An educated and capable workforce is critical for economies to innovate and compete. Companies start and flourish because of the people behind them. This metric looks at how regions compare in their ability to retain an educated and well-compensated workforce.
To measure this, we use six metrics with three key themes. First, we measure the education level of the population. We use four metrics for this: percentage of the population age 25+ with a bachelor’s, master’s or Ph.D. degree, respectively, and the percentage of degree holders with their first degree in a STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) field.. We use all three independently to skew toward regions with more advanced degree populations, given the progressing needs of innovative businesses. It is also important to measure the type of the degrees held by the population. This is not to imply that non-STEM degrees are of lesser value, but regions with more STEM graduates will be better equipped to face the evolving needs of innovation-driven economies.
We also use two additional measures to understand development and retention. We use the percentage of the population enrolled in college and the real income per employee in each region. The former is important to ensure that the next generation of talent is being produced in that region. The latter is important to understand how well employees are being paid relative to the costs of each region. Underpaid talent is at a higher risk of leaving the region than those adequately paid or higher.