Employment opportunities are blossoming in the Southwest region of the United States. According to Moody’s Analytics, five out of the top 10 cities for employment growth are in Texas. Naples, FL (4.1 percent), Austin, TX (4.1 percent), McAllen, TX (3.9 percent), Greeley, CO (3.8 percent), Dallas, TX (3.8 percent), Cape Coral, FL (3.7 percent), Raleigh, NC (3.7 percent), Port St. Lucie, FL (3.5 percent), Houston, TX (3.5 percent) and San Antonio, TX (3.5 percent).

The Bureau of Labor Statistics confirms the Dallas/Forth Worth job growth over that of the national average in the areas of trade, transportation, utilities, professional and business services, leisure and hospitality, education and healthcare, government and other services.

Even with the growth in the Southwest sector of the country, Dallas, with 3.8 percent growth, still outshines cities like Miami (3.2), Houston (3.1), San Francisco (2.2), Los Angeles (2.1) and Atlanta (2.0). Job growth in Dallas is more than double the country as a whole with the U.S. at 1.7 percent.

What is fueling this growth? Companies that consider relocating to Texas can look forward to tax incentives and plenty of space to build their factories and office complexes. Employees can look forward to pleasant weather, affordable housing and good schools.

People are returning to school in record numbers and having an advanced degree can be the difference between getting your dream job or not.

According to Sharon A. Harris, an English professor at Southern Methodist University, “A master’s degree represents sustained intellectual growth. It is a demonstration that an individual not only seeks more education, but can start and finish it. The finished product – a capstone or other major project—demonstrates to a prospective employer that you can plan, start and finish a project with a large scope. It also demonstrates that you understand the sequence of problems in a task and where to find resources, how to sort and perhaps discard resources, which ones to use and how to use them on your way to a finished project.”

Robin D. Everson is a native Chicagoan who resides in Dallas, Texas. Her appreciation for art, food, wine, people and places has helped her become a well-respected journalist. A life-long lover of education, Robin seeks to learn and enlighten others about culture. You can find her work at Examiner.com