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Idaho Colleges

Idaho Colleges


Idaho has been through an interesting, multifaceted transformation in the last twenty to thirty years.   Agriculture, mining and lumber have been the economic mainstays of the state since it came into the Union.  Agriculture is still important, with apples and hops being major products; Idaho produces about a quarter of the nation’s potato crop.  Mining continues to be an active industry with silver, lead, cobalt and zinc among the principal commercial minerals.  However the growing popularity of winter sports and Idaho’s wealth of lakes, rivers and forests have made tourism and recreational pursuits the number one industry in the state.


The other relatively recent development in Idaho has been a technology boom, principally in the Boise area.  The abundant and relatively cheap labor pool there has led to the construction of some major production facilities by tech companies, notably Hewlett Packard.  Along with the manufacturing has come research facilities, as the physical cost of development remained reasonable and the environment is an attractive one to anyone who appreciates the beauty of forests, lakes, mountains and rivers.


Boise is the state capital with a population of 130,000.  The state’s technology industry is centered there along with one of the state’s major educational institutions in Boise State University.  Originally a mining town and distribution center, the construction of Arrow Rock Dam in the early part of the last century created the agricultural industry in the area by providing a water distribution mechanism. 


Other cities include Pocatello and Idaho Falls; however the state is characterized by its remarkable geography and natural beauty.  Forty percent of the state’s total acreage is national parkland.  The Sawtooth Mountains and the Salmon River range are massive wilderness area, bordered on the south by the Snake River.  Idaho’s mountains are topped by Mount Borah an over 12,000 feet.  Eight thousand feet below the mountaintops is Hells Canyon, the deepest gorge in North America.


The state’s recreational industries should be inviting employment opportunities to young, active outdoor types.  Sun Valley and the other nearby resorts have created a major skiing center, rivaling the Vail and Aspen mountain redoubts of Colorado.  The lakes of Coeur d’Alene and its surrounding areas and the rivers with their spring and summer rapids have made the state a kayaker’s and angler’s paradise.


With its high tech industry up and running, Idaho is a natural destination for a student interested in information technology, computer science or electrical engineering.  Someone who wished to study those or any other subjects in Idaho as a working person should be able to find employment in the seasonal tourist businesses.  If you’ve got the stamina to hold down an active, outdoor job and pursue your studies as well, it would be difficult to match the educational environment that Idaho offers.


Online education is made to order for someone who has found rewarding employment in a remote location.  It’s a lifestyle and educational choice that would make a lot of sense to those of us who otherwise would be spending the winters skiing and the summers alongside some body of water anyway.

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