November 14 2023

Capital Region Advanced Degree Awards Highest in Four Years

Capital Region colleges and universities awarded their most advanced degrees in four years, driven by strong gains in life sciences graduate degrees, according to a Center for Economic Growth (CEG) analysis of data from the Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

In 2022, 13 Capital Region institutions awarded 4,447 advanced degrees – up 1.5 percent from the previous year and six degrees shy of 2018’s total. The 2022 total included 543 professional doctor degrees (MD, PharmD, JD), 341 research doctor degrees (PhD) and 3,563 master’s degrees (MA, MS, MBA).

Graduate Degrees

Over the last five years, the region saw the number of non-professional, biological and biomedical sciences graduate degree awards (MS and PhD) increase by 48.0 percent to 50. However, among other major STEM fields, graduate degree awards were down over the five-year period in engineering (-3.0 percent), computer and information sciences (-9.5 percent) and physical sciences (-31.5 percent). Outside of the STEM fields, MBAs were down 4.7 percent.


Professional Degrees

The region’s total of professional doctor degree awards was flat over the five-year period. However, that was because a 33.6 percent increase in law degrees offset an 11.1 percent decline in PharmDs.

Metro Ranking

This advanced degree pipeline has created a highly educated workforce in the Capital Region. In fact, in 2022, among adults at least 25 years old in the Albany-Schenectady-Troy metropolitan statistical area (MSA), 18.4 percent had graduate or professional degrees. That was the 13th highest graduate or professional degree educational attainment rate out of 136 mid-sized metros (250,000-999,999), according to U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey one-year estimates.

CEG Initiatives

CEG last year assisted the Capital Region Economic Development Council (CREDC) prepare its Annual Report and Regional Workforce Inventory and Healthcare Industry Workforce Development Report In these reports, the CREDC identified in-demand skills and high-growth occupations within the the following sectors: healthcare, tech and electronics, biotech and life sciences, software/digital gaming, and cleantech/offshore wind.

CEG is also helping Capital Region manufacturers and software firms skill-up workers through several apprenticeship programs for the following trades:

  • Brewer/Distiller
  • Cloud Engineer
  • CNC Machinist
  • Computer Support Technician
  • Data Analyst
  • Electro-Mechanical Technician
  • Industrial Manufacturing Technician
  • Machinist
  • Welder (Industrial)

Another CEG initiative is a Multi-Craft Apprenticeship Preparation Program (MAPP) training program in Albany’s South End. Sunrise Wind (Ørsted+Eversource Energy) committed $300,000 to CEG to fund union construction training for clean energy careers. 

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