The national trend toward a knowledge-based economy is transforming the career landscape in Tennessee, fueling demand for college-educated workers. By 2018, more than half of all jobs, some 54 percent, are anticipated to require postsecondary training, according to the Tennessee Department of Commerce. Tennessee online schools can help by providing high school graduates and others with the skills to compete in the changing job market.
Living and working in Tennessee
Traditionally an agricultural and manufacturing stronghold, Tennessee is joining the national ranks and developing a more global, technology-driven knowledge economy. The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation ranks Tennessee among the top 15 U.S. states having the most entrepreneurship and industry research and development investment, foreign direct investment and initial public offerings--creating favorable prospects for business and technology careers.
Tennessee's cost of living has yet to catch up with the emerging professional economy, creating an attractive environment for college graduates. It has the fourth-lowest cost of living in the country, according to first quarter 2011 data from the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center.
Earning a Tennessee online degree
Earning a college degree can help boost your earnings potential. The Center for Business & Economic Research (CBER) at the University of Tennessee Knoxville shows a positive correlation between educational attainment and per capita income. Educational attainment levels are rising in Tennessee, but the state ranks among the lowest (44th) in the nation for college degree completion. About one in five state residents over age 25 (22 percent) has a bachelor's degree or higher.
In an effort to develop a skilled workforce and attract business, the State of Tennessee offers programs to boost college degree attainment. The Complete College Tennessee Act of 2010 strives to connect higher education with economic demand. The realities of limited funding, however, have challenged college accessibility through increased tuition.
Tennessee online schools offer a solution to the state's funding woes by delivering educational options. The online format allows students to pursue their degree while they work. Tennessee residents in remote rural locations can also gain skills through online learning opportunities as long as they have a computer and Internet access.
Career prospects for graduates of Tennessee online schools
Business services, education, health care and hospitality offer some of the best career prospects for college-educated workers, according to the CBER. The Tennessee Department of Commerce lists the following job roles among the fastest-growing career fields in Tennessee:
- Network systems and data communications analysts: 4.1 percent annual growth rate over the 2008-2018 period. 2009 median annual wage, $65,800. Degree required: Bachelor's degree in computer science or management information systems.
- Dental hygienists: 2.5 percent annual growth between 2008 and 2018. 2009 median annual wage: $59,890. Degree required: Associate degree.
- Personal financial advisors: 2.7 percent annual growth between 2008 and 2018. 2009 median annual wage: $83,390. Degree preferred: Bachelor's or master's degree in finance, accounting or business.
A Tennessee online degree can provide you with an entry point into the state's professional economy. Tennessee online schools can help you to achieve your educational goals whether you want to continue working in your current career or have increased options through web-based learning.