Are you a resident of the "bigger than life" state of Texas? Have you recently completed the requirements to obtain your high school diploma and now you are ready to begin furthering your education to a post secondary level? Have you spent a considerable amount of time perusing college catalogs in search of the perfect career path that will allow you to accomplish each of your goals? Have you successfully narrowed down your choices and now you are ready to determine which college or university will most appropriately help you travel this desired career path? If you found yourself nodding yes in agreement to each of these questions, then you have certainly come to the right place.
Below, you will find some basic employment and education projections for the state of Texas, along with a brief introduction to some of the most popular collegiate choices in this great state. In the state of Texas, 49-58% of the available jobs will require individuals to hold some level of a post secondary degree. Keep in mind, while a two year associate's level degree will likely qualify you for a particular job, your rate of pay is sure to be less than if you have completed a four year bachelor's level degree program. Conversely, if you have only completed your high school diploma requirements you can only expect 19-27% of the available jobs in this state to be appropriate for you.
Baylor University, which is located in Waco, is one of the most popular choices in the state of Texas. This university is affiliated with the Baptist Church and is considered to be a privately operated learning institution. Current statistical reports show that this university has about 15,000 students enrolled. Although the large majority of these students are working to obtain an undergraduate degree, it is also possible for interested students to complete a graduate level degree at this institution. In fact, this post secondary learning institution offers 145 different areas of study for prospective students to consider and about 300 different student organizations that you can become involved in.
While this university is recognized for its strong degree programs in the areas of science and the liberal arts, there are certainly many other great options to also check out. Another great collegiate option for interested students is Texas A&M, which is located at College Station. This public research university is especially known for its strong degree programs in the areas of agriculture and engineering. However, the science and liberal arts programs at this educational facility are also well recognized. Texas A&M is recognized as a Senior Military College and is currently home to nearly 50,000 students who are working on undergraduate and graduate level degree programs.
The University of Texas at Austin is recognized as one of the largest public universities in the United States. In addition, this university is also noted as one of the top public learning institutions in our country. Current online research shows that this university has about 50,000 students enrolled. While the large majority of these enrolled students are working to complete an undergraduate degree program, it is also possible for students to pursue a graduate level degree program at this facility. While The University of Texas at Austin is well known for its degree programs in business, research, science, and the liberal arts, there are definitely many other viable options for prospective students to consider. The most selective university in Texas is Rice University, which is located in Houston.
This privately operated university has a fairly small enrollment of only about 5,500 students. Despite the fact that this university operates on a smaller scale than some of the previously mentioned learning institutions, it is possible for interested students to complete an undergraduate degree program as well as a graduate level degree program. Along with exemplary graduation and retention rates, this university boasts an impressive five to one student to faculty ratio. If you are interested in pursuing a degree program in the area of business or the arts, then you will surely want to check out Southern Methodist University.
However, this university is also recognized for having strong degree programs in the areas of science and the liberal arts. Located in Dallas, this university is privately operated and is affiliated with the Methodist Church. Recent online research shows that this university is home to nearly 11,000 students; currently about half of these enrolled students are working to complete an undergraduate degree program in the area of their choosing.
Besides being the largest state in the nation Texas has the unique advantage to have one of the largest workforces. Combine that with a first rate college system and you can see pretty quickly why the Lone Star State is growing so fast. Texas attracts people into its state not only because of the weather but also because of the low unemployment rate of 4.2%, 2.6% I the Austin area. Approx. 9.51% of the workforce in Texas earned a degree over a Bachelor’s degree. The state is expecting a 20.1% increase in jobs according to the Texas Workforce Commission.
Average tuition cost to attend college in Texas is $8208 per year. A total 487 colleges currently teach over 300 different degrees. Each year over 20,589 were awarded a degree according to the Texas Department of Education. When it comes to trade schools in the state those who attend a vocational school get hired 20% quicker and with 70% less debt than a traditional college student. Recently however colleges are enrolling less students and Texas had a 2% decrease in enrollments from working adults ages 25-34. Part of the reason is with the low unemployment rate adult learning tends to not enroll in college. Texas also has been tightening up their admissions standards since enrollment have been steady at most universities. Also the schools need to maintain a high student completion and placement rate in order to maintain their funding eligibility.
Since the last financial recession that costs millions of jobs nationwide Texas has actually bounced back and has a job growth rate that is 5.2% higher than last year. Many of the top industries in the state are feeling the increase and growing faster than the national average.
Healthcare/Medical – Like the rest of the nation the healthcare industry is booming. With an aging population and fewer entering the industry it has really become a strain on economies. This sector was the fastest growing sector in Texas last year growing 9.6% but still expect to be short in terms of hiring enough qualified workers.
Retail Trade – As economies increase the retail environment also increases. The state employs over 1.3 million workers however many are minimum wage workers. This is also the sector that has the highest percentage of workers that go back to school each year.
Hospitality – People love to visit Texas and the 1.2 million workers make sure they all have a great time. This is why 10.6% of the entire work force in Texas is in the hospitality industry. The sector gained 33,900 new jobs last year. Those looking into working should consider Hotel and Restaurant Management degree or at minimum a certificate in hospitality management.
Medical Assisting Certificate – The state employs a lot of medical assistants with 13,410 just in the Houston, TX area alone. Dallas, TX had the second highest number of MA’s employed with 10,250 and San Antonio, TX with 5600. The median salary for a first year medical assistant is $31,700. We list schools that offer campus based training programs in the Amarillo, TX, Beaumont, TX, Elk Paso, TX, Lubbock, TX and Austin, TX. The expected job growth rate for this career is 34%. Because of competition is it recommended that you find a school with an internship that could further help you find employment after graduation.
Pharmacy Technology – Find a school that is accredited by the ASHP American Society of Health Systems Pharmacist. Most schools offer a certificate or 2 year training program. You’ll want to register with the Texas State Board of Pharmacy. The highest paying city is Houston who pays pharmacy technologists $33,031 followed by Dallas, TX at $32,979.
Vocational Nursing – The Texas Board of Nurses issues over 27,000 licenses per year. Currently over 350,000 licensed nurses are in the state making an average salary of $43,000.
Surgical Technologist – The state predicts a 25% increase over the next 4 years growth rate for this career. Most trade schools have training programs that are 9-12 months in length. National board of surgical technology and surgical assisting is who regulates the industry and the average salary is $39,439.
Some of the largest culinary arts schools in Texas have more than 3 campus locations. You can earn your certificate or degree in culinary art as well as focus on specialist training such as baking and pasty, restaurant and catering management and deserts. Salaries range in Texas from $20 per hour for entry level cooks to $39,000 to $48,000 for chefs.
One of the hottest sectors in Texas is the technology industry that employs 206,500. The state ranks in video game employment and the average IT job salary averages $96,600. Growth into cloud computing and storage has Texas ranked 2nd in the nation in data centers and has over 750 computer related firms.
Computer Networking Support – We love this career choice as it allows you to work for so many different industries. With an average salary of $44,493 it is a perfect first job for those entering the IT industry that will allow you to grow and advance in other roles with the more specialized education you receive. This position is common for those who earn their certificate training.
Computer Programming – Programmers make over $100,000 in Texas as they are one, if not the most, desired of all jobs, especially those who are skilled in .NET.
HVAC – You can learn more by visiting TACCA - Texas Air Conditioning Contractors of American including licensing information. There are 2 different types of licensing which are a Class A and Class B. During your HVAC certificate training you’ll learn basic and electrical theory, preventative maintenance and heating and fuel. Most HVAC schools in Texas will be able to train you within 9 month of enrollment.
Electrician Technician Diploma– In the state to become licensed you’ll need 8000 hours of on the job training. It all starts with becoming an apprentice which will get you the necessary hours and experience under a fully licensed electrician.
Plumbing - To be a plumber in Texas you’ll have 4 different professional levels to choose from which are: Apprentice, transman plumber, journeyman and master plumber. Journeyman requires 8000 hours of experience, master plumbers require 10,000 hours.
GM and Toyota have manufacturing and parts plants in Texas. Exports in the state have increased 49% over the last 5 years and Texas ranks 7th in the nation for automotive manufacturing. Over 466 automotive companies employ 35,800 workers and the numbers continue to grow. Motor vehicle manufacturing salaries average $75,752. Other automotive related careers outside of manufacturing include diesel mechanics, automobile mechanic and body and small engine repair
A career in cosmetology will allow you to have the freedom to build your own client list and even have your own business. To get licensed in Texas it requires 1500 hours of training. You’ll need to renew your license every 2 years and it requires 4 hours of CE cosmetology courses. Manicurist need 600 hours of training and estheticians 750 hours.
Why is Texas experiencing such a great job placement rate compared to other states?
A lot of factors go into placement but it really comes down to the companies in the state are growing faster than the national average can simply needing employees. Recent graduates from colleges found it easier to find a job and many stayed in Texas which his great for the economy of the state.
What is the #1 reason why someone should enroll in a vocational school?
Good question and the simple answer is that if you are an individual who wants hand-on training in a field that doesn’t require you to attend a traditional college. I see too often kids enrolling in college thinking they will get these great high paying jobs after they graduate only to realize that the degree they received isn’t as valuable as they thought.
What is your opinion on the current student loan crisis in Texas?
I deal with a lot of students with high student loans and it still shocks me the amount of money some of these colleges are charging for tuition. With debt nationwide over $1 trillion an end has to come soon in the form of relief as too many kids are graduating owing $50,000 or more and they simply can’t pay it back.