Do you think a college degree makes a difference in succeeding as a real estate agent?

  • No (56%, 73 Votes)
  • Yes (44%, 58 Votes)

Total Voters: 131

College graduates play a significant role in a city’s economic success. However, attaining and keeping graduates is a struggle for some urban centers.

The national average of metro area residents with a four-year degree is 32%. In California, Contra Costa County leads the way with 44% and Fresno trails with fewer than 20% of its residents with a four-year degree as of 2009, according to the U.S. Census.

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Earlier this year, metro areas consisting of more than 33% college graduates had an average unemployment rate of 7.5%. Cities with fewer than 17% college graduates had a much higher unemployment rate of 10.5%. Other benefits of having a four-year degree include longer life expectancies, higher household incomes and lower divorce rates on average.

The difference between the most educated and least educated cities has grown significantly over the past forty years. As higher education becomes more common in the U.S., college graduates have stuck together. Thus, even when a less-educated city produces a fresh crop of college graduates, graduates tend to leave their less-educated hometowns for more educated cities.

One way for less-educated cities to keep their college graduates is through creating more internships at local businesses, enticing soon-to-be graduates with quicker promotions and less competition for top jobs.

first tuesday take

30% of all California residents have a four-year degree, compared with the national average of 28%. Likewise, California residents have an average household income $9,000 above the national average, according to the U.S. Census. In order to continue capitalizing on our larger than average number of college graduates and keep them coming, some forward-looking thinking is required.

As metro areas with already high numbers of college graduates continue growing, cities can prepare by loosening zoning restrictions. Recent graduates starting their journey into the workforce will be looking for jobs, housing and a culturally attractive place to make their start.

This means cities must prepare by allowing new high-density construction of multi-family housing in downtown areas. Cities like Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco with high-rise mentalities will win, while metro areas that tend to expand outward will lose out on cashing-in on the powerful force that college graduates can be for their economies.

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Re: A Gap in College Graduates Leaves Some Cities Behind from the New York Times