Higher Education and Economic Vitality

Not a surprise to anyone doing business in the Fort Collins area, but higher education is important to the area’s economy. This is true in several ways: education and training generally make people more economically valuable and productive; collaboration between employers and education institutions drives innovation; and, of course, higher education institutions inject a lot of disposable income into the local economy.

In that light, here’s a post from Brookings Institution about the value of colleges and universities to communities.

Reinforcing the importance of higher education is a study by the Center for Jobs and Human Capital at the Milken Institute titled State Technology and Science Index. Milken reports that “Colorado moved up to second place from fourth, with a score of 80.4. The Centennial State jumped from sixth to first in Human Capital Investment as it began to reap dividends from investments in its 14 public universities and 17 private four-year universities.”

Colorado ranked:

  • First, human capital investment
  • Third, research and development inputs
  • Third, risk capital and entrepreneurial infrastructure
  • Third, technology and science workforce
  • Third, technology concentration and dynamism

There is significant data behind each category for those of you who want it.

The top ranking state in the Milken report is Massachusetts. Colorado, Maryland California, and Washington round out the top 5.