La. ranks 17th in nation for retention of college grads

Published: Sep. 14, 2022 at 1:25 PM CDT
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SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - More college students are staying in Louisiana after graduating; Governor John Bel Edwards says this is good news for everyone.

Gov. Edwards posted on Facebook about Louisiana ranking 17th in the nation for students staying in the state and working after graduating. In years prior, this ranking was much lower.

Louisiana ranks 17th in the country in retention of college graduates, ahead of 33 other states...
Louisiana ranks 17th in the country in retention of college graduates, ahead of 33 other states including Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, South Carolina, Virginia, and Maryland.(Facebook)

“It has traditionally not been the case that Louisiana ranks this high, so it was a surprising piece of news for me,” said Dr. Mohammed Ali, assistant professor of economics at Centenary College.

He says in most cases, graduates from La. and other southeastern states look toward Texas after finishing college. Ali says there’s a reason for this shift.

“A lot of jobs now, can be done from home. The pandemic really changed the job market in a way that a lot of jobs can be done from home,” he said.

Ali says this yearly ranking could change very quickly and it’s important for people to keep an eye on the number in the coming years. He also stresses that as employers look for workers to come back on site, La.’s rank could fall.

Vice Chancellor of Bossier Parish Community College Dr. Jennifer Lawrence says the school is making an effort to move toward more improvement.

“We have several associated of applied science that are designed to train students to go directly into the workforce.”

Lawrence says partnership programs also help get graduates into La. job spots.

“GDIT works in the cyber-security industry. We work with them to design specific curricula that students can earn here at BPCC that will prepare them to work for General Dynamics.”

As for economic impact, Ali and Lawrence says graduates become tax payers, support the schools and support the community.

“They’re staying in Louisiana, they’re probably buying a house in Louisiana, they’re increasing the consumption of the local Louisiana economy,” said Ali.