Montana Colleges & Universities

Blooming with culture, history, and natural beauty, colleges in Montana thrive with resources for students of all ages.

Schools in Montana: A Goldmine of Education: Montana has two main public systems: the first being Montana State University System -- Bozeman (includes programs specifically focused on Yellowstone National Park and the other close natural ecosystems), Billings (well-known for its top notch programs in education and rehabilitation), Havre and Great Falls. The second is the University of Montana System -- Missoula, which has three colleges of technology, conservation, and forestry; Helena, Butte, and Dillon.

Student population in Montana schools range from under 900 students to over 12,000 students, although the majority of universities and colleges in Montana have under 5,000 students.

Notable community colleges and technical schools offer programs to prepare you for immediate entry into the job market include Dawson Community College, Glendive; Flathead Valley Community College, Kalispell; and Miles Community College, Miles City.

Most Montana colleges offer the full range of online degrees and professional training programs at your own convenience.

The College Board Annual Survey of Colleges states average costs in the 2009-10 academic year for 4-year in-state public Montana colleges was $19,388, 4-year out-of-state public college was $30,916, and a 4-year private college was $39,028.

Schools in Montana are committed to promoting an environment of diversity among students. For example, Carroll College -- picked by US News & World Report as one of the United States best National Liberal Arts Colleges -- hosts free, public workshops hosted by renowned speakers and the University of Montana-Bozeman offers more than 40 multi-cultural courses. The University of Montana-Missoula also offers 30 clubs that speak directly to issues of diversity appreciation and community. All of Montana schools have made similar efforts and programs to support a diverse student population.

Montana Colleges and Potential Career Paths: Montana's largest income is generated by agriculture (including both crops and livestock), timber, and mining. Travel and tourism is becoming more important to the state and now ranks second in terms of its financial contribution yielding more than 6 million tourists visiting Yellowstone and Glacier national parks annually.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) employment markets showing the most growth in Montana are:

  • • Mining and Logging
  • • Other Services - including customer service, machinery repair, grant making, advocacy, dating services, etc.
  • • Trade, Transportation, and Utilities
  • • Manufacturing

On the Horizon: The bustling epicenters of Montana yield higher-paying jobs such as business, technical, service, and professional careers. Analysis from Montana Department of Labor and Industry shows many occupations, from construction to auditing clerks, experienced employment losses during the recession as have many states. However, the BLS reports an overall unemployment rate at 7.3% in July, 2010 for Montana, quite a bit lower than that of many states.

Although positions with on-the-job training or related work experience decreased, occupations requiring an associate's or vocational degrees are projected to grow in the coming years. You may want to take the opportunity to obtain more education and training, which will likely result in higher wages and more stable employment.

The writer Heather Bieber graduated college in Pennsylvania with a degree in Graphic Communications. She now works out of Northern California's Lost Coast as freelance writer, graphic designer and artist. She was previously employed as Managing Editor of Showbiz Weekly magazine in Las Vegas. As a freelancer, Heather has contributed to publications such as Fodor's Travel Guide, Las Vegas Weekly, Concerning Women magazine, Mortgage Times, LV Golfer, LV Life, LV Home & Design as well as written voice over scripts for promotional/real estate videos and copy for marketing and advertising campaigns.

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