The Buckeye State is the 7th most populous in the United States, and while it was hard hit by the most recent recession, economic growth is beginning to accelerate. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce's Bureau of Economic analysis, the state's economy overall grew at a rate of 1.8 percent in 2013. However, growth during the fourth quarter of 2013 was a more robust 2.6 percent.
Highlight careers in Ohio
Here's a roundup of five highlight Ohio career areas based on 2013 employment and median annual salary data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:
|Careers||In-state employment||2013 median annual salary|
|General and operations managers||63,000||$89,740|
|Elementary school teachers||50,000||$59,180|
|Secondary school teachers||42,000||$58,930|
|Wholesale and manufacturing category||46,000||$51,140|
Top programs and degrees in Ohio
Ohio's majors with the highest enrollments mirror many nationwide trends. However, there are also some interesting majors that, while not the top according to the numbers, are also worth noting. Here, according to the National Center for Education Statistics' IPEDS database, are five of the largest programs in the state based on
- Health professions and related programs, with 27,544 majors. Online schools in Ohio may also offer these majors.
- Business management, marketing and related support services is also a growing category in the state. A total of 23,894 individuals in Ohio graduated in 2012-2013.
- Another degree option with a strong showing in Ohio is education, with 11,624 graduates earning degrees in this field in 2012-2013
- Engineering has a robust presence among college majors. The data indicate that 5,544 students graduated with degrees in this areas during 2012-2013.
- Communication, journalism, and related programs are a robust presence among college majors. The data indicate that more than 4,000 students graduated with degrees in these areas during 2012-2013.
The skills and knowledge gained in these areas are highly transferable. Online schools in OH offering these majors may help students prepare for careers in many different occupations.
Spotlight schools and cities in Ohio for education
The state has 13 public universities with an additional 24 branch and regional campuses and 15 community colleges. The University System of Ohio coordinates public higher education in the state, assisted by the Ohio Board of Regents. The system enrolls over 400,000 students annually, placing it in the top 5 state university systems in the country by enrollment. In addition to the public university system, Ohio is also home to dozens of private universities, nonprofit post-secondary institutions and technical and vocational schools.
The most populous city in the state is its capital, Columbus. Other cities of note in Ohio include Cleveland, Cincinnati, Toledo and Akron. Students living in or near these cities may have many nearby post-secondary institutions to choose from. However, options abound throughout the state (even outside the highest population centers) since it is the tenth most densely populated state in the U.S. Additionally, with many colleges and universities offering online programs, individuals living anywhere they can access the Internet can seek an education from an Ohio-based institution.
Ohio education costs (tuition fees and cost of living) and student aid
In 2014-2015, tuition and fees costs in the Midwest averaged the following by institution type:
- $3,889 for public two-year in-state schools
- $9,749 for public four-year in-state schools
- $29,796 for private nonprofit four-year schools
Of course, prices may vary by individual institutions. The Ohio Higher Ed website is a useful resource for identifying state financial aid programs for which students might be eligible. These include programs such as Choose Ohio First, the Ohio College Opportunity Grant and the Ohio Third Frontier Internship Program, among others. Of course, eligible students should also file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Ohio accreditation standards
Ohio is a member of a regional accreditation body called the Higher Learning Commission. According to the HLC's website, "regional accreditation validates the quality of an institution as a whole and evaluates multiple aspects of an institution ranging from its academic offerings, governance and administration, mission, finances and resources." The accreditation process is handled by peer review, which means that higher education professionals evaluate institutions according to those criteria. Accreditation is the benchmark of quality in higher education, and students should consider an institution's accreditation status when selecting a college or university to attend.
"May 2013 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates," U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_oh.htm
"IPEDS Data Center," National Center for Education Statistics, December 2015, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/datacenter/InstitutionByName.aspx?stepId=1
"Quarterly Gross Domestic Product by State, 2005-2013 (Prototype Statistics)," U.S. Department of Commerce Bureau of Economic Analysis, 25 November 2014, http://bea.gov/newsreleases/regional/gdp_state/qgsp_newsrelease.htm
"Widespread But Slower Growth in 2013," U.S. Department of Commerce Bureau of Economic Analysis, 25 November 2014, http://bea.gov/newsreleases/regional/gdp_state/gsp_newsrelease.htm
"State Grants and Scholarships," Ohio Higher Ed, 25 November 2014, https://www.ohiohighered.org/sgs
"How Institutions are Accredited," Higher Learning Commission, 25 November 2014, http://www.ncahlc.org/HLC-Institutions/how-institutions-are-accredited.html