The largest city in Kansas, Wichita has an abundance of postsecondary educational institutions, as expected, with 14 throughout the region. Kansas cares about education: According to the U.S. Census Bureau, about 17.9 percent of Wichita residents over the age of 25 hold a bachelor’s degree, and more than 10 percent of the city’s population has earned a graduate degree. The state has recognized the need to provide traditional and nontraditional students with training and academic offerings to build a strong workforce.
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Higher Education in Wichita
Wichita’s college choices include Wichita Area Community College, with 27 associate degree programs in such disciplines as business, interior design and surgical technology. With 30 certificate programs and certificate of completion programs, the school has made a concerted effort to become an educational powerhouse for the community.
Wichita's graduate and undergraduate institutions include Wichita State University, which has received accolades for its research programs. WSU was ranked No. 1 among U.S. universities that receive industry-funded aeronautical research and development expenditures. WSU's degree programs encompass engineering, the fine arts, the health professions, liberal arts and sciences, business and pre-professional programs. The Kansas University School of Medicine provides medical degrees and training to combat the community’s physician shortage and to prepare students seeking careers in the health care field.
Newman University, a Catholic faith-based institution that features 44 undergraduate programs and seven graduate degree programs, is dedicated to preparing students for enriching careers.
The table below offers an overview of some of Wichita’s colleges and universities:
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|Wichita Area Community College||Public||Associate degrees, career & technical education|
|Wichita State University||Public||Certificates, credentials, undergraduate degrees, graduate degrees|
|Kansas University School of Medicine||Public||Master’s degrees, MD, PhD in health care areas|
|Newman University||Not for Profit Private||Undergraduate degrees, pre-professional degrees, graduate degrees|
|Friends University||Not for Profit Private||Undergraduate degrees, graduate degrees, and continuing education|
|Tabor College||Not for Profit Private||Undergraduate and graduate degrees|
Online Academics and Training in Wichita
Wichita’s expansive online offerings include academic degrees as well as professional preparation and training. Wichita Area Technical College offers an associate degree in administrative office technology as well as an online certificate in that discipline. Wichita State University created its first fully online RN to BSN program, which is set to launch in the fall of 2014. The institution offers online courses in most of its undergraduate and graduate degree programs.
National American University provides 14 associate degree programs and over 22 undergraduate online degree programs, in addition to the blended learning and on-campus opportunities at its Wichita locations.
Key Industries, Occupations and Employers
As a major hub of the aerospace, oil production and health care industries, Wichita’s economic growth relies heavily on these sectors. According to Wichita’s Center for Economic Development, the following six industries are vital to the city’s economic growth:
- Natural Resources, Mining and Construction
- Wholesale and Retail Trade
- Transportation and Warehousing
- Information Services
- Education and Health Care
Wichita Business Journal describes the five largest Wichita employers as follows:
- Spirit AeroSystems, Inc.
- McConnell Air Force Base
- Via Christi Health
- Wichita Unified School District
- Textron Aviation
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in addition to occupations common to urban areas such as office and administrative support, sales, production, and food preparation and serving, other significant economic sectors in the Wichita metropolitan area include:
According to the City of Prescott, the five largest employers are:
- Construction and Extraction
- Transportation and Material Moving
- Education, Training and Library Occupations
- Health Care Practitioners and Technical Occupations
Wichita's Center for Economic Development projects that the service sectors are among the fastest growing areas, with opportunities in professional and business services followed by information services, leisure and hospitality, education and health care.
Colleges & Universities in Wichita
COLLEGES & UNIVERSITIES IN WICHITA
|Wichita State University||18,656||$5,005||Public|
|Newman University||3,957||$20,866||Not For Profit (Private)|
|Friends University||3,847||$20,880||Not For Profit (Private)|
COMMUNITY COLLEGES AND VOCATIONAL SCHOOLS IN WICHITA
|Wichita Area Technical College||3,778||$5,040||Public|