Introduction to Indianapolis: Careers & Education

Introduction to Indianapolis: Careers & Education

Indianapolis, Indiana is the "Crossroads of America." The Midwestern city was given this title because more interstates converge in Indianapolis than in any other city in the United States.

The name works on other levels too, because the area is a hub of activity. Several Fortune 500 companies operate there, such as Anthem Inc., Eli Lilly & Co., and Guidant Corp. And, of course, there's the auto racing.

The 14th largest city in the nation, Indianapolis is perhaps best recognized as the home of the nearly 100-year-old Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The racetrack hosts the wildly popular Indianapolis 500, the Brickyard 400 and the only Formula One race in the country.

Over 800,000 Indianapolis residents enjoy a lower cost-of-living. Unemployment rates are slightly lower than the national average, according to's Market Intelligence. In addition, the city consistently ranks as one of the cleanest and safest cities in the nation.

The residents are also well educated. Latest census figures show that found 84.0 percent of Indianapolis residents are high school graduates and 27.4 percent have a bachelor's degree or higher.

Industry and Employment in Indianapolis

Indianapolis' location at the crossroads of America makes it an attractive spot for business and industry. The healthcare industry makes a strong home in Indianapolis, as does government, manufacturing, and transportation services.

Pharmaceuctical giant Eli Lilly is headquartered in the city, as is insurance company Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, which provides Blue Cross and Blue Shield insurance in 12 states.

Other Fortune 500 companies based in Indianapolis include Conseco Inc., Duke Realty Corp., Hunt Construction Group, National Wine & Spirits and Simon Property Group Inc.

American United Life Insurance Co., Clarian Health, Delco Remy International, Dow AgroSciences, Emmis Communications, Roche Diagnostics and Visteon are also major employers.

Business and government officials are trying to get the word out to young people about all the employment opportunities in the Indianapolis area. Projections by the Indiana Business Research Center at Indiana University show the state's population is aging. By 2040, it is expected that one in every five Indiana residents will be over 65.

These findings highlight concerns about the future of Indiana's workforce and the need to attract and retain people to participate in it, said IBRC Executive Director Morton J. Marcus.

The percentage of the state population over 65 is expected to reach 21 percent by 2040, Morton has said.

Schools are working with the state to develop an economy that has the kind of jobs students want to have, Bennett said. Of the graduates who are originally from Indiana, about 80 percent stay. These are numbers education and government officials are hoping to maintain and grow.

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Education in Indianapolis

There are more than 35 colleges and universities in the Indianapolis area that provide an educated workforce ready to lend their skills and talents to Indianapolis industries.

Popular areas of study at the region's schools range from performing arts to computer technology to healthcare. Elementary education, economics, and English are also popular majors.

Many Indiana colleges and universities are also part of the Indiana College Network, which provides distance-learning opportunities for students statewide.

"Students actually take classes at another university," said John Burton, ICN coordinator at Ball State University. Basically, technology allows a student at any of the participating colleges can take classes from any of the other schools in the network and receive credit toward their degree. Founded in 1994, ICN was the first such virtual consortium' in the country, according to network officials.




See more about the top colleges and universities in Indianapolis.

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