Why Chicago Attracts and Keeps College Graduates

Yahoo Contributor Network

A Brookings Institution study shows the gap is widening between metro areas that boast a large number of college-educated residents and those that increasingly have fewer. Yahoo! News asked contributors from cities around the nation to propose solutions on how their cities can attract and keep college graduates -- and what they're doing well.


The Windy City is home to some of the best colleges in the country, so it is no wonder that we attract plenty of college students who stay here even after they have received their degrees. The percentage of Chicago-Joliet-Naperville residents with college degrees is 34 percent, up from 11.2 percent in 1970.

Schools like Northwestern University, Columbia College, and the University of Chicago are all leaders in their fields, and they provide students the unique opportunity to live on campus in one of the best urban areas in the world.

So how does Chicago keep these students interested in living here after school is over?

World leaders in business: Many of the biggest names in business have offices in Chicago. JP Morgan Chase, Boeing, Aon Corporation, MillerCoors, and Quaker Oats are just a few heavy-hitters that provide jobs for Chicagoans. The same can be said for industries outside of business as well. Chicago is home to several world-class hospitals and law firms as well.

Public transit: Chicago's public transit system is easy to use, and can take passengers anywhere they want to go in the city, and many more places in the surrounding suburban area. At a time when it is more expensive than ever to own a car, living in Chicago offers residents the chance to save money and protect the environment by living without a car.

Entertainment: It can't all be business, sometimes people just need to kick back and have fun. Chicago offers countless forms of entertainment, whether residents want to visit the beach, take in a play or musical, sample fine dining, or visit one of the city's many museums.

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