Iowa does not get a tremendous amount of attention, except perhaps every four years when presidential candidates stop by when trying to win the state's caucus. However, despite its somewhat limited national presence in education it has a variety of colleges and universities that are regularly ranked high on lists of the top schools in the nation. Iowa colleges are available for almost any resident who wishes to attend, be it at the university level or a community college.
The ironic twist in Iowa is that despite having almost 100 two and four-year colleges in the state, most of them are located not in the major cities and metropolitan areas but in smaller, lesser-known areas including Waterloo, Davenport and Iowa City. Some of the top universities in the state include the University of Iowa, Iowa State University and Northern Iowa University. All public universities, they are known for academic excellence and hard-working students. The University of Iowa in Iowa City has received international recognition for many of its programs, and is always listed as one of the best schools in the nation. With Iowa City being considered one of the best places to live in America, the Hawkeyes have much to be proud of. Offering students internationally-acclaimed programs of study in Audiology, Theater and Creative Writing, the folks in Iowa City are well-respected academically.
Among private colleges, one of the most popular is Drake University, which offers students professional degrees in Pharmacy and Law. Located in Des Moines, it also offers a great campus life for its students as well as world-class academic programs in Public Administration, Music and Education. The school's internships are some of the most-respected in the world, allowing students to gain practical experience, get paid and learn something new while networking with potential employers.
Community colleges are also numerous in Iowa, especially for those who aren't sure what they want their calling in life to be, those wanting to save tuition money and students wanting to learn a specialized skill and begin their careers as soon as possible. Over 20 community colleges are available to choose from including Cedar Rapids' Kirkwood Community College, Hawkeye Community College and Iowa Western Community College. The state's community college system, considered one of the strongest in the United States, consistently graduates workers skilled in various areas from Business Management to Nursing to Industrial Electronics. Graduates of these programs include everyone from those just graduated from high school to military veterans using the GI Bill to transition into civilian careers to displaced manufacturing workers re-training for a new career. Many students also attend various technical schools to learn such skills as Massage Therapy, Medical Assisting and Cosmetology. Whatever a student's chosen profession, there are a variety of schools in Iowa that are able to meet their needs and provide them with an education that is of world-class quality. Through hard work and a dedication to Midwestern values, Iowa schools will continue to be recognized as some of the best in the world.
Because schools in Iowa are able to turn out qualified workers in various fields, the state's economy has continued to be quite strong despite the overall national economic woes of many states. Colleges in Iowa have allowed the state to find itself near the top of many lists for employment opportunities nationally. For example, Iowa City was recently named one of the best cities in the nation to find a job.
While Iowa is thought of as only an agricultural state, there are a number of other industries that are thriving. Financial Services is a recent addition to the Iowa mix, with students trained in Finance, Accounting and Management in high demand among employers. Students graduating with skills in Building Trades are also finding plenty of opportunities in manufacturing and other areas. In particular demand are those skilled in Welding, Auto Mechanics and Electronics. Health care is also always in need of skilled workers, particularly those in Radiology and Medical Assisting.
Since the state has one of the nation's most respected law schools in Drake University, opportunities in the legal field are also numerous. Besides lawyers, opportunities for paralegals and legal secretaries are also readily available. Through the state's community college system, students can train to work for law firms and corporate law departments by taking day and evening classes.
However, the state's reputation was built on agriculture. With the industry still being an integral part of the state's economy, there are a number of interesting options available for students. The field of sustainable agriculture is becoming a popular option for those committed to keeping the heart of the state's economy in the forefront. As consumers, industries and farmers become more environmentally aware jobs in this field are booming. Agricultural science is another area that is creating numerous jobs, as corporations are looking for new ways to make foods healthier by using science to grow foods more efficiently using less land and few if any pesticides. As consumers demand more naturally-grown foods, jobs in this field will continue to expand.
Many top business publications and organizations have ranked Iowa as one of the best states in America to do business. CNBC ranked the state high in such areas as Cost of Doing Business, Quality of Life, Business Friendly, Workforce Education and Technology and Innovation. With its economic diversity, the state has been able to withstand most of the national economy's attempts to slow down its growth. Manufacturing makes up the bulk of Iowa's economy, with a variety of companies calling the state home. Besides such traditional agricultural companies like John Deere and General Mills, other employers include Maytag, Amana and recreational vehicle manufacturer Winnebago.
With its diverse mix of colleges, educational programs and employers Iowa has positioned itself to be one of the stronger economic states in the country. By continuing to emphasize hard work, innovative thinking and a willingness to do what it takes to see success happen Iowa will be near the top for years to come.
Found 106 Post-Secondary Schools In Iowa
|Vennard College||University Park||IA||4-year private, not-for-profit||105|
|Waldorf College||Forest City||IA||4-year private, not-for-profit||600|
|Wartburg College||Waverly||IA||4-year private, not-for-profit||1600|
|Wartburg Theological Seminary||Dubuque||IA||4-year private, not-for-profit||36|
|Western Iowa Tech Community College||Sioux City||IA||2-year public||4365|
|William Penn University||Oskaloosa||IA||4-year private, not-for-profit||1384|
Source: Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System. https://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/< 1 2