Graduate Education Fact Sheet

Graduate Education is Key to North Carolina's Economic Growth

By 2018, one in every seven new jobs will require graduate education. North Carolina currently ranks 28th in the percentage of residents aged 25 years or older with a graduate or professional degree (9.3%).1

A more technically skilled entrepreneurial workforce will be required to grow North Carolina's economy.

Graduate education benefits the economy through attracting new industries and businesses that seek these high-achieving potential employees.

Research and development activity is fundamental to the goals of graduate education: R&D provides opportunities for graduate students and faculty to collaborate with business and industry.

The link between academic research spending and economic growth in a region is strong. Our state's public and private colleges and universities added $2.68 billion in research and development funds to North Carolina's economy in 2011-12. Graduate students provide much of the labor that has made North Carolina seventh in the nation in R&D expenditures.4

Patents, new technology and technology-related job creation – the products of strong graduate schools – are crucial to maintaining North Carolina's competitiveness in the future.

Currently in North Carolina's graduate schools5, students and their mentors…

Graduate Degrees Produced in 2012-136 by North Carolina's Public and Private Colleges and Universities

4,453 Doctoral, including:
  • Allied Health Professions: 266
  • Business, Law and Public Policy: 1,217
  • Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy: 855
  • Science, Mathematics and Engineering: 982
16,827 Master's, including:
  • Agriculture: 370
  • Allied Health Professions: 2,312
  • Business: 3,720
  • Education: 3,718
  • Science, Mathematics and Engineering: 2,607
  1. 2013 American Community Survey, US Census Bureau
  2. 2014 Current Population Survey, US Bureau of Labor Statistics
  3. 2014 Current Population Survey, US Bureau of Labor Statistics
  4. 2012 Academic R&D Expenditures, National Science Foundation
  5. 2014 North Carolina Conference of Graduate Schools
  6. 2013-14 Statistical Abstract of Higher Education in North Carolina, The University of North Carolina