Oregon has seen vibrant population growth in the past decade and expects to see even more in the next several years. The U.S. Census Bureau confirms the state's 2010 population was more than 3.8 million--about a 12-percent increase since 2000. The state is projected to grow to 4.8 million by the year 2030.
There's good reason Oregon appeals to so many people--the state is home to a diverse set of top industries, including tourism, agriculture, education technology, health care and computer services.
Oregon online schools
Today, it's a story heard around the nation. The University of Washington's Higher Ed Junction blog reported that Oregon legislators plan to cut funding to traditional public higher education institutions by 17 percent for the 2011-2012 school year. While many conventional college and university campuses deal with ongoing financial and organizational challenges, students can avoid the budget crunch by opting for the high-quality instruction and training found through Oregon online schools.
Flexibility, financial aid, a lower cost-of-commute and learning new Internet-based skills are just some of the reasons to choose an online college or university. Oregon online degree programs can be adjusted around a work or family schedule and designed to fit within your budget while providing the personal growth and learning objectives you desire.
Flourishing careers in Oregon
Perhaps your professional goals align with one of Oregon's thriving state industries. Pursuing an Oregon online degree, while training or working for one of the state's many employers, may accelerate your education and provide valuable career contacts.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and Oregon Employment Department report promising information for several occupations, including:
1. Computer specialist: Whether your interests lie in programming, systems analyses, hardware configuration or software engineering, online programs can help you start a computer-focused career. Computer systems analysts made a mean annual salary of more than $78,000 in Oregon in 2010, according to the BLS. Programmers made mean wages greater than $68,000, while network architects made almost $71,000.
The OED states that total job openings for this field in Oregon are projected to be much higher than the regional average for all jobs from 2008 to 2018. Graduates with at least a bachelor's degree have a competitive advantage over others, so consider a focus on computer and information science, computer programming or network administration.
2. Training and development professional: Whether you take your love of training and education to the world of academia or to the human resources department of an Oregon-based corporation, the field is thriving across the state. In 2010, training specialists in Oregon made a mean annual salary of $58,000, while instructional coordinators made more than $63,000.
Leadership positions generally require at least a bachelor's degree, although graduates of certificate and diploma programs have found jobs as education, training and library technicians with a mean annual salary of more than $35,000 for 2010. The education services field is expected to grow by an impressive 28 percent between 2008 and 2018.
3. Hotel/tourism manager: Tourism is big business in Oregon, with visitors from all over enjoying the Pacific coast, the beautiful green forests and valleys of the region. Hotel managers in Oregon made a mean annual salary of more than $47,000 in 2010. Concierges made more than $29,000.
An Oregon online degree in tourism management or a certificate with a focus on hospitality can help you show the state's tourists a wonderful time. Leisure and hospitality services are projected to grow by 12 percent between 2008 and 2018.
It's up to you to determine your strengths, passions and professional dreams. But once you know where you want to go, Oregon online schools can help make those dreams a reality.