Columbia, a University of Missouri college town, is the fourth largest city in Missouri. Known for its progressive politics and fanatic devotion to Mizzou sporting events, Columbia is a bastion of culture, entertainment and college athletics. In addition to the University of Missouri, Stephens College and Columbia College call the city home.
Many jobs in Columbia center around the state university and public education systems. Over 11,000 of the metro area's approximately 180,000 residents work in education, either with the University of Missouri network or Columbia's public school system.
Columbia's low cost of living is a major draw; it's 6 percent below the national average. Housing is inexpensive, as well, with a median home price of $154,500, more than $25,000 below the national median of $181,400. Forbes ranks Columbia as the 6th best small city for business and careers.
Columbia Job Opportunities
The Columbia, MO jobs landscape is dominated by healthcare, education and the insurance industry. Government is also a major employer in Columbia, and it also provides an abundance of jobs in Jefferson City, the state's capital city just a half-hour south of Columbia.
The largest employer for Columbia jobs by far is the University of Missouri, which employs a diverse workforce of educators, administrators and support personnel. Healthcare is the second largest sector in Columbia, with Boone Hospital, the Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans' Hospital and the University of Missouri healthcare system employing the bulk of medical workers. Shelter Insurance, Columbia Insurance Group and State Farm Insurance round out the city's major employers
Cultural and performing arts venues also figure prominently in the Columbia jobs landscape. The Ragtag Cinema, Jesse Auditorium and Missouri Theatre Center for the Arts are revered institutions that support hundreds of direct and ancillary jobs in Columbia, MO.
Columbia Employment Trends
Columbia's 4.5 percent unemployment rate, well below state and national figures, combined with its robust 2.5 percent growth earned the city a rating of 9th in job growth according to Forbes. Annual job growth is expected to top 2.5 percent going forward. Columbia also made the top 50 cities for low cost of doing business; at #32, the city is a magnet for small businesses and entrepreneurs.
Individuals with a background in education and administration will find an abundance of opportunities, as will those who qualify for government jobs. Another rapidly growing segment includes journalism and media jobs in Columbia, MO. The city has two widely circulated daily publications, the Columbia Missourian and the Columbia Daily Tribune.