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Virginia Boasts Top Education Opportunities

Posted on July 20, 2008

With the state’s educational system being one of the best in the country, job seekers should take note that Virginia teaching jobs are on the rise.

According to the United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, 428,500 people were employed in Virginia’s education and health services industry in June 2008, a 2.5 percent increase over the previous year.

The Virginia Workforce Connection notes 314,945 people were employed in the educational services industry in 2004, and that number is expected to grow to 375,059 by 2014, a 19.1 percent increase.

While public schools are run by the cities and counties and not the state, all schools must adhere to educational standards set by the Virginia Department of Education, which maintains a program known as the Standards of Learning. There are 1,863 schools in the state, as well as 104 alternative and special education centers in 134 school divisions. Aside from public schools, Virginia is home to Governor’s Schools, magnet schools and the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology.

The state’s educational system usually ranks in the top 10 states on the U.S. Department of Education‘s National Assessment of Educational Progress, with Virginia students outperforming the average in all subject levels and grades tested. The 2008 Quality Counts report ranked Virginia’s education fifth best in the country. In 2004, Virginia had a 79.3 percent graduation rate, the 12th highest in the country.

The University of Virginia and the College of William and Mary are ranked within U.S. News & World Report‘s top 10 public universities. The state also is home to James Madison University, Virginia Military Institute, Virginia Commonwealth University, George Mason University, Virginia Tech and Virginia State.

According to the BLS, in June 2008 the education and health services industry employed 18,380,000 people nationwide. In May 2008 there were 687,000 job openings in the industry and 496,000 people were hired.

As of 2007, 8.8 percent of those employed in the industry throughout the country were members of unions and 10 percent were represented by unions. As of June 2008, the nationwide average hourly earnings for those in the industry was $18.75 at an average of 32.6 hours per week. In 2007, full-time workers received a median weekly salary of $671, members of unions received $779, those represented by unions received $781 and non-union members received $657.

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