another reason why a campus based program is better is many of the careers do require hand-on training, something that can’t be taught online.
Mississippi Education Resources