48.1% of those 25 to 34 have at least a bachelor's degree. 21.5% have graduate or professional degrees, making the city number one in the country. Only 2.2% lack a high school diploma or equivalent--lowest in the U.S.
Using census data, Pitt's University Center for Social and Urban Research has published a report in the "Pittsburgh Economic Quarterly", which regional economist Chris Briem says reflects today's employment realities and the metamorphosis of the workforce as the economy has restructured itself. Pittsburgh's older age groups lag behind national numbers.
When blue collar jobs predominated, workers learned complex, specialized skills on the job and often kept at it their whole working lives. If they lost that job, they were relatively unprepared for other work. Young people today may expect to change employers and careers many times, and a degree helps with such transitions, making education more important than in the past.
Briem says the Pittsburgh region obsesses over migration issues because of historic population loss as many blue collar jobs disappeared, but this data proves many young graduates are staying or returning to the area.
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