New Mexico boasts beautiful scenery and affordable living. The global economic downturn has hit the state hard, however, making it more important than ever for New Mexico residents to build a competitive skill set. Whether you are a new high school graduate or a mid-career adult retooling your skills for the new economy, New Mexico online schools offer access to future-focused career training.
Growing Industries in New Mexico
New Mexico offers more than a rich multicultural heritage and dramatic Southwest landscapes. It's also one of the most affordable states to call home. Most of the state ranks well below the national average in cost of living, according to the ACCRA Cost of Living Index.
College-level careers are the engine of New Mexico's recovery. The University of New Mexico's Bureau of Business and Economic Research found positive, albeit subdued job growth of 0.7 percent in 2011, and forecasts a modest 1.5 percent average annual growth in the years ahead. Interestingly, although New Mexico's job growth was slower in 2009 and 2010 than elsewhere in the U.S., the state ranked among the highest in personal income growth during this period.
Key growth industries in New Mexico include:
- Research and development, including high tech, nanotechnology, biomedical, materials, aerospace, lasers and laser optics, and semiconductors
- Arts and cultural industries, including tourism. Tourism in New Mexico increased 7.2 percent in 2010, according to the New Mexico Tourism Department
- Federal government
- Health care and education
Online Degree Programs in New Mexico
New Mexico online schools play an important role in preparing the state's workforce for a highly-skilled economy. Online education removes some of the hurdles to getting a college degree for New Mexicans historically excluded from higher education, such as those in rural areas. New Mexico is the sixth most sparsely populated state in the nation, and many New Mexico residents may live miles from the nearest college campus.
New Mexico online schools allow students to access the college classroom from anywhere while working full-time, making an online degree a reality for more of the state's residents.
Hot Careers for New Mexico Students
Despite New Mexico's low cost of living, making ends meet in the state can be tough. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the median household income between 2006 and 2010 was a relatively low $43,820. College graduates have the potential to earn more. Promising careers for New Mexico online degree holders include:
- Electro-mechanical technician: New Mexico has the highest concentration of jobs for engineering technicians in the U.S., and Albuquerque ranks as the highest paying metropolitan area in the nation, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. New Mexico average annual mean wage: $57,400. Degree: Associate degree in engineering technology.
- Graphic designer: Albuquerque and Santa Fe are areas of opportunity and high wages for graphic designers. Degree: Associate or bachelor's degree in graphic design.
- Mental health and substance abuse counselor: New Mexico has the fourth-highest concentration of counselor jobs in the U.S. and paid salaries above the national average. Degree:Bachelor's or master's degree in counseling.
A college degree can set you apart in the job market. According to the U.S. Census report, just one in four New Mexicans have a bachelor's degree or higher. New Mexico online schools offer an accessible and affordable means to build your skills and credentials.