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College grads packing their bags

Higher education efforts are on the rise in eastern Idaho as more high school graduates bypass college.

Idaho State Board of Education Chairman Emma Atchley said the board is doing everything it can to make sure Idaho education rankings increases. Although the state has been very successful with high school graduations, it ranks 50th in the nation when it comes to those graduates moving onto any form of college. The board said it’s goal is for 60 percent of Idaho residents aged 25 – 34 to obtain a post-secondary degree or certificate by 2020.

“That is still our goal, to have that number of people with receive a proper education for the projected workforce for Idaho,” she said.

This goal is more important as the state see’s more graduates leaving after they receive their bachelor’s degree. There are even those like business major Allison Faust and her husband, who are Idaho natives, but plan to leave soon after graduation.

“We’ve been here for a long time and everyone has moved away,” said Allison. “We plan on going where there are a few more opportunities with a larger life style and just more opportunities for both of us.”

The ISBE understands this is a growing trend among the state’s youth. In an effort to preserve native talent, Atchley said the board has teamed up with the Idaho Department of Labor and other workforce experts to fill the void.

“We would hope that our system would produce the kind of workers that are needed in Idaho businesses and these Idaho students are the first ones we look to,” said Atchley.

According to the National Center for Higher Education, Idaho also ranks low in the three major industry groups, compared to the rest of the nation:

– 39th for employment in managerial and professional jobs.
– 28th in stem, that’s science, technology, engineering, and math positions.
– 35th in careers that have to do with education, health, and social services.

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