Are you interested in joining the many people who move to Utah to attend college? Or, maybe you are already among the people who live in Utah and you are interested in what the post-secondary schools in this state have to offer you? In recent years, the state of Utah, which is located in the Western portion of the United States, has been recognized as the 34th most populous state in our country. However, approximately eighty percent of this state’s population lives along the Wasatch Front, which centers on Salt Lake City. This western state boasts numerous collegiate choices for students who are pursuing practically any course of study. Utah is known as being the center of transportation, government services, mining, and information technology and research. In addition, this state is well recognized as being a major tourist destination for outdoor activities.
As far as educational options go, Utah has 15 private institutions and 10 public universities and colleges. In addition, there are numerous choices in the areas of technical schools, junior colleges, community colleges, and vocational institutes. It is important to note that the state of Utah is largely made up of individuals who are of the Mormon faith; this religious belief tends to carry over to the educational offerings in this state. For instance, this is well recognized in the popular Brigham Young University. This university is the largest and the most popular choice for students who plan to attend college in Utah. As you work to complete one of 188 academic programs, you will also be thriving in an atmosphere that is directly aligned with the principles and beliefs of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints. The top programs at this school are in the areas of performing arts and languages. In addition to this popular choice, you will also want to consider secular colleges such as Weber State, University of Utah, and Utah State. However, it is important to note that throughout this state there are 61 college campuses; 17 of them will allow you to earn a bachelor’s level degree and 9 of them offer advanced level degrees.
The University of Utah, which is located in Salt Lake City, is certainly a school that you will want to thoroughly check out. At this school you will have the chance to pursue one of 77 undergraduate programs, one of 70 minor and certificate based programs, one of 40 teaching degree programs, and one of 95 graduate level degree programs. This learning institution is the only one in the state that offers a nationally ranked pharmacy program, as well as programs in geophysics and meteorology. Weber State University is another great option for Utah students to consider. Located in Ogden, you will have the chance to attend one of their seven different academic colleges. Weber State University offers degree programs in areas of health profession, social and behavioral sciences, science, education, business and economics, applied science and technology, and arts and humanities.
Having been founded in 1896 by Mormon pioneers, Utah is one of the youngest of America’s 50 united states. Despite being just slightly over 100 years old, the state has managed to carve out a reputation for itself as a cultural hub, as well as a mecca for education and jobs. The 31st most populous state, Utah is home to 3,098,761 people, 80% of whom live in or around Salt Lake City (which has an estimated population of 190,884). Of the 3,098,761 people who call Utah their home, only 3.1% are without employment. Furthermore, almost 50% of Utah’s residents boast some sort of college degree or post-high school certificate, a number which state officials are hoping to increase to beyond 60% by the year 2020.
So why has Utah been so successful in keeping unemployment rates low and graduation rates high? Well, both can be explained by the state’s varied selection of quality colleges and universities. Students who study in Utah are motivated to power through their undergraduate courses by professors who are as knowledgeable as they are dedicated. Many who attend Utah colleges and universities with the intention of obtaining a Bachelor’s degree before furthering their studies elsewhere end up staying put to pursue their postgraduate degree, pleasantly surprised by the state’s education system. Utah’s superior education system breeds some of the finest in their respective fields, and the vast majority of them stay within the state, where they can use their qualifications to find meaningful employment without uprooting themselves. If you are considering pursuing an undergraduate or postgraduate degree in Utah, read on for a comprehensive look at some of the state’s most popular places of higher education and the job offers which await graduates.
University of Utah
Arguably the most famous institute of higher education in Utah, the University of Utah was founded in February 1850 and today boasts a total enrollment of 31,860 and an endowment of over $1 billion. In order to ensure those who choose to study within its walls have the best university experience possible, the University of Utah offers superior accommodation and at the time of this writing has almost half of its students living on campus. The A. Ray Olpin University Union acts as a popular hangout spot for students and often plays host to university events including the PlazaFest, which is a fair held for campus groups at the beginning of each new academic year. The school employs over 17,000 people, including an administrative staff of 3,421 respected professors. Despite its reputation as one of the finest places of learning in the west, the University of Utah is one of America’s more affordable universities, with most students paying in or around $11,000 per year after financial aid. Furthermore, the university has an acceptance rate of beyond 80%, so barring terrible test scores or major blemishes on your disciplinary record, you should be able to find a place in the school.
Communications is a popular major among those who choose to further their education at the University of Utah. The Department of Communication at the university’s College of Humanities is made up of a series of professors who are as eager as the students themselves. They will ensure you are given all the information and tools you need in order to secure your place at the top of the class (as long as you put in the necessary effort, of course). The communications major at the University of Utah will allow you to gain an in-depth knowledge of areas such as radio journalism, diversity in media, and communication criticism. Students are encouraged to choose a particular career path prior to the application process so they can make an informed decision when choosing their electives within the communications undergraduate program. Those who want to break into the world of writing for television should consider pursuing a communications degree at the University of Utah, where they will be given the opportunity to study both writing and the editing process, something which is not included in similar majors offered by other universities.
The University of Utah School of Medicine utilizes a faculty of more than 1000 experienced physicians in order to ensure students obtain the most comprehensive, well-rounded education possible. Those who make it into the MD program at the University of Utah should be prepared for a hectic four year course designed to produce only the very best physicians. The first 17 weeks of the program focus on the foundations of medicine and will introduce students to the basic principles of medical science and arts. Students will be taught clinical skills which must be mastered before progressing to the next phase of the course. The second year of the University of Utah MD program focuses on the human body and the organs within. Topics such as circulation, respiration, and brain behavior and studied extensively during this period. The program intensifies in its final two years as students are expected to put their knowledge to the test and show that they have retained all the information covered in the first half of the course. The University of Utah School of Medicine also offers certificates in the fields of public health, safety, genomics, and research administrative.
Southern Utah University
Because Salt Lake City has played such an important role in the development of Utah, a lot of people forget that the state has other cities in which to live, study, and work. Southern Utah University is located in Cedar City. Cedar City has a population of 29,483 and is located is 250 miles south of Salt Lake City and 180 miles north of Las Vegas. The university is quite a bit smaller than its Salt Lake City-based counterpart, which we just looked at. The total enrolment at Southern Utah University at the time of this writing is under 8,000 and the faculty consists of just 223 members. Despite its small size, Southern Utah University has earned a reputation as one of the most consistent places of learning in the entire state. It has shaped the minds of past students such as Brad Sorensen, Cameron Levins, and Michael O. Leavitt, who in 1993 was elected Governor of Utah, a position he held for a decade before becoming Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.
There are dozens of majors offered by Southern Utah University, and its English literature program is among the most popular. A major in English literature is ideal for those who are passionate about the written word. The robust course offered by Southern Utah University’s College of Humanities and Social Science will introduce you to a wide array of books across a variety of genres. The courses you may take while pursuing your Bachelor’s degree in English literature are plentiful. A perennial favorite is American Literature, which looks at the development of American literature from its roots in the 1800s to the modern day. Much attention is paid to the writers of the Second World War and how world events impacted their work. British literature is another popular topic of study for those majoring in English literature at SUU (or anywhere, for that matter). The British literature course focuses on, as you might have guessed, British literature. It should be noted, however, the course may be a little bit more difficult than its American literature alternative owing to the extensive history of British writing. Those who have majored in English literature at Southern Utah University have gone on to successful careers as professors, lawyers, and, of course, writers.
While Southern Utah University has bred a great deal of professors, it is also a popular training ground for those who want to enter the notoriously tricky world of elementary teaching. The elementary teaching program offered out of SUU’s College of Education and Human Development is one of the most comprehensive in the entire state of Utah. Students will be educated in all areas necessary to turn them into effective elementary school teachers. Among the required courses included in the program are Principles of Teaching and Learning, Art for Elementary Teachers, and Creative Movement for Children. While students do not have to complete the required courses in any particular order, officials at the SUU College of Education and Human Development have uploaded a suggested order to their website which, if followed correctly, will allow students to complete the program in the most timely manner possible. Students pursuing their B.S. in elementary education at Southern University Utah are also asked to choose a concentration to supplement the required courses. Among the possible concentrations for elementary education students are Art Education, Science Education, and English as a Second Language.
Brigham Young University
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, perhaps better known simply as “the Mormon Church”, has a famously strong presence in the state of Utah. Research conducted in 2007 found that 60.7% of all residents of the state are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which boasts a total of 14.8 million members worldwide. The LDS Church has influence in all areas of Utah life, including politics, arts, and, indeed, education. The influence of the church in education within the state can best seen in Brigham Young University, a private university in the city of Provo, which is owned and operated entirely by members of the Mormon community. Excluding online students, Brigham Young University is the largest religious university in the United States. Furthermore, with a total of 29,672 students currently studying within its walls, it is America’s third largest private university. Brigham Young University has an acceptance rate of 47% and has an average annual tuition of 12,335. 99% of students at the school are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which may put you off the college if you are not particularly religious (or just not Mormon). However, members of the LDS Church are generally incredibly affable and non-Mormons who have attended Brigham Young University have reported nothing but positive things about those they shared a lecture hall with.
Most people are of the assumption that science and religion are incompatible, meaning it would make no sense at all for a university owned and operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to offer a major in biology, chemistry, or physics. However, Brigham Young University recognizes the need for science in the modern world and acknowledges that it can provide answers to some questions which religion simply cannot. For that reason, those who choose to pursue a B.S. in biological science education can be certain that they will receive a comprehensive education from professors who have experience and in-depth knowledge of the area. The biological science education major at Brigham Young University requires 77 credit hours to complete and is made up of a series of courses, including Molecular Biology, General College Chemistry, and Practicum in Biology Teaching. It should be noted that this major is intended to prepare students to teach in public schools and so students must meet the licensing requirements of the Utah State Office of Education before they graduate.
Brigham Young University offers a variety of communications majors, with its news media major being among the most popular. The news media program requires all potential students to take a campus writing course before applying. Once that course has been completed and the news media major has begun, students will embark on a series of courses, including Writing and Rhetoric, Digital Media, and Social Media Management. It’s important to remember that this is one of many majors taught at Brigham Young University in which the school’s religious affiliation comes into play. Students are taught to apply Gospel-centered values to their work and are encouraged to use their communication skills to help spread the message of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
As mentioned a little earlier on, the state of Utah has an unemployment of just 3.1%, so you’re unlikely to experience any difficulty in finding a job in any of its towns or cities. Of course, your chances of finding gainful employment will increase tenfold once you have obtained a degree from one of Utah’s many institutes of higher education.
In Utah, there are 854 elementary schools, 775 of which are public and 99 of which are private. In an attempt to maintain the state’s religiosity, Utah elementary schools do not often take in teachers from out of state and are far more likely to hire those who completed the bulk of their elementary education training at one of Utah’s colleges or universities. The average annual salary of an elementary school teacher in Utah is $51,300. As you might have guessed, Salt Lake City, by the far the most populous area of Utah, offers its elementary school teachers the highest annual salary, with most earning in or around $54,068, almost a full $3000 above the state average. Elementary school teachers in other regions of the state, however, do not earn quite as much. The average annual salary of an elementary school teacher operating out of St. George, which is the county seat of Washington County, is $44,106, just under $10,000 less than that of a Salt Lake City teacher. Elementary school teachers in Provo enjoy the middle ground and earn an average annual salary of $50,658 per year. Should you manage to climb to the top of the education ladder and capture a principal position in Salt Lake City, St. George, or Provo, you can expect to earn a median yearly salary of $97,931, $82,043, or $91,755 respectively.
As in any state, physicians operating out of Utah can expect pretty significant earnings almost immediately upon the completion of their training. For example, a family physician based in Salt Lake City will enjoy an average annual salary of $185,880, though very many physicians in the city break $200,000 with ease. Family physicians in other areas of the state do not earn quite as much as their peers in Salt Lake City, but their median annual income is still significantly higher than the typical US household income. Physicians based in Cedar City boast yearly earnings of $164,207, while those who choose to ply their trade in St. George, which has a history of paying significantly smaller sums of money than other cities in Utah, will have an average annual salary of $156,516. Those who choose to get involved in more specialized areas within Utah medicine will earn even more than family physicians. The average salary of an anesthesiologist in Utah, for instance, comes in at $352,518, with no anesthesiologist in any area of the state earning less than $280,000. Anesthesiologists doing business out of Logan have the lowest annual salary at $280,126, while those in Salt Lake City are blessed with the highest at $352,647.
A degree in biological science opens the door to a number of different careers such as pharmacology, research science, and higher education lecturing; all respectable positions which pay rather handsomely. In Utah, one of the most common fields for recent biological science graduates to enter into is that of microbiology. A microbiologist, for those of you who may not know, is somebody who studies microorganisms in order to better understand their behavior and to determine how they interact with and adapt to new situations and environments. It isn't the most glamorous job in the world, that’s for sure, but entry-level positions are relatively well paid and are available in copious amounts across the United States. The average yearly salary of a microbiologist based in Utah varies from city to city, but it tends to hover around the $40,000 mark. As with every other profession in Utah, microbiologists who can find a job in their field in Salt Lake City will earn quite a bit more than their peers based in Provo or Ogden. The median annual salary of a Salt Lake City microbiologist is $43,186, while the median annual salary of a microbiologist in Sandy, the second best spot for microbiologists in all of Utah, comes in at $41,972. Logan is by far the worst location for microbiologists in Utah and offers an average annual salary of $34,305.
Given that Utah is so famous for its connection to Joseph Smith and the LDS Church (and likely will be for centuries to come), it would be remiss of us not to take a moment to discuss the potential earnings of a Mormon authority figure. Now, it should be pointed out that the church itself has avoided commenting on exactly what its highest ranking officials earn per year, but it has made vague statements about a “living allowance” being granted to a select group of leaders. Documents leaked back in 2014 revealed that allowance to be upwards of $100,000 a year. There is no clear path to becoming a leader within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but most who are today in such a position began their career in law or medicine, practicing both in and out of the state of Utah. Of course, if you decide to pursue a career in law with the intention of entering the top tier of the LDS Church once the time is right, you may become sidetracked when you obtain the average salary for a lawyer practicing in Utah, which is $106,148. While that salary likely won’t come your way until you have a couple of years of practicing law under your belt, you can still expect to earn close to $80,000 a year in your first four or five years after graduating. Attorney Is operating out of Salt Lake City can even expect to earn more than $80,000, with most enjoying an average yearly salary of $87,013.