Mississippi Colleges & Universities

Mississippi colleges are global leaders in research and technology. Their graduates make invaluable contributions to virtually every field of human interest. And they can help you move from classroom to career with confidence. If you're a high school grad or considering a mid-career change, schools in Mississippi can get you to the next level in your profession.

Mississippi Colleges: Where PostsecondaryTraining and Career Opportunity Meet: Mississippi Power reveals a bevy of state honors that proves Mississippi's commitment to quality education: the first state-supported handicapped school, the first women's state college, the first coed college to grant degrees to women, and the oldest land-grant college for African Americans. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. You'll find that colleges in Mississippi feature several unique benefits for your academic and professional development.

Mississippi Colleges: Academic Traditions Meet Advanced Technologies: The mark of a quality state higher education system is choice. Mississippi is home to 10 four-year public colleges and universities, 15 two-year public colleges, 4 private liberal arts colleges, and 10 private colleges and universities.

  • • Mississippi State University (MSU) is among the nation's top institutions in research and development as ranked by the National Science Foundation.
  • • The University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) has been named a Carnegie II Research Institution, a designation which makes it one of the top 125 research institutions in the nation.
  • • Mississippi University for Women (MUW), the first public college for women in America, has been recognized for quality programs and enrollment growth.

Each year, more than 120,000 students pursue a wide range of disciplines in Mississippi colleges. According to Measuring Up 2006: The State Report Card on Higher Education, Mississippi earns high marks for increasing the proportion of working-age adults enrolled part-time in college-level education or training. Mississippi schools continue their good performance in the proportion of students earning their certificates or degrees in a timely manner. In fact, 51% of first-time, full-time students complete a bachelor's degree within six years of entering a Mississippi college.

The State Report Card also reveals the expected tuition and fees for attending schools in Mississippi:

  • • Community Colleges - $6,620
  • • Public, 4-year Universities and Colleges - $8,373
  • • Private, 4-year Colleges and Universities - $13,064

Mississippi Economy: Low Cost of Living and High Quality of Life: Mississippi's labor market has to overcome a wide range of natural disasters and economic challenges in recent years. But it has done so with grace and resiliency, pointing to a promising future. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the statewide mean annual salary hit $33,570 in May 2009. That figure is below the national average of $43,460. The mean hourly wage for graduates of colleges in Mississippi was $16.14 in the same period and lower than the national average of $20.90.

Mississippi's economy is marked by a strong blue collar backbone and highlighted by the gaming industry. The major industries leading the state economy include: government (249,300 employed); trade, transportation and utilities (214, 400 employed); manufacturing (135,700 employed); and, leisure and hospitality (116,500).

Top employers in Mississippi represent a unique mix of healthcare and retail ventures. CareerOneStop, a state employment source sponsored by the U. S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration, lists the following major employers energizing the Mississippi labor market:

  • • University of Mississippi Medical Center (Jackson) 8,000 employed
  • • Nissan North America Inc. (Canton) 6,300 employed
  • • North Mississippi Medical Center (Tupelo) 5,000 employed
  • • Beau Rivage Resort and Casino (Biloxi) 4,000 employed
  • • RPM Pizza LLC (Gulfport) 3,500 employed
  • • Forrest County General Hospital (Hattiesburg) 3,400 employed

Mississippi colleges offer you the opportunity to earn a meaningful degree and the put it to use right away in the state's active global economy. Schools in Mississippi are tuned in to the demands of today's high-tech, commerce-driven world and will prepare you to thrive in this environment.

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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