College grads: please quit fleeing.

MGal and I were on the topic of college affordability following the news of Wayne State’s 18.5% tuition hike.

The situation becomes even more dismal when you consider how the state continues to lose the minority that actually earn college degrees.

The Cherry Commission on Higher Education and Economic Growth presents some startling realities. Michigan lost 11,665 residents of the 22-29 age group with bachelor’s degrees. California gained 140,588 and the average net migration for all states was a gain of 6,929.

Many people my age don’t consider Michigan a good location to live, work and play. When I graduated from UM, hardly any of my friends and classmates considered sticking around. Instead, they opted for bigger cities like Chicago, NYC, D.C. Those still in the area are going to school and will probably take off after they graduate.

What to do? I agree that the state needs to foster a better entrepreneurial environment and leverage its network of public and private universities, colleges, training institutions, etc. And I believe initiatives like Oakland County’s Emerging Sectors and Wireless Oakland have merit. But how does this all fit together?

A concerted effort is necessary and, unfortunately, we rarely see that in Michigan — especially in the southeast region.

6 Comments so far

  1. lance (unregistered) on July 26th, 2005 @ 8:34 pm

    WSU’s tuition hike will prove to be costly for me, I have one year left (expectedly). I will have to take out all available financial aid to pay my way through.

    I have no plans to move out-of-state or out of Detroit proper. It is sad to see so many bright graduates leave with the hope of a job elsewhere. To be honest, I have several friends who over the years moved to other cities such as Chicago, Boston, LA, etc. To their surprise, each has had just as much difficulty landing jobs in even in their own highly marketable fields.


  2. corktown (unregistered) on July 26th, 2005 @ 8:48 pm

    I used to be one of those emmigrants, I left Detroit for New York immediately after completing grad school three years ago. After searching for an accounting job for almost a year, I was forced to go back home with what little mony I had. Apparently there isn’t much of a need for CPAs in the Big Apple, at least no entry-level jobs. But I found exactly what I was looking for in Detroit about four months later.

    Recent grads don’t realize that although the
    Detroit job market is not sterling, no other city is well off either.


  3. Dave (unregistered) on July 26th, 2005 @ 9:05 pm

    I hate how the country is becoming so polarized in every possibility, in this case geographically. With the exception of Chicago, everybody is moving to the coast. As if being surrounded by the world’s largest supply of fresh water wasn’t enough, everybody wants to be by the ocean.

    10 years from now, all of the icebergs will be gone, along with all present land within 100 miles of the ocean. Finally, it will be Detroit’s turn to ridicule the majority of the nation (no hard feelings).


  4. Mike Hoffman (unregistered) on July 26th, 2005 @ 9:09 pm

    New Orleans has the exact same problem. We call it the “Brain Drain”.

    My only advice is to use high quality foam-board like I did, just in case it rains and your sign starts dripping.


  5. suzanne (unregistered) on July 27th, 2005 @ 12:21 am

    I feel like Philadelphia has the opposite problem; we have too many undergrads sticking around so there are no jobs left. Then again, we have almost 80 colleges in the Philadephia Metro area…


  6. MGal (unregistered) on July 27th, 2005 @ 5:52 am

    I was forced to leave Maine when the only job I was offered was in Michigan. (Yep, the M is for Maine) It didn’t really want to leave but it was an oppurtunity I couldn’t refuse.. Now I am so in love with Detroit I don’t know if I could go back.



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