Though Hawaii once thrived on tourism, leisure, hospitality and retail, recent data indicates that economic growth in the future will be centered on education, health services, science and technology, and energy.
According to a recent report from Georgetown University's Center on Education and the Workforce, between 2008 and 2018, more than 130,000 new jobs requiring post-secondary education are expected to open up in Hawaii--that's about double the number of new jobs expected for high school graduates and 10 times the number of new positions for high school dropouts.
Living and Working while Earning a Hawaii Online Degree
Life in Hawaii's island paradise doesn't come cheap. According to the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center, Hawaii had the highest cost of living in the U.S. in 2010. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) show that workers here earn some of the top wages in the country, with workers in all occupations bringing home mean hourly wages of approximately $22.23 or nearly $46,230 annually.
Jobs in Hawaii's fastest-growing industries may pay even more. The mean annual wage for those working in the education sector was $49,940, while health care practitioners had a mean annual wage of $87,860 in May 2014, the BLS reports. Those working in the Life, Physical, and Social Science Occupations earned on average $67,890.
Hawaii Online Degrees
As Hawaii's economy evolves, workers here might find they need college degrees to enter some of the fastest growing sectors. The College Board indicates there are nearly 20 degree-granting institutions in Hawaii, 10 of which belong to the state-supported University of Hawaii System. Campus locations are found on four of Hawaii's larger islands, and smaller educational centers or community colleges are located in more rural areas. However, students living in the island chain's most remote areas, or anyone with a busy schedule, may benefit from Hawaii online schools, which give students access to education from anywhere with an Internet connection, at any time.
Workers in Hawaii who are looking to upgrade their skills to move from tourism or retail into a higher-growth industry can also benefit from Hawaii online schools, which offer the flexibility to keep working while training for a new career.
Growing Careers in Hawaii
According to data from the BLS and Hawaii State Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, the following careers are slated to be among the fastest-growing occupations in the state from 2008 to 2018 (listed along with 2010 mean annual wage in Hawaii and common education requirement):
- Sales managers: 13.4 percent projected growth. Mean annual wage: $90,400. Education required: Bachelor's degree and work experience.
- Medical and health services managers: 12.1 percent growth projected. Mean annual wage: $98,380. Education required: Bachelor's degree and work experience.
- Carpenters: 6.2 percent growth projected. Mean annual wage: $66,170. Education required: Vocational training or long-term on-the-job training.
Students looking to enter any of Hawaii's high-growth sectors can get the right training with a Hawaii online degree. No matter what your field of interest, a college education can put you on the right side of Hawaii's evolving economy.