Despite being nicknamed "The Natural State" for its tourism industry, Arkansas has a number of large employers, such as Wal-Mart, that gives the state a unique economy. The right education can help graduates thrive in such a promising environment.
Arkansas Economy at a Glance
According to the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services (DWS), the state has a slightly higher unemployment rate than the U.S. as a whole. It was 5.6 percent as of March 2015, compared to 5.5 percent for the nation.
According to DWS, seven major industries have grown from 2010-2011, off-setting the declines that occurred in three other sectors. Leisure and hospitality added 5,200 jobs, mostly in food services. Professional and business services grew by 5,000 jobs, mostly in the area of administrative and support services. The trade, transportation and utilities industry also added 2,300 jobs. From 2008-2018, the industries expected to grow the most include the following five:
- Service-providing industries: 10 percent growth for a total of 93,989 new jobs
- Education and Health Services: 20.6 percent growth expected for a total of 55,878 new jobs
- Professional and Business Services: 13.3 percent growth or 15,660 new jobs
- Government: 12.5 percent growth or 11,743 new jobs
- Construction (primarily nonresidential building): 11.9 percent growth or 6,721 new jobs
In addition to low unemployment, Arkansas has an extremely low cost of living--the fifth lowest in America.
Benefits of Arkansas Online Degrees
Only 26.5 percent of Arkansas' working age adults hold at least a two-year degree. This means that if you take the time to enroll in any of the Arkansas online schools or campuses, you may find yourself ahead of the competition when applying for jobs. A college degree can not only help you find a job, it can significantly increase your earning potential.
The Arkansas Department of Higher Education 2010 Employment Outcomes Report recently examined how 2003-2004 academic year graduates were faring five years after graduation. The report found that bachelor's degree holders employed in Arkansas were earning an average of $37,058, or 34.7 percent more than workers with a certificate, and 19.9 percent more than those with an associate degree. Graduates who majored in engineering, math, computer science or another technical field earned among the highest average salaries, followed by health professionals, education graduates and business management.
The same study also found that graduates in education, public administration, health, engineering technologies and security and protective services had the highest employment rates in Arkansas.
High-growth Careers in Arkansas
According to the DWS, some of the fastest-growing occupations in Arkansas for 2008-2018, include the following:
- Registered Nurses (RNs):New job openings expected annually: 769. Average yearly wage of $57,040. At minimum, an associate degree is required.
- Elementary and secondary school teachers:New annual job openings expected: 456 and 418. Average annual wage of $42,570 or $45,410, respectively. Bachelor's degree required and in most cases, a teaching license.
- Accountants and auditors: New annual job openings expected: 188. Average annual wage of $54,490. Bachelor's degree required.
These and other hot Arkansas jobs require some post-secondary training. Arkansas online schools can help you get that training and move into a satisfying career path.