At the center of America's Heartland, Nebraska has the tenth lowest cost of living in the U.S and a history of excellence in education. What better place to earn your college degree?
Working and Living in Nebraska
With the lowest unemployment rate in the nation, according to April 2015 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the state is doing better than most other states in the Midwest.
The production of beef, pork and soybeans has helped make agriculture the primary focus of Nebraska's economy. Other key industries include the manufacturing, freight transport, information technology, telecommunications and insurance sectors.
Looking toward the future, recent Nebraska legislation is focused on "creating new momentum for developing and attracting businesses rooted in technology and innovation". Between 2003 and 2007, Nebraska outpaced the country in economic output in the biosciences; business management; transportation, warehousing and logistics; and agriculture and food processing, according to a 2010 study. According to the report, during the same period, employment growth in Nebraska's renewable energy sector increased by 547 percent, at a time when the U.S. as a whole increased just 116 percent. Developing renewable energy is critical to Nebraska's economy; the state is the second largest producer of ethanol in the nation and fourth for wind energy potential.
Nebraska - Excellent Education Record
In 2009-10, Nebraska had a lower student to teacher ratio (13.3) than the national average (15.4), according to National Center for Education Statistics data. For more than a decade, the state has also consistently ranked as one of the top states for high school graduation at 78 percent.
On the post-secondary education front, Nebraska Governor Heineman proposes no budget cuts in state education funding for the University of Nebraska, state and community colleges in fiscal year 2012. According to a January 2011 press release, funding will remain at the current level of $810 million with an increase of $50 million slated for fiscal year 2013.
To increase Nebraska's economic growth, Governor Heineman also called for the creation of a Nebraska Internship program to offer college and university students the opportunity to intern with Nebraska businesses, saying, "Economic success and education success are linked together." Another initiative targeted to this goal is Nebraska Career Connections, which provides career and education planning resources for students, parents, educators, adult learners and employers.
Nebraska Online Schools Offer Flexible Education Options
Online Worldwide is the University of Nebraska's online and distance education initiative, offering more than 80 Nebraska online degree and certificate programs at the undergraduate level, and approximately 40 online and hybrid certificate, master's and doctoral programs. Flexible online programs benefit students who already have an associate degree or equivalent, as well as working adult learners who want to earn while they learn.
Three Fastest-Growing Nebraska Careers
The Department of Labor named the following careers as the three fastest-growing in Nebraska between 2008 and 2018.
- Biomedical engineers. Growth: 91 percent. Education: bachelor's degree. Median 2010 Nebraska income: $68,500
- Financial examiners. Growth: 50 percent. Education: bachelor's degree. Median 2010 Nebraska income: $62,500
- Athletic trainers. Growth: 37 percent. Education: bachelor's degree. Median 2010 Nebraska income: $41,600
Education is the name of the game. Of the top 25 fastest-growing occupations in Nebraska, 20 require at least an associate degree and most require a bachelor's degree. To take advantage of these opportunities, consider one of the many online schools in Nebraska.