Best Community Colleges in Louisiana
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Louisiana's community colleges serve every corner of the state, with more than a dozen options for education. About 7% of the workers aged 25-64 in Louisiana earned an associate degree as their highest level of learning.
While 41% of the jobs in Louisiana require just a high school or GED diploma, earning an associate degree can help you earn about $150 more per week.
The Louisiana Believes program even offers high school students a chance to jumpstart their associate-level education. The best community colleges in Louisiana also offer online education for those wishing to study remotely.
Why Study in Louisiana?
Educational opportunities for community college students spread across every region in Louisiana. The Louisiana Community and Technical Colleges system commits to "eliminating geographic, financial, and scholastic barriers to postsecondary educational programs."
More than 30,000 students graduate each year from Louisiana community colleges. The instructors at these schools take part in several learning and growth opportunities throughout the year.
With at least four waves of the COVID-19 pandemic, two hurricanes, historic flooding, and a deep freeze, the past few years have been challenging for Louisiana's citizens. However, the state's economy is recovering.
Healthcare remains in high demand due to ongoing COVID-19 challenges and fatigued workers. People tired of being quarantined at home are ready to let the good times roll in destinations like New Orleans, so the state's tourism and entertainment industries may be on the upswing as well.
Cost of Living
Most cities in Louisiana rank below the cost of living national index. Every key indicator of Louisiana's cost of living ranks lower than the national average. However, New Orleans breaks that mold with its desirable location and lifestyle. The median home value in 2019 in New Orleans reached $231,500.
Cultural and Community Offerings
Culture is abundant in all of Louisiana's unique cities and parishes. The state's Office of Cultural Development makes sure that continues for years to come.
Almost 7% of the state's workforce works in a cultural industry, and nearly $20 billion comes into the state each year through these industries. Mardi Gras celebrations happen in just about every Louisiana city, so options abound outside of New Orleans.
Winter coats might be optional if you live in Louisiana. The climate includes mild winters that aren't too long, hot summers, and year-round precipitation. The farther south you go in Louisiana, the milder the weather gets. Louisiana can expect a hurricane on average once every three years. Hurricane season lasts from June 1 to November 30.
Top Degree Programs in Louisiana
- Best Online Associate in Medical Billing and Coding Programs
- Best Online Associate in Psychology Programs
- Best Online Associate in Communications Programs
- Best Online Associate in Agriculture Programs
- Best Online Associate in Education Programs
Louisiana Employment Outlook
The pandemic hurt the state's economy, but by March 2021, 45% of lost jobs returned. Nevertheless, full recovery may take until 2023. The first industries to bounce back were retail business, transportation functions, and tourism.
Reconstruction from hurricane damage, a lofty plan to protect the state from future hurricanes, the federal infrastructure bill, and the resumption of previously stalled projects make construction a booming industry in Louisiana. The Louisiana Department of Labor projects growth for all sectors of construction in the near future.
More than half of the jobs available now and in the near future throughout Louisiana will require a technical college or associate degree.
5 Louisiana Jobs in Demand
Annual Average Salary (2021): $73,370
Job Outlook (2016-2026): 17.9%
Construction jobs took a hit during the COVID-19 pandemic, but projections indicate that the industry should rebound quickly. More than $10 million in construction projects are underway or planned in the Baton Rouge region. The state frequently hires construction workers to prepare locations for hurricanes and rebuild after natural disasters.
Building Material and Garden Supply Stores
Annual Average Salary (2021): $34,160
Job Outlook (2016-2026): 11.4%
The expansive construction in Louisiana naturally results in a need for the supplies. The newly-passed federal infrastructure bill includes a local hiring preference for construction projects and more than $400 billion in infrastructure improvements nationwide. Several of the projects in the bill specifically mention Louisiana roads.
Annual Average Salary (2021): $80,760
Job Outlook (2016-2026): 17.0%
The Louisiana Department of Labor projects significant growth in the air transportation industry between 2016 and 2026. Jobs in this field include air traffic controller, transportation system specialist, and safety inspector. You can qualify for these careers through programs at community colleges.
Messengers and Couriers
Annual Average Salary (2021): $36,300
Job Outlook (2016-2026): 32.7%
Messengers and couriers became a lifeline during the COVID-19 pandemic. People wouldn't or couldn't leave home and still needed essential supplies. Businesses needed to deliver critical documents and data as more people worked from home. Students can often work these jobs as they pursue associate degrees in business.
Ambulatory Healthcare Services
Annual Average Salary (2021): $53,140
Job Outlook (2016-2026): 16.2%
Ambulatory healthcare services can provide life-saving work in the aftermath of a major hurricane. Ambulatory healthcare can also help rural areas that don't have easy access to hospitals. Many Louisiana community colleges offer associate degrees that can qualify you for careers in this field.
Popular Career Paths in Louisiana
- Software Engineering
- Physical Therapy
- Web Development
- Social Work
- Human Resources
- Civil Engineering
Best Accredited Community Colleges in Louisiana
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Frequently Asked Questions About Community Colleges in Louisiana
Are community colleges worth it?
How many community colleges are in Louisiana?
Louisiana operates 12 community colleges, spanning every region across the state. More than 150,000 students attend the schools with an average of 30,000 students graduating each year.
How much is community college in Louisiana?
The average cost per credit starts at approximately $135, but varies by course and college. In July 2021, the state community college system's board voted to freeze tuition increases for the sixth straight year.
Can you get a bachelor's degree at a community college in Louisiana?
Students cannot typically get a bachelor's degree at a community college. They can, however, take many of the same types of courses offered at a four-year college at a lower price. The Louisiana Transfer Degree leads to a smooth transition to a four-year school. The Southern Region Education Board calculates $6,000 in savings for students who complete their first two years of a bachelor's degree at one of the state's 12 community colleges.
What college is in Pineville, Louisiana?
Pineville, Louisiana, is home to Louisiana Christian University. Central Louisiana Technical Community College is located nearby in Alexandria.