Montana Colleges and Universities

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Montana Colleges:
A School for Every Student

Montana schools lure adventurers

Fewer than a million people call Montana home; and livestock far outnumber the human population. But if you choose to attend a career college, trade school or university in Montana, you will be following generations of adventurers who have discovered its rustic beauty and its opportunities.

Colleges and Universitiesin Montana

A mecca for independent spirits

Native Americans were Montana's first inhabitants, and the rest of the world didn't discover it until the Lewis and Clark expedition of 1804 to 1806. Over the ensuring decades trappers and traders, Roman Catholic missionaries and gold prospectors came in waves to Montana, which became a state in 1864.

When the gold ran out, many of the former boomtowns became eerie ghost towns--including Virginia City, home to Calamity Jane. You can still visit Virginia City, located in southwest Montana about 50 miles from Bozeman, and enjoy exploring a city that has remained frozen in time.

Career colleges and trade schools in Montana

Students can find options for career college and trade school in Montana's major cities--and online degree programs give them the chance to pursue career training from anywhere in the state. In Butte, MontanaTech at the University of Montana offers degrees in automotive technology, construction, historic preservation, drafting technology and other fields.

The University's campus in Helena offers degrees in diesel technology and aviation maintenance, among others. The College of Technology at Montana State University, in Billings, offers two-year programs developed with input from industries and serves an an OSHA training center for the U.S. Department of Labor. Smaller career schools, such as Health Works Institute in Bozeman, teach massage therapy, esthetics and other careers.


Those who appreciate the great outdoors can pick no better place to attend a university, career college or trade school. Here are just a few ways to fill your time when you are not studying:

  • Two of the country's greatest national parks, Glacier and Yellowstone, are partly located in Montana.
  • Its 54 state-run parks offer plenty of hiking, rafting, biking and horseback riding. Montana has both the largest grizzly bear population and the largest elk herds in the country.
  • Around Granite Peak, Montana's highest mountain, one can enjoy ranch vacations, hiking, river floats, hunting, fishing, golf and rodeos.
  • Big Timber is a haven for trout fishermen.
  • During winter, Montana's mountains attract many skiers and snowmobiles.
  • Miles City in eastern Montana hosts the annual Miles City Bucking Horse Sale, a 60-year annual event that lures rodeo operators in search of horses for their shows. It's a lively firecracker of a city in the middle of nowhere.


Once you've finished career college, university, technical school or trade school in Montana, it's possible to find your fortune there, although salaries tend to be lower than in other states.

  • Farming is still a top industry; and the Montana landscape includes large swaths of grain farms, as well as herds of cattle, pigs and other livestock.
  • Utility and manufacturing companies have settled in Montana because of its plentiful deposits of oil, gas and coal.
  • Timber companies are concentrated in the forested areas of western Montana.
  • And as more visitors discover the state's rustic pleasures, the tourism industry has become a top employer, although wages tend to be low.

According to a May 2011 study of Montana State University graduates, more than 95 percent had found jobs or continued their education, most of them in the state.

Author: Cathy Buday is a Boston-based freelance writer.

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