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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Eye On Boise

New study shows in-state grads of Idaho colleges highly likely to stay, work in Idaho

Seventy-seven percent of Idaho residents who graduated from in-state public colleges or universities from 2010 to 2014 were employed in Idaho a year later, according to a new research report from the Idaho Department of Labor and the Office of the State Board of Education; and five years later, 67 percent still were employed in Idaho. Among out-of-state students attending Idaho colleges or universities, 39 percent were employed in Idaho a year after they graduated; that number fell to 28 percent five years after graduation.

North Idaho College in Coeur d’Alene had the highest retention rate for its out-of-state graduates, of whom  62 percent were employed in Idaho a year after they graduated, though that figure fell to 44 percent by the end of their fourth year after graduation.

“Access to a skilled workforce is the No. 1 challenge Idaho businesses face,” said state Department of Labor Director Ken Edmunds. “Retaining a pipeline of college graduates from Idaho, other states and abroad is critical for bridging existing skills gaps and providing employers with the talent they need to compete and thrive in today’s economy.”

The research was made possible by comparing data from Idaho’s State Longitudinal Data System, employment records, and other data from the Office of the State Board of Education and state colleges and universities; a federal grant helped fund the collaborative research project. Its findings documented an “affinity and attachment to Idaho” among in-state students who attend public colleges or universities here, one that persists even five years after graduation. The full report is online here.

Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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