Report Shows Northeast Ohio's Need to Keep College Graduates

Oct 17, 2019

More than half of Northeast Ohio graduates leave the area once they get their degrees. That’s according to research from Team NEO. But that number can be deceiving.

Fewer than 47 percent of graduates stay in the region. While that may seem like a low number, Team NEO’s research chief Jacob Duritsky says it’s comparable to other large metropolitan areas. The problem is in the actual population.

“If you’re Chicago and you’re a much bigger market, and you keep 48 percent of your graduates, that’s almost 47,000 people. When you keep 47 percent of the graduates that go through our colleges and universities, that’s 14,000 people.”

Duritsky says it could take years to improve retention and see its effects on the economy, but people from business and higher education are already beginning to think more strategically about reaching students.

“How can we give them the best experience while they’re here that puts them in the best position to be employable here in the region? And hopefully that leads to keeping more of those people here over time.”

Duritsky says their study, Aligning Opportunities, found a high demand for graduates in information technology, health care and manufacturing.