College Towns Offer Recession-Proof Jobs

Brigham Young University in Provo Utah
Brigham Young University in Provo Utah | Source

Smart Cities in America

Three Smartest Cities Lists attracted much attention on the Internet in the 2000s and into the 2010s.

The Money Magazine and Forbes.com lists consider cities in which the largest percentages of people possess a Bachelor's or higher college degree. The Beast has its own criteria for "smart," which differ from those of the first first two.

Another rationale to use for city intelligence is tied with economic growth and considers the number and quality of postsecondary educational facilities available in American cities. These include universities, colleges, tech schools, vocational schools, or career academies. The following is the Forbes.com list of Top 20 College Towns in the US and all of them have shown jobs growth in 2008 - 2009, in spite of a recession. These cities seem to be recession-proof.

 Morgantown Personal Rapid Transit
Morgantown Personal Rapid Transit | Source
  • Provo Utah- Utah is a state that weathered the Recession of 2008 - 2009 better than many others, with increasing jobs and new successes at its universities and colleges. Provo is one if its successful college towns that has increased jobs during recession. Hot Jobs in Provo.
  • Morgantown WV- This college town is home to the West Virginia University, the town's largest employer.. Visit a City review of the town and its economy and colleges at MORGANTOWN.
  • Durham NC - Durham is not only a college town, but fast becoming a research and technology center, because of its proximity to the Research Triangle. The nearby City of Cary NC has moved up the ranks of good places to live for jobs and Raleigh is among the top best cities for work and life, honored by Money Magazine, Forbes.com, and others.
  • Athens GA - Athens is just a bit too far from Atlanta to be considered a suburb, but lies in the same labor market, 50 miles to the northeast. It is another of the top college towns recognized by major companies and financial publications, especially for its University of Georgia and Piedmont University.

Duke University in Durham NC in the Research Triangle has it's own lemur center.
Duke University in Durham NC in the Research Triangle has it's own lemur center. | Source
First Flight in Georgia Historical Marker, Athens.
First Flight in Georgia Historical Marker, Athens. | Source
  • Fargo ND - The metro area of Fargo-Moorhead has won several recognitions, include Top 20 College Town and Top 25 Places for Business and Jobs. A city review and job outlook are presented at the link.
  • Hattieburg MS - This Mississippi city is also known as a top Retirement City and Adventure Town. The University of Southern Mississippi and several others helped this city increase jobs even during the recessionthat occurred in 2008 and 2009.
  • Seattle WA- Seattle in the Pacific Northwest is a large metropolitan area that is an entrance way from the Far East and Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Diversity, history, culture, international flavor, and business are all attractions that are strengthened through the city's system of higher education. it may also be the smartest city in America.
  • Baton Rouge LA - See Top 10 Hot Jobs in Baton Rouge for a review of the city with its colleges, universities, and career schools.

Seattle
Seattle | Source
  • Las Cruces NM - Las Cruces is one of the most friendly and interesting cities I have met while doing research on opportunities for jobs, career planning, education, relocation, and retirenement. Visit the link and pick them up on Facebook. If you don't go there for a job, visit on vacation.
  • College Station TX - Texas A&M University is the largest employer in this metro area of Byran and College Station in Central Texas, working with business and government in order to create opportunities for new businesses and additional jobs beyond the university.
  • Charlottesville VA - Charlottesville is not only a top college town, but also a business center near American government installations in Washington DC.
  • Tuscaloosa AL - Daimler is building a new plant in Tuscaloosa to produce Mercedes Benz vehicles and supply 1,000 individuals with jobs. A dozen colleges and universities in the city have spurred economic growth and new job creation.

Las Cruces NM
Las Cruces NM | Source
  • Iowa City IA - The University of Iowa draws many students to Iowa City every year and helps to create new jobs for the city and the state,.
  • Auburn AL - Auburn University makes this a great college town and it's neighbor, Tuskegee University adds more than double the power in education and new job creation to this area of Alabama. Several other schools add value as well.
  • Fort Collins CO- Fort Collins is home to Colorado State University, a partner in FortZED, the world's largest zero energy district. The university and a dozen other postsecondary institutions partner with business and government successfully, creating hundreds of green jobs in Energy, while Healthcare and IT join Retail in economic growth evident in Fort Collins.
  • Oklahoma City OK - The University of Oklahoma is just one fo the local schools that helps make this college town this one of the Top 30 Best Cities for Jobs in America.

Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art at Auburn University, Alabama
Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art at Auburn University, Alabama | Source
  • Boulder CO- Boulder is not only its own great college town, but will also benefit from FortZED in recognized top college town Fort Collins (see entry above). Boulder will be using the renewable energy generated from the zero energy district project in Downtown Fort Collins Historic District.
  • Albuquerque NM - This is a college town that students and their families love in the great Southwest USA. The state is dedicated to sustainability and this is reflected in local college programming. Colleges in town include Apollo College, The Art Center Design College, Albuquerque, International Institute of the Americas; ITT Technical Institute; Metropolitan College, National American University, Pima Medical Institute, Southwest Acupuncture College, and the University of Phoenix, and several career institutes.
  • Jonesboro AK- Jonesboro is home to the Arkansas State University, which sponsors its own museum of local and state history. The town supports additional higher education facilities in career academies and technical institutes as well.
  • San Jose CA- San Jose is a top college town that has increased jobs even during recession, In fact, after suffering job losses in 2008, the city via its businesses and universities increased that number back to 2008 levels in 2009. During 3rd and 4th Qtrs 2009, jobs continued to increase. Partnerships among facilities of higher learning and with business and government along with an effective transportation system aided this growth immensely, to the tune of over 41, 100 jobs open in December '09. High Demand Jobs in San Jose.

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Comments and Thoughts 9 comments

Georgiakevin profile image

Georgiakevin 6 years ago from Central Georgia

Great Hub. I know many of the colleges and towns you write about. How about Pullman Washington home of Washington State University, Ellensburg WA home of Central Washington University?


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 6 years ago from North America Author

I will be happy to take a look at those towns - these are well respected schools that you mention. Thanks!


bearclawmedia profile image

bearclawmedia 6 years ago from Mining Planet Earth

Poor old Butte Montana did not get a mention, fair enough!. However it is where the only mining university in the world exists. A college town where Masters programs are the only thing on offer, scientists and engineers must have a bachelor to even get a look in. Butte was bigger than New York City in 1900. Immigrant's left the boat in New York and took the train to Butte, so much so that the railroad changed the destination on the passenger manifests and tickets calling it Butte America. Eliminating the word Montana. Butte is also a ghost town of 8 story granite buildings. The copper that electrified our world came from there. You are right not to include it the place is certainly not recession proof.


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

A very interesting point about the College Towns being recession-proof. Something else I have learn. Thank you.


Carilaya profile image

Carilaya 6 years ago from North Carolina

I live in a college town that is, unfortunately, not one of the recession-proof ones you mentioned. We're up in the mountains though so the isolation does not help the situation. Just imagine - every college student wants a job, so the competition is fierce. Not only that, most employers around here don't let anyone know when they're hiring so it's either word of mouth or you have to play the numbers game and apply/talk to as many places as possible.

So yeah..I can see why Boone, NC isn't on the list!


dusanotes profile image

dusanotes 6 years ago from Windermere, FL

Always something to learn from your great Hubs, Patty. Thanks, Don White


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 6 years ago from North America Author

Thanks for all the astute comments

@Carilaya - that's REALLY a hidden job market, isn't it?

@Bearclawmedia - I think the mining industry is not dead yet. I wonder how many people graduate from the mining school yearly? I'll have to go look.


ccycle profile image

ccycle 6 years ago from beijing

Learned from your article a lot of knowledge, thank you.


Johnny Bridges 5 years ago

Thanks for this write-up about the recession. Definitely one job that is nearly recession proof is trucking. There will always be products that have to be shipped, and truck driving jobs will be in demand. Just a thought...

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