Are you a current resident of Big Sky Country? Do you enjoy all that Montana has to offer and now you are ready to further your level of education at one of their colleges or universities? Once you have obtained your high school diploma and you have narrowed down your choices of possible career paths, the next big decision you will need to make is where you would like to attend school. In addition to the great outdoor activities that Montana offers its residents, there are also many great educational facilities. Below, you will find some basic information regarding the employment projections for the state of Montana along with a brief discussion of some of the most popular collegiate choices in this state.
It is important to note that this list of colleges and universities is not complete, there are many other options for individuals to peruse if none of these appeal to you or your career goals. According to online employment projections for the state of Montana, 59-63% of the available jobs will require individuals to hold a post secondary degree. While even a two year associate's degree would likely qualify you for these available positions, it is important to note that the rate of pay you will be able to receive is sure to be than if you have a bachelor's degree.
Carroll College is one of the top five educational facilities in the state of Montana. Located in Helena, this private Catholic learning institution was originally founded in 1910 as a men's only university. At that time men attended this college to receive training that would prepare them for priesthood. Currently, Carroll College is ranked as the second best western regional comprehensive college (according to the publication America's Best Colleges). It is crucial to note that only undergraduate level degree programs are offered at this college. However, at that degree level there are many great courses of study for interested students to choose from. In addition, Carroll College has renowned pre professional programs in the areas of optometry, law, business, medical, dental, veterinary, and pharmacy.
As one last perk, Carroll College is also home to the only professional ballet company in the entire state of Montana. Montana State University Billings is another great collegiate option for interested individuals. This university is located in the south central portion of Montana and is currently home to about 3,200 undergraduate students. At this time, Montana State University does not offer graduate level degree programs. Although the most prestigious academic programs offered at this learning facility are in the areas of rehabilitation and education, there are numerous other options that have the possibility of securing your future. Despite the fact that this university somewhat caters to non traditional students, this is certainly not the only type of student that is welcome at this school. In fact, the student body at this university is quite active and will provide many extracurricular opportunities for traditional students who are interested.
Montana Tech of the University of Montana is located in Butte. Although this institution operates as Montana Tech it did join forces with the Montana University System in 1994, thus the formal name of this school. Currently, Montana Tech has nineteen different bachelor's level degree programs to offer to its prospective students. It is important to note that the curriculum at this institution does somewhat focus on technical education and engineering; however there are many other undergraduate degree programs to peruse. Keep in mind, this educational facility does not offer any graduate level degree programs for students. As an added benefit, students who attend Montana Tech are reported to have less educational debt than that of students who attend other four year universities in the state of Montana.
The University of Montana Missoula is another great educational option in this state. In addition to being the largest university in the state, this university has also been classified as having the most scenic campus in our country. Located in the northwestern Rocky Mountains, the undergraduate enrollment at this university was currently reported at about 12,000. The University of Montana Missoula offers students three different colleges to choose from: arts and sciences, technology, and conservation and forestry. In addition, there are six schools for interested students: journalism, fine arts, education, business, law, and pharmacy. Montana State University Bozeman is the last college that will be discussed here. Current statistics show that this university has about 11,000 students enrolled in their undergraduate level degree programs. Well recognized as one of the best buys in the educational world, this university offers individuals over fifty different major fields of study to choose from.
One of the biggest issues is the low unemployment rate. I know this sounds contradictory to what one might think but when employers are hiring and rates are low enrollments suffer at the colleges. Another problem facing the state is high school graduates are finding it hard to turn down $70,000 jobs in the oil fields versus going to college. Schools overall are seeing a big drop in enrollments and it concerns companies doing business in MT. Employers need a healthy graduating class of college students each year in order to train and replace those that go into retirement. They need to attract employees to stay in the state and work for them. The housing market however is so high that it is hard to find affordable housing in the major cities compared to what companies are paying.
Many colleges are ending liberal arts programs due to the need to graduate and employ students after they graduate. Areas in medical and technology have double the graduation and employment rate. Another trend is that high school seniors are being tempted to move out of state and attend other state colleges that are giving breaks to out-of-state students.
University of Montana – Founded in 1893 it is the state’s oldest university. Located in Missoula it offers degrees ranging from accounting to biology and business administration to forest management.
Montana State University – With enrollment number reaching 16,000 the university is located in Bozeman, MT. Their site www.montana.edu states they are the state’s largest university with tuition costing $6850 per academic year.
Other schools in the state include:
Montana State University Billings, MT
Carroll College – Helena, MT
University of Montana Western – Dillon, MT
Rocky Mountain College – Kalispell, MT
University of Great Falls – Great Falls, MT
Many in Montana are finding that attending an online school allows them more flexibility with their lives. Most adult learners attending college also hold down a full-time job. Even those just entering college after high school find themselves struggling to pay for college, bills and now mandatory healthcare. By enrolling in an online program you first off have more choices. With online you can choose from 100’s of college’s nationwide vs only a select few in Montana. Colleges in the state might not have a campus near where you want to live or study so online allows you to live anywhere. Tuition costs for online schools have started to come down and many offer scholarships to entice those interested. Another big advantage with online is you are given more selection in terms of what kind of degree or career specialty you want to study.
Montana is a top agricultural state that focuses on farming in the amount of $4.2 billion in revenue generated each year. Because a big percentage of its population grew up on a farm with farming parents the trend is to continue on with farming and not attend college. Companies know this and love hiring working class farmers however the larger employers need a certain level of education and experience and the state is falling short with delivering.