It might surprise you, but much of Minneapolis-St. Paul's economic history is tied to a waterfall.
The St. Anthony Falls, which used to be the only major natural waterfall along the Mississippi River (and is now a series of dams and locks) powered a number of grist mills, lumber mills, woolen mills, paper mills, cotton mills, and more throughout the 19th century and well into the 20th century.
Times change, of course, and today Minneapolis is home to a wide range of industries, including healthcare, government, graphic design, technology, retail, and banking and commerce.
Careers in Minneapolis
The diverse Minneapolis economy requires skilled, knowledgeable employees at all levels.
The healthcare segment is particularly strong in Minneapolis. The city is home to seven hospitals, four of which have been ranked among the best in the U.S. by U.S. News & World Report, and the estemeed University of Minnesota Medical Center. Nearby Rochester (75 miles away) is home to the famous Mayo Health Clinic where medical researchers and doctors specialize in hard-to-treat diseases.
"Medical device technology and healthcare are really big right now. We have companies here like Guidant and Medtronic," says Todd Klingel, president of the Minneapolis Chamber of Commerce.
These companies and other healthcare service providers in Minneapolis need nurses, cardiac technologists, medical laboratory technologists, and other allied healthcare workers.
The financial sector is also quite strong in the Twin Cities. Fortune 500 companies like U.S. Bancorp, Ameriprise Financial, and Thrivent Financial for Lutherans are all headquaretered in the city. These investment and financial services firms employ bankers, financial advisors, investment analysts, and others skilled in economics and finance.
Other sectors with strengh in Minneapolis are education, government, and the arts. Government is in fact the largest employer in the city.
According to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, the city has the third-largest theatre market in the U.S., after New York and Chicago. Venues such as the Guthrie Theatre and the Walker Art Center give emerging and established artists well-respected spaces to showcase their talents.
However, there's more to choosing an area of study than looking at a city's economic profile. "Figure out what your interests and skills are," says Heather Isaacs, director of career development at the Minneapolis Community and Technical College. "Find something that seems like a good fit and then research it. Find out about the training that's needed; find out about the wages that you could earn."
Education in Minneapolis
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, over 42% of Minneapolis residents hold a bachelor's degree, and over 15% hold a graduate or professional degree.
The Twin Cities are home to a wide number of colleges, universities, and career schools offering associate, bachelor and graduate degrees. These include:
Private Colleges & Universities
- Walden University
- DeVry University
- Capella University (online)
- Augsburg College
- North Central University
- College of Saint Catherine - Minneapolis
Public Colleges & Universities
Professional & Career Schools
- The Art Institutes International Minnesota
- Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts - Minneapolis-St. Paul
- ITT Technical Institute - Eden Prairie
- Brown College
- Minneapolis College of Art and Design
- Aveda Institute
- Dunwoody College of Technology
- Herzing University - Minneapolis Drafting School Division