Minnesota Colleges & Universities

Some would say Minnesota schools are ahead of their time--cutting-edge technologies delivering contemporary lessons to students both in-state and around the world. Plus, the state's thriving global economy is another unique benefit. If you're just graduating from high school or contemplating a mid-career change, colleges in Minnesota deserve your consideration.

Minnesota Colleges: The Right Postsecondary Training in the Right Economic Atmosphere: Minnesota has always been at the forefront of contemporary education--particularly with respect to higher ed. Minnesota schools are traditionally the first to launch new initiatives to improve learning and retention, increase graduation rates, and move more grads from classroom to career faster. You can benefit from the state's commitment to success by applying to colleges in Minnesota.

Minnesota Colleges: Rich in Tradition and Dedicated to Service: Minnesota features a rich network of public universities and colleges. The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System includes 32 institutions, and the University of Minnesota is comprised of five major campuses. Minnesota is also home to more than 20 private colleges and universities, six of which rank among the nation's top 100 liberal arts colleges.

The Minnesota Office of Higher Education (MOHE) reveals pertinent information on the state of education with respect to degrees awarded from 2000 to 2008:

  • • Blanket Increase. Minnesota colleges have seen a steady increase in the number of certificates, associate's, bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees--nearly 1,000 per year in each designation
  • • Top Fields of Study. The primary fields of study for bachelor degree include business, management, and marketing (6,872), social sciences (2,928), and education (2,752)
  • • Racial Designations. Asian (53%) and Hispanic (52%) students earned more bachelor's degrees, with white (50%) and black (33%) students following closely behind

MOHE also reports on the tuition levels of the various colleges in Minnesota. Figures compare 2007 gross tuition and fees for first time, full time students by institution type in Minnesota versus the nation:

  • • Public, 4-year - $7,208/$5,409
  • • Private, Not for profit 4-year - $19,835/$17,934
  • • Private, For profit 4-year - $14,552/$13,936
  • • Public College, 2-year - $4,309/$2,269
  • • Private, For profit 2-year - $13,568/$11,789

Minnesota Economy: Fending Off Recession in Several Key Industries: Minnesota's labor market has shown incredible resilience in the face of economic challenge. In fact, mean salaries for workers in the state consistently top the national averages. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the statewide mean annual salary hit $44,940 in May 2009. That figure beats the national average of $43,460. The mean hourly wage for graduates of colleges in Michigan was $21.60 in the same period and greater than the national average of $20.90.

The Minnesota economy features a unique fusion of natural and human resources that have helped it to stave off the most harrowing effects of the nationwide recession. The major industries leading the state economy include trader, transportation and utilities (496,700); education and health services (466,700 employed); government (410,500 employed); and, professional and business services (311,900 employed).

Colleges in Minnesota get inspiration and direction from the many Fortune 1000 businesses that are headquartered in the state. Fortune Magazine lists the following companies as making major contributions to the state's global economy as of May 2009:

  • • UnitedHealth Group (Minnetonka) - $75,431M in revenue
  • • Target (Minneapolis) - $63,367M in revenue
  • • Supervalu (Eden Prairie) - $37,406M in revenue
  • • Best Buy (Richfield) - $35,934M in revenue
  • • Travelers Cos. (St. Paul) - $26,017M in revenue
  • • 3M (St. Paul) - $24,462M in revenue

The bottom line is that Minnesota colleges offer several unique benefits that you won't find at other colleges in other states. The combination of established academia and strong economy gives Minnesota schools the edge.

The writer Kelly C. Richardson, EdS is a freelance writer, career adviser and educational consultant. He's written content for McGraw-Hill, Follett Educational Services and Pearson Higher Education.

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