Introduction to Portland, Oregon: Education & Careers

Introduction to Portland, Oregon: Education & Careers

Famous for its clean, natural environment and unparalleled livability, Portland, also called the City of Roses, has combined the best of nature, urban planning, and recreation to form one of the fastest-growing, most people-friendly cities in the country.

Though just over half a million people call Portland home, it isn't crowded. The city is one of the most walkable in the country, according to the American Podiatric Medical Association, and Portland's careful attention to urban planning and transit means that students, tourists, and commuters have a variety of good options for getting around.

The mild climate and the vast natural resources near Portland, including everything from the wine-growing region in the Willamette Valley to the Columbia River Gorge and Mt. Hood, attract a number of tourists, artists, botanists, brewers and more.

Careers in Portland

The relatively low cost of energy, and the number of highways, transport options, and marine shipping facilities make Portland a good home to many industries.

These include education, healthcare, computer component manufacturing (computer chip-maker Intel is Portland's largest employer), and sports apparel. Adidas has its regional headquarters in Portland, and Nike, Columbia Sportswear, and Yakima Products are all headquartered in the Portland metropolitan area.

Portland businesses are also involved heavily in steel and aluminum manufacturing. In fact, in the last half of the 20th century, steel was the number one industry in the city. Schnitzer Steel, which has been in business in the city since 1906, employs over 600 people and engages in steel recycling and manufacturing.

A majority of Oregon graduates stay in the state after earning bachelor's degrees. A recent study found that 80% of public school graduates were employed in Oregon, and nearly half of those (47.5%) were employed in the metropolitan Portland area.

The recent economic recession hit Oregon hard, and the state and city's construction and manufacturing industries lost many jobs and revenue declined. However, the outlook for high-tech business is bright, and this is good news for a city that boasts the "Silicon Forest". Healthcare workers, including nurses and allied health care workers, and educational personnel will also be in high demand.

The Orgeon Employment Department's recent employment forecast said that though Oregon fell fast in the economic crisis, businesses are slowly rebuilding their way out of the recession. The department predicts that the state will rebound to pre-recession levels by 2014.

Education in Portland

Students in Portland have a wide array of options when selecting a school. Along with public and private schools, there are over 20 art, health, and other career/vocational schools in the Portland area offering hundreds of specialties.

According to Jeanie-Marie Price, Director of Marketing and Communications for Portland State University, Portland's location as the state's economic and cultural center makes it possible to integrate active community involvement with academic programs. Its position as one of the nation's most livable cities makes [it] an attractive place to learn, live, and recreate, she added.

Portland State University is Oregon's largest university, and is part of a seven-university system administered by the Oregon University System (OUS). Oregon also has 27 private colleges and universities, eight of which are found in the Portland area, as well as several career/specialty schools.

Private Colleges & Universities

Public Colleges & Universities Career & Technical Schools

Just outside Portland's metropolitan area are the private college campuses for Linfield College (McMinnville), George Fox University (Newberg), and Pacific University (Forest Grove).

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