November 15 2019

The Capital Region’s Brain Gain

The Capital Region is leading the state in growing its ranks of adults with bachelor’s and associate’s degrees over the past five years, according to a Center for Economic Growth analysis of U.S. Census Bureau five-year estimates.

Educational Attainment by Degree

In 2017, the eight-county region had 142,092 adults 25 years and older with a bachelor’s degree. That was up 11.7 percent from 2013 and was the fastest growth rate among New York’s 10 economic development regions. The New York City region was close behind at 11.6 percent and Western New York at 9 percent.

During the same five-year period, the Capital Region saw a 12.6 percent increase in adults with an associate’s degree to 90,538. That was the state’s fastest growth rate, followed by the Mid-Hudson (9.9 percent) and New York City (8.9 percent) regions. Among the state’s 62 counties, Washington County had had the third fastest growth rate of adults with an associate’s degree (18.5 percent) and Greene County had the sixth (14.2 percent).

Over the five years, the Capital Region saw a 13.4 percent increase an adults with a master’s degree – the state’s third highest growth rate – and a 10 percent increase in adults with a doctorate – the seven highest growth rate. Together, the region had 258,048 adults with a bachelor’s degree or higher, meaning 31.4 percent of its adults fell within that educational attainment range. That is the state’s fourth highest educational attainment rate.

CEG Activities

This influx of highly educated workers adds momentum to the region’s highly skilled labor force. To further build on this momentum and attract more workers with post-secondary degrees, CEG is involved in the following activities:

Regional Branding Initiative: CEG is partnering with business and community leaders, to launch a regional branding initiative to raise the Capital Region’s profile as a 1-million-strong metro region with distinct competitive advantages, including strategic location, educational assets, cultural vibrancy, innovation, recreational opportunities, affordability and livability.

Industry Attraction: CEG regularly represents the Capital Region’s key technology sectors at industry conferences worldwide. In 2018, CEG attended 25 trade shows and conferences and identified and pursued 93 new project leads.

Talent Attraction: To assist local employers recruit talent to the region, CEG’s Talent Connect program assists new hires and their families acclimate to their new home here. Talent Connect also represents local employers at job fairs throughout the Northeast, attending 19 in 2018.

Veteran Connect Center (VCC): CEG launched the VCC to help local employers recruit transitioning service members and veterans worldwide. Through the VCC, employers can access JobPath software, the nation’s leading veteran employment platform for transitioning service members. JobPath helps employers identify workers with military skillsets that meet their needs, and vice-versa.

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