New Mexico’s higher education system is composed of many diverse colleges and universities, offering undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate degrees and certificates. New Mexico also has its fair share of associate degree colleges, community colleges, and private schools. University of New Mexico and New Mexico State University are the largest four-year universities in terms of enrollment and the number of campuses throughout the state. The New Mexico Higher Education Department (NMHED) is the governing agency that’s responsible for coordinating and overseeing the laws, rules, and finances of New Mexico’s higher education institutions. NMHED also provides important information on financial aid programs, institutional funding, and transfer credits.
The NMHED is committed to improving academic quality and access among New Mexico’s higher education institutions. The Department has collaborated with other state agencies and organizations to ensure that progress is made in the areas of college attainment, enrollment, and completion. Perhaps the state’s most prized higher education initiative is IDEAL-NM, the first statewide eLearning system in the nation. IDEAL-NM aims to increase access to distance education in New Mexico by providing online courses and accredited online degrees that mirror the on-campus offerings at New Mexico PK-12 schools, higher education institutions, and government agencies. IDEAL-NM has made searching for online courses and degrees a breeze with its Clearinghouse course catalog. The hope is to soon allow students to register for online courses through IDEAL-NM’s website, further simplifying the process for online learners.
Whether you’re a returning learner or a first-time college student, New Mexico’s higher education institutions have just want you need to reach your educational and career goals. If you don’t want to go the traditional college route, there are many universities offering online degrees and courses to students living in and out of state. For instance, the University of New Mexico has an online campus that offers a wide variety of distance courses and online degree programs, ranging from business administration and dental hygiene to organizational communications and radiologic sciences. New Mexico State University also offers distance education through its College of Extended Learning. Here, students can choose from several undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate degrees, as well as numerous certificate and licensure options. New Mexicans and out-of-state students can also find a few national online colleges throughout the state with courses and degrees offered exclusively online, such as University of Phoenix, ITT Technical Institute, and Pima Medical Institute.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, New Mexico’s major industries include agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting, manufacturing, construction, mining and logging, trade, transportation, and utilities, information, financial activities, and professional & business services. The U.S. Census reports that New Mexico has 86 agricultural, forestry, fishing, and hunting firms; 524 mining firms; 141 utilities firms; and 4,768 manufacturing firms. Inc. reports New Mexico’s Top Companies in 2012 as Innovative Technology Partnerships?a national security missions support firm, Speridian Technologies?an IT consulting firm, Siriusware?a software development company for resorts, museums and attractions, GenQuest, Upstate Pharmacy, and Zia Engineering.