Alabama Colleges and Universities

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Alabama Colleges:
A School for Every Student

Since as far back as middle school or perhaps even before, you've probably been hearing that a college education is one of the smartest investments you can make, that it leads to far greater opportunities than a high school diploma alone. What you probably haven't been apprised of is the actual data that backs up this claim.

According to a recent study conducted by the Census Bureau, individuals who held advanced degrees reported average earnings of $83,144, compared with $58,613 for those with bachelor's degrees and $31,283 for people with no post-secondary diploma.

Colleges and Universitiesin Alabama

Whatever your passion or skill set, a college education can help you turn it into a career; and with dozens of great colleges throughout the state, Alabama has something for every student. Whether you want to master a trade, earn a bachelor's degree, or prepare yourself for graduate school, Alabama colleges offer a range of options to help you meet your educational goals.

Top Alabama universities and colleges

Major 4-year colleges in Alabama include the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Troy University, and Auburn University. Alabama also features plenty of private universities, both secular and religious, as well as many community colleges.

Troy University, one of Alabama's most well-attended public schools, reports an undergraduate class of 22,245 students. Among those, about 39% are African American and 40% are white. For in-state students, tuition costs equal $7,350. The University of Alabama and Auburn University charge home state students $8,600 and $8,298 in tuition, respectively.

A college degree paves the way for a great career

While it's been proven time and again that college graduates fare better in the marketplace than do their degree-less counterparts, a diploma is only as good as a region's available job opportunities. Lucky for students of Alabama colleges, this southern state boasts one of the most diverse economies in the area. Some of Alabama's leading industries include:

  • Aerospace
  • Health care
  • Education
  • Agriculture
  • Automobile manufacturing
  • Mineral extraction and steel fabrication

What this means for students attending college in Alabama is both simple and highly encouraging: whatever your major, the workforce can probably use your expertise.

The automotive and health care industries constitute Alabama's biggest employers. Most of the state's economic growth is due to it's fast-growing automobile manufacturing industry, and the University of Alabama Hospital (commonly referred to as UAB) is a Level I trauma center that employs more workers than any other business in the state.

Alabama's median household income is $40,547. As of May 2011, the state's unemployment rate stood at 9.6%, making Alabama not much better or worse off than any other state in the nation. Worthy of note, however, is that in both recessions and booms, a college degree gives you an advantage.

When an unfriendly marketplace makes jobs scarce, employers want to be especially certain than job applicants are as qualified as possible. Earning your degree from one of the many Alabama institutions of higher learning ensures that you capture that competitive edge.

About the Author:
Karin Hansen holds a degree in English from San Francisco State University.

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