Essential Guide to Orlando: Careers and Education

Essential Guide to Orlando: Careers and Education

As home to the "Happiest Place on Earth", Orlando has quite a lofty reputation.

Orlando first gained international notoriety as the home of the Walt Disney World Resort and other attractions that annually draw more than 50 million people from around the globe. However, Orlando has much to offer visitors and residents alike, from year-round outdoor activities to various arts, sporting and educational opportunities.

Industries and Careers in Orlando

Over the years, Orlando has grown to become much more than the world's leading vacation destination. Orlando is a place creating the careers of tomorrow with new industries such as film production, military simulation and training, and a burgeoning medical and life sciences cluster.

Orlando ranks in the nation's top five cities for entrepreneurs, according to Business Week magazine. The Orlando metropolitan area was also named "Major Market of the Year" by Southern Business & Development in 2004 and 2005.

The Walt Disney World Resort employs more than 66,000 cast members, spending more than $1.2 billion on payroll and $474 million on benefits each year. The largest single-site employer in the United States, the Walt Disney World Resort has more than 3,700 job classifications. The resort also sponsors and operates the Walt Disney World College Program, an internship program that offers American college students the opportunity to live about 15 miles off site in 3 Disney-owned apartment complexes and work at the resort, providing much of the theme park and resort "front line" cast members. There is also the Walt Disney World International College Program, an internship program that has college students from all over the world.

Tourism in Orlando

Orlando is a major tourist destination and is the home of Universal Orlando Resort, and Sea World Orlando. Lake Buena Vista, Florida, located 21 miles southwest of downtown Orlando, is the home of Walt Disney World. Walt Disney World includes Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios, and Disney's Animal Kingdom. There are also two water parks (Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach), six golf courses, an automobile race track, sports complex, some 20 hotels and shopping and entertainment facilities.

These attractions form the backbone of Orlando's tourism industry, making the city the third most visited American city in 2007.

Education in Orlando

Orlando is also home to the University of Central Florida, the largest university campus by student enrollment in the state of Florida and the 3rd largest in the United States by enrollment.

Metro Orlando also has an abundance of professional and technical schools with specialties including aviation and aerospace, digital media, health services, computer software, nursing, customer service, hospitality management and law. Full Sail Real University, for example, focuses on media arts. There's also Florida Christian College for those pursuing a life in the ministry.

Orlando is the destination for over 42 million tourists each year, has over 400 hotels with over 120,000 rooms, over 5,000 restaurants, and 75 theme parks and attractions, making it the ideal setting for The Rosen College of Hospitality Management.

The Rosen College of Hospitality Management offers three undergraduate degrees and two graduate degrees. The three undergraduate degrees are: Hospitality Management (BS), Restaurant and Food service Management (BS), and Event Management (BS). The graduate program includes a Master of Science degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management and a PhD in Hospitality Education. Professors of the college consist of seasoned industry professionals and doctorate-level professors.

Business is also big at Rollins College. In fact, the MBA program is ranked number one overall in Florida by Forbes magazine.

There's also Valencia Community College with more than 53,000 students. This two-year school has one of the highest graduation rates of any community college in the country.

Just beginning your education search? Visit the schools below to receive free information on tuition, financial aid assistance, start dates and more!

Private/ Public Colleges & Universities

Career & Technical Schools

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