Georgia was hard-hit by the recession. However, the Peach State's recovery has recently started to pick up steam. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce's Bureau of Economic Analysis, while the state's economy overall grew at a rate of 1.8 percent in 2013, and growth during the fourth quarter of 2013 was an impressive 3.9 percent.
Highlight careers in Georgia
Here are a handful of highlight careers in the state of Georgia according to total in-state employment and 2013 median annual income as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:
|Career||Total In-state Employment||Median Annual Income|
|General and operations managers||76,000||$110,590|
|Accountants and auditors||37,000||$73,910|
Programs and Degrees in Georgia
Here's a roundup of the top programs and degrees in state
- Business, management, marketing and related support services: 17,000 graduates
- Health professions and related programs: 12,860 graduates
- Education:8,703 graduates
- Liberal arts and sciences, general studies, and the humanities: 7591 graduates
These degrees' popularity may stem in part from the fact that the skills and knowledge gained are highly transferable. Online schools in GA offering these majors may help students prepare for careers in many different occupations.
Perhaps the fact that the popular TV series The Walking Dead is filmed in Georgia plays a part, but data indicates more than 4,000 students graduated with degrees in the visual and performing arts during 2012-2013.
Spotlight Schools and Cities in Georgia for Education
The state has almost 70 public colleges, universities, and technical colleges. Public education is governed by the University System of Georgia (USG), which is overseen by the Georgia Board of Regents. The USG has over 318,000 students enrolled, making it the fourth-largest university system in the U.S.
In addition to the public system, Georgia is also home to over 45 private post-secondary institutions, including technical and vocational schools. Georgia's roster of institutions of higher education includes several historically black schools.
By far the most populous city in Georgia is its capital, Atlanta. The other cities in Georgia's top five by population are Columbus, Augusta, Macon and Savannah. Students living in or near these cities may have many choices of post-secondary institutions. However, with many colleges and online schools in Georgia offering online programs, living in more rural areas may be less of a barrier to the pursuit of an education than it has been in the past.
Georgia education costs (tuition fees and cost of living) and student aid
In 2013-2014, tuition and fees costs in Georgia averaged the following by institution type:
- $3,609 for public two-year in-state
- $7,823 for public four-year in-state
- $28,695 for private nonprofit four-year
Keep in mind prices may vary by individual institutions. Comparatively, Georgia may have a lower cost of living than more urban areas of the country like California or the northeast. This makes the Peach State an attractive option for those interested in pursuing higher education.
The state lottery also funds the HOPE Scholarship, and all Georgia residents who have graduated from high school or earned a General Educational Development certificate are eligible for this award. Eligibility requirements also include maintaining a 3.2 or higher grade point average and attending a public college or university in the state. The Georgia Student Finance Commission is another resource for identifying financial aid for which students might be eligible.Of course, eligible students should also file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Georgia Accreditation Standards
Georgia is a member of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and its affiliate organization, the Southern Association of Community, Junior and Technical Colleges. Students should factor an institution's accreditation status during their college or university selection process. This is because schools operating without accreditation may not provide students with the skills necessary to obtain a job in today's competitive market. Post-secondary education can be an expensive undertaking, so like any other investment, students should do the research necessary to ensure they are getting the most bang for their proverbial (and literal) buck.
"May 2013 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates Georgia," Occupational Employment Statistics, October 31, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_ga.htm
"Tuition and Fees by Sector and State over Time," Collegeboard, October 31, 2014, http://trends.collegeboard.org/college-pricing/figures-tables/tuition-and-fees-sector-and-state-over-time
"Widespread But Slower Growth in 2013," U.S. Department of Commerce Bureau of Economic Analysis, October 31, 2014, http://bea.gov/newsreleases/regional/gdp_state/gsp_newsrelease.htm
"Quarterly Gross Domestic Product by State, 2005-2013 (Prototype Statistics)," U.S. Department of Commerce Bureau of Economic Analysis, October 31, 2014, http://bea.gov/newsreleases/regional/gdp_state/qgsp_newsrelease.htm
"Georgia's HOPE program," Georgia Student Finance Commission, October 31, 2014, http://www.gsfc.org/gsfcnew/index.cfm
"Southern Association of Colleges and Schools," Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, October 31, 2014, http://www.sacs.org/