Tampa is the country's 54th largest city, but has a higher percentage of adults with a bachelor's degree than the U.S. average. More than 31 percent of Tampa residents over the age of 25 years hold at least a bachelor's degree, five percent higher than the national average, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. As well as providing an educated populace, the city is also home to one of the state's 16 Fortune 500 companies, WellCare Health Plans. While you don't have to go into health care to find career success, the variety of academic programs available to you in Tampa could help you find the training that is fitting.
Studying in Tampa: Colleges and Universities
Tampa is home to more than 30 schools, colleges and universities. There are five public post-secondary colleges and universities, along with a wide range of private colleges including four-year parochial universities, local campuses of nationally ranked universities, and trade colleges or vocational schools.
The biggest schools are the University of South Florida, the University of Tampa and Hillsborough Community College. The largest public institution, the University of South Florida, provides nearly 90 undergraduate majors and more than 135 degree programs at the graduate and doctoral level. The largest private college is the University of Tampa, home to more than 6,700 students. It offers approximately 140 areas of undergraduate and graduate study and is known for its Sykes College of Business. U.S. News & World Report (www.usnews.com, 2012) ranks the University of Tampa among the top 25 universities in the South.
There are a number of accredited two-year and four-year private institutions in Tampa, including Argosy University, Altierus Career College, Keiser University and South University. Accredited private schools with religious orientations include Clearwater Christian College and Florida College, a Bible-based school. Tampa's International Academy of Design & Technology offers two- and four-year degrees in digital design and multimedia production. The Princeton Review recognized Troy University (whose main campus is in Troy, Ala., but has a branch campus in Tampa), as one of the best southeastern U.S. colleges (The Southeast Sun, 2012).
Hillsborough Community College, with five branches throughout the Tampa metropolitan area, serves 47,000 students and offers approximately 150 associate-degree programs. In addition, online schools offer flexible scheduling for the convenience of working students or those with families.
Vocational and Trade Schools in Tampa
There are numerous vocational schools in the Tampa Bay Area that offer training in a variety of trades, such as computer technology and massage therapy. Southwest Florida College, for example, provides two- and four-year degree programs in education, medical assisting and technology. The Concorde Career Institute, which has provided health-care professional training for more than 30 years, offers training in fields such as dental assisting, pharmacy technology, respiratory therapy and medical office administration.
Colleges and Schools in Greater Tampa-St. Petersburg
Include the neighboring St. Petersburg area (17 miles from Tampa) in your research and you multiply your choices for public and private accredited schools. As Florida's first law school, Stetson University College of Law in Gulfport has produced lawyers, judges and other law professionals for more than 110 years.
The University of South Florida, St. Petersburg, has served students along the waterfront since 1965.
St. Leo, 30 minutes north of Tampa in the town of St. Leo, is the state's first Catholic institution of higher learning and was named one of the best regional colleges in the South, according to U.S. News & World Report (www.usnews.com, 2012). The school offers more than 40 academic programs to some 15,000 students. While it's tough to make a decision about where to attend college, a review of our list of Tampa universities and colleges could be a help when it comes to narrowing your choices.