The Greater MSP region consistently ranks as one of the best-educated, most productive workforces in the country. Our skilled workforce is one of the region’s greatest assets, thanks in large part to our higher education system.
The system’s getting notice for its results. The Daily Beast calls the region “one of America’s top brainpower cities,” based on its intellectual environment and percentage of residents with college degrees. The state ranks sixth in the nation for the percentage of our population with an associate degree or higher. Private colleges have produced notable leaders such as former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who graduated from Macalester College, and Timothy Flynn, a University of St. Thomas graduate, who retired in recent years as global chairman of KPMG International.
Besides educating future workers, these academic institutions and their research and development focus provide our region with additional economic benefits. As an example, inventions at the University of Minnesota brought nearly $390 million to the state in the past five years and its alumni have founded 10,000 companies in the state. The importance of these institutions to private enterprise cannot be understated.
Given their importance, here are some interesting facts about our higher education system:
•The University of Minnesota’s Twin Cities campus has been listed as a “Public Ivy” in The Public Ivies: America's Flagship Public Universities for offering an education comparable to those of the Ivy League schools.
•Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU), provide workforce training to 125,000 students annually through partnerships with employers. MnSCU campuses grant the most degrees in the state.
•Private colleges such as Augsburg College and Hamline University offer a world-class liberal arts education with an approach that prepares students to deal with complexity, diversity, and change.
•Private for-profit schools such as Cappella, Rasmussen, and Walden, are based in Greater MSP and offer traditional and online learning environments with a global reach.