Trade Schools in Nebraska: 5 Reasons Why Training and Working Here Is a Smart Choice
Nebraska is a great place to plant your roots. You can attain a quality education that could help lead you to many promising and exciting career opportunities, all without having to leave the state. In fact, people across the country are becoming increasingly aware of all that Nebraska has to offer. In the two decades from 1990 to 2010, the state's population grew by 15 percent. And it is projected to grow by another 22 percent from 2010 to 2050.1
An expanding population usually means increasing opportunities. And that's good news for you because it means that you could start achieving your potential while staying close to home. So take a moment to discover the reasons why so many people choose Nebraska trade schools and colleges to get the skills that they need for the future. You may be surprised by what you learn about this Midwest state!
1. It's Home to Fortune 500 Companies & Other Major Corporations
When you consider attending a Nebraska college or university, you probably want to have a good idea of what kinds of job opportunities could be available once your training is complete. You'll be happy to know that Nebraska fares quite well in this respect. You likely know that Warren Buffet is a fellow Nebraskan, and the multibillionaire's corporate empire, Berkshire Hathaway, is headquartered out of Omaha. And it is not the only Fortune 500 company that calls Omaha home. Others include ConAgra, Kiewit Corp, Mutual of Omaha, and Union Pacific Railroad. Additionally, specialty retailer Cabela's is headquartered out of Sidney, and national hobby and toy store HobbyTown USA is based out of Lincoln.
Some of the other large employers in the state include:
- CHI Health
- First Data
- Liberty Tax Service
- Offutt Air Force Base
- University of Nebraska
- West Corporation
These organizations—along with the thousands of others that help make Nebraska so great—regularly recruit talented individuals to work at their firms. They include business, engineering, healthcare, and information technology professionals. And there are plenty of Nebraska colleges and universities that can help you start developing the talent that gets you noticed.
2. There Are Many Strong and Growing Industries
Although Nebraska's roots are in agriculture, the state has developed a modern and diversified economy. Take a closer look at some of the state's most prominent industries:
- Agriculture—Historically, Nebraska is an agricultural state due to the amount of prairieland found here. In fact, farms and ranches make up 92 percent of the state's land. These operations grow everything from beans to wheat, and agriculture remains the largest employer in the state. As of 2011, Nebraska ranked eighth in the nation for its amount of certified organic crops and pastureland. And in 2014, one in four jobs were related to agriculture, and the industry as a whole contributed $25 billion to the state's economy. Additionally, crops such as corn are used to produce ethanol. As of 2014, there were 25 ethanol plants in operation, placing Nebraska as second in the nation for ethanol production.2
- Bioscience—Nebraska is making ground in the field of bioscience. More than 100 companies across the state specialize in everything from medical equipment to pharmaceuticals to research.
- Finance and insurance—With some of the largest financial institutions in the country headquartered out of Nebraska, it is no surprise that more than 14,000 people were employed in finance- and insurance-related positions in 2015.3
- Information technology—Nebraska is referred to as a part of the Silicon Prairie (which includes other surrounding Midwest states). Nebraska's impressive telecommunications infrastructure, combined with a growing number of high-tech investors, business incubators, tax subsidies, and other incentives, has led to a tech boom within the state. And with high salaries and a low cost of living, it's a pretty attractive place to work. In 2015, Lincoln alone had more than 100 tech start-ups.4 And across the state, there were almost 29,000 people working in computer- and technology-related jobs in areas like programming, security, and software development.3 Additionally, IT jobs grew in number by 5.22 percent over a six-month span in 2015, so it is understandable that Nebraska ranked third for the fastest-growing states for tech jobs.5
- Manufacturing—Since 60 percent of the state's population resides in the Lincoln and Omaha areas, it makes sense that approximately 50 percent of Nebraska's manufacturing companies are situated there as well. And another 10 percent have set up shop in the tri-cities area (which includes the communities of Grand Island, Hastings, and Kearney). There are more than 1,600 manufacturers across the state that had total manufacturing output of $14 billion in 2014. With over 95,000 employees, the manufacturing sector makes up almost 10 percent of Nebraska's workforce. But manufacturing also supports many indirect jobs across the state. For example, in 2014, manufacturers exported $5.65 billion in goods from the state, and 80 percent of the Nebraskan exporters who moved those goods were small businesses.6
- Telecommunications—After World War II, the U.S. government moved the Strategic Air Command (SAC) to Omaha, which resulted in the development of one of the fastest and most secure telecommunications systems in the country. And in the early 90s, Omaha was one of the first cities in the nation to be wired with a fiber-optic cable network.7 Nebraska has remained a telecommunications hub, and, for this reason, many large companies have based their call center operations in the state. They include organizations like Greyhound, Marriot, PayPal, and SiriusXM.
- Transportation—With Union Pacific Railroad based out of Nebraska, it makes sense that the state is considered a transportation hub. And with its central Midwestern location and seven major national highways, many national trucking firms use Nebraska as a base. In fact, the trucking industry employs over 60,000 workers across the state.8
3. It Has One of the Lowest Unemployment Rates in the Country
Unemployment is not much of a worry for Nebraskans. As of April 2016, the state came in third lowest in the nation with an unemployment rate of three percent. That is two percent lower than the national average.9 The low rate of unemployment is partly due to a strong agricultural sector, diverse economy, highly educated workforce, and stable and affordable housing market. So after completing your studies at one of the region's trade schools or colleges, Nebraska can offer you the potential for more job security than many other states.
4. It Ranks as One of the Most Affordable Places in the Country
Another solid reason that you may want to explore colleges and universities in Nebraska is the fact that it often ranks among some of the most affordable states in the nation. One big consideration is the cost of real estate. Check out the median house sales prices during February through May 2016 in the following states and regions:10
- New York—$400,000
- District of Columbia—$520,000
If you break it down further by city, Lincoln and Omaha are in line with the state median at $156,000 and $152,000 respectively. Compare that to New York City where the median house sales price is $1.175 million and Los Angeles where the median is $672,500.10 So if you dream of owning your own home, Nebraska can be an ideal place to make that happen.
Nebraska also boasts a reasonable cost of living. For example, Omaha—the largest city in the state—has a cost of living almost 35 percent lower than that of New York City.11 The cost of living calculation takes several factors into consideration, including rent, grocery, and restaurant prices. So ultimately, studying at the top Nebraska colleges and universities can mean more money in your pocket since your cost of living is lower than that of many other states.
5. It Offers Excellent Work-Life Balance, and People Here Are Happy & Healthy
Many Nebraskans choose to live the country life but commute into the urban centers for work. And for those living in the city, the country life is less than an hour away. So it's easy to have the best of both worlds while living and studying in Nebraska. And you can feel secure here too since the property crime rate is almost three percent lower than the national average, and the violent crime rate is 26 percent lower.12
Nebraska is also well known for its friendly residents. That could have a lot to do with the fact that many people are happy with their lives. The 2015 Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index found that Nebraskans ranked high for having a sense of:13
- Purpose—A large number of Nebraskans like what they do each day and are motivated to achieve their goals.
- Financial security—Many residents feel that they can manage their finances in order to reduce stress and increase security.
- Community—A lot of Nebraskans like where they live, feel safe, and have pride in their communities.
In other rankings, a 2015 survey named Nebraska as the 13th best state to raise a family. This was based on factors like school ratings, crime rates, affordable housing availability, and the cost of living.14 And for many of these same reasons, Nebraska was also named as the 10th best state for retirement in 2016.15 It certainly sounds like picking one of the Nebraska universities, colleges, or trade schools could lead you to a happy and abundant life.
Take Advantage of the Opportunities Before You
You can see that Nebraska is so much more than prairies and cornfields. This state offers numerous exciting career opportunities, it's an affordable place to live, and it can contribute to you achieving a fulfilling personal and professional life. If you're ready to discover the Nebraska trade schools and colleges near you, simply enter your zip code into the search box below. Doing so could open up a whole new world of possibilities!
1 Nebraska Department of Economic Development, Projected Nebraska State Populations, website last visited on June 1, 2016.
2 Nebraska Department of Agriculture, Nebraska Agriculture Fact Card, website last visited on June 1, 2016.
3 Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, website last visited on June 1, 2016.
4 Nebraska Manufacturing Advisory Council (NeMAC), "Nebraska: Home to Great Startups on the Silicon Prairie," website last visited on June 1, 2016.
5 Dice, "August 2015: Fastest-Growing States for Tech Jobs," website last visited on June 1, 2016.
6 Nebraska Manufacturing Extension Partnership, Manufacturing in Nebraska, website last visited on June 1, 2016.
7 Nebraskastudies.org, A History of the Infrastructure, website last visited on June 1, 2016.
8 Nebraska Trucking Association, Trucking's Economic Impact, website last visited on June 1, 2016.
9 Bureau of Labor Statistics, website last visited on June 1, 2016.
10 Trulia, National Home Prices, website last visited on June 1, 2016.
11 Numbeo, Cost of Living in Omaha, website last visited on June 1, 2016.
12 The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Uniform Crime Reporting Statistics (UCR), website last visited on November 22, 2016.
13 Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, website last visited on June 1, 2016.
14 Niche, "Best States to Raise a Family in America," website last visited on June 1, 2016.
15 Bankrate, "The 10 Best States for Retirement," website last visited on June 1, 2016.