Will you stay after graduation?

Almost half of Michigan graduates leave the state after graduation

As I search for the number of college students who stay in our state after graduation, my search engine comes up with “Top 10 Hot Michigan Jobs Without A College Degree.”

We spend four or more years preparing for a career. Why would college graduates want a job where they do not use their degree, even if it is considered “hot?”

Our state needs more jobs fitting to the desires of college graduates. More and more people are attending college because they want to be successful. We are paying awfully high amounts of money in order to get there, but where will future college graduates be successful? By the looks of it, plenty of us will not be staying in Michigan.

With that being said, generationymichigan.org claims almost half of our state’s graduates leave Michigan each year. Ironically enough, right now is when our state needs us the most.The Bureau of Labor Statistics released unemployment rates for August 2011 with Michigan being the third highest in the nation. Yet the people who are leaving Michigan after graduation have what the rest of the world keeps telling young adults they need to be successful: a college education. So where is all this talent going? Michigan is missing out on so many brilliant young minds because of the lack of opportunities here. Ferris just enrolled a record high number of students this year, yet we do not have enough knowledgeable and high-paying jobs in the state of Michigan to make college graduates want to stay and be successful.

Most of us are part of the Generation Y or the Millennial Generation. We are tech-savvy, achievement-oriented and are part of the fastest growing section of today’s workforce.

Michigan is home to 15 public universities hosting more than 300,000 students annually, but how many of us will actually stay in Michigan after we graduate? I know I will not be staying in Michigan after graduation and it is because I sadly do not see a personal opportunity here. I do not want to be a teacher or a nurse, nor do I have any constructional skills I can contribute to the Michigan society.

Of course, young adults are more likely to move to a new location than any other age group and not everyone will leave Michigan, but Michigan does have the eighth worst migration rate in the nation. South Dakota, Alabama and Idaho keep more graduate students than Michigan does.

Students will be flowing in and out of Michigan colleges and universities, as they always have been. But I believe if Michigan wants to be successful for future generations our state needs to hold on to its educated students.

For those who do see an opportunity within our state, take it. I believe Michigan has a chance to grow and be successful.