The name Phoenix refers to the beautiful desert bird of mythology, who consumed itself in fire and was then reborn and arose from the ashes.
Fast-forward to 1867, when former Civil War soldier Jack Swilling discovered that the soil in the area around what is now Phoenix was rich and could be perfect for farming -- if it could only be irrigated. By 1868, he and some others founded a small farming community and devised a canal based on old irrigation trails left by the Hohokam people, who lived in the area between the fifth and fifteenth centuries. Swilling's friend Darrell Duppa suggested naming the community Phoenix, signifying the start of a new civilization from the ruins of the Hohokam.
Today, opportunities in Phoenix are as rich as the soil that was discovered there.
Industry and Employment in Phoenix
Phoenix's location at the crossroads of the Southwest make it a natural hub for finance, transportation, military operations, tourism, and government. The city is the fifth largest in the U.S., and continues to be one of the fastest-growing.
The city's early economy was agricultural, relying primarily on citrus and cotton farming. Over recent years, however, diversification has prompted an evolution of the city's economy. Numerous residents are employed by government agencies because of Phoenix' standing as the state capitol.
The metro area has several telecommunications and high technology companies including Qwest Communications and MicroChip Technology, Inc. Other companies, including Go Daddy and Honeywell also have operations in Phoenix.
Business managers, sales people, marketers, engineers and many others find work at small business sprouting up in Phoenix, as well as the seven Fortune 1000 companies that call the city home, including technology component manufacturer Avnet Inc., copper producer Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold, educational powerhouse Apollo Group (which operates the University of Phoenix), and PetSmart.
Education in Phoenix
Nearly 30% of Phoenicians have a college degree -- either associate, bachelor's master's, or doctorate. Nearly 22% have some college, but no degree. Those looking to finish their college education, or further their careers with a degree in a new field, have a variety of choices in Phoenix.
Private Universities / Colleges and Career Schools
- Grand Canyon University
- The Art Institute of Phoenix
- DeVry University
- Apollo College
- Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts - Scottsdale
See more about the top colleges and universities in Phoenix.