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Oregon colleges and universities: guide to the state of Oregon

From the rugged Pacific Northwest coast to the dense forests of the Cascade mountains, Oregon is made for outdoor adventurers. The state's economically diverse urban centers, meanwhile, are made for students in search of their career path. Colleges and universities in Oregon offer a broad array of career training options, from technology to design, business administration to green construction.

Colleges and Universitiesin Oregon

Inside Oregon

Oregon's unusual motto, "She flies with her own wings," goes a long way toward capturing the independent spirit of the State. Nestled between California and Washington, Oregon attracts a proudly quirky and strong-minded population.

Portland is the capital of green living, interesting culinary trends and a down-home arts and indie music scene. The city champions a progressive vision of the good life built on healthy habits--bike commuting, reading and eating well. Cultural diversity is celebrated here, making Portland an ideal home base for visiting international students.

Outside of Portland, Oregon's terrain quickly gives way to the unspoiled forests, mountains and valleys characteristic of the wild Pacific Northwest. There is no shortage of outdoor adventures to be had, from Mt. Hood to Bend, a city on the dry eastern foothills of the Cascades. Whether you ski, mountain-bike, kayak, climb or hike, you'll find a limitless playground in Oregon.

Life and work in Oregon

Oregon's economy is sufficiently diverse to support the full spectrum of career paths. Technology and business professionals can find opportunity at Intel, Oregon's #1 private employer. Biotechnology leader Genentech has a presence here, as do high tech game-changers Amazon, Facebook and Google. Nike and Columbia Sportswear represent the sportswear industry. Tourism is a major source of jobs in Oregon, with visitors flocking to attractions like Crater Lake and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland.

Affordable living is still a hallmark of Oregon living. Even in rapidly-growing Portland, the cost of living on the ACCRA Index is 116, nearly half that of New York City. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the median value of owner-occupied homes was $244,200 in the 2005-9 period. The median household income was $48,325 in 2009, just under the nationwide median.

Oregon career education

Oregon colleges and universities offer access to the State's best job opportunities. You'll find the full set of higher education institutions here, especially in urban areas like Portland, Salem and Eugene. Oregon's urban centers are highly literate, with many bookstores and a high college graduation rate. Nearly one in three Oregon residents has a bachelor's degree or higher, according to the Census Bureau, higher than the nationwide rate.

Options include the state university system, two-year junior colleges, four-year private and for-profit universities. Oregon technical schools and trade schools provide targeted training leading to vocational certificates or associate degrees.

In light of the state's technology-driven job market, popular degrees include IT and management information systems, graphic arts, computer engineering and lab technician. Oregon trade schools also feature certificates in emerging fields such as LEED-certified construction, feeding demand for green construction specialists.

Oregon career colleges offer a stepping stone into the State's growing economy. Come to Oregon for the culture and outdoor recreation, and stay to build your career education and career.

Author: Dr. Clare Kaufman is a freelance writer who covers business and education topics.

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