Capital Region’s Educational Attainment Rate Climbs
New U.S. Census Bureau statistics show the Capital Region got smarter in 2016. The eight-county region’s ranks of adults at least 25 years old and with a bachelor’s degree or higher over the year increased by an estimated 2.4 percent to 251,637. That means 33.5 percent of the region’s adults had a bachelor’s or higher, up from 32.9 percent the preceding year and from 31.6 percent in 2012, according to a Center for Economic Growth (CEG) analysis of five-year estimates.
Among New York’s 10 economic development regions, the region ranked third for its concentration of adults with master’s degrees (11.2 percent) and doctorates (1.7 percent). Albany County drove the region’s growth, adding 2,363 adults with a bachelor’s or higher over the year. At 39.7 percent, the county had the state’s sixth highest concentration of adults with a bachelor’s or higher. During that period, Rensselaer and Saratoga counties also boosted the region’s ranks of highly educated adults by more than 1,000 each. The only county not to experience an annual gain among this demographic was Greene County, though since 2012 it was up by 6.2 percent.
Metro Area Performance
The performance of the urban-centric Albany-Schenectady-Troy metropolitan statistical area was even more impressive when it came to educational attainment. The five-county metro area had 213,006 adults at least 25 years old and with a bachelor’s or higher, or 35.5 percent of that demographic. That was the 35th highest concentration among 382 MSAs nationwide. Even more, among those MSAs, the Albany-Schenectady-Troy metro area ranked 25th for adults with a master’s degree (11.7 percent) and 16th for those with an associate’s degree.
CEG and the Region’s Talent Pipeline
To further increase the size of the Capital Region’s highly educated workforce, CEG is engaged in the following activities:
• Helping underemployed young professionals find better-paying jobs in manufacturing through a short-term, stackable credential training program.
• Working with local manufacturers in expanding apprenticeship opportunities for select trades, under a Manufacturing Association of New York Apprenticeship pilot program for the Capital Region.
• Encouraging young girls to explore careers in STEM by hosting an annual Girls in STEM event.
• Leveraging its Talent Connect program to recruit young professionals from outside the region for employers within the eight counties.
• Hosting speed mentoring events that pair graduates with companies.
• Working with the Capital Region Economic Development Council to identify and advance placemaking projects that would make the Capital Region more appealing to young professionals.
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