Leaders in Boston and Cambridge want to keep talent from leaving the cities

A new push aims to keep talented students from leaving Boston and Cambridge after graduation. PHOTO CREDIT: RETAIN MASS TALENT
A new push aims to keep talented students from leaving Boston and Cambridge after graduation. PHOTO CREDIT: RETAIN MASS TALENT

It’s no secret that Boston and Cambridge are home to some of the world’s most elite colleges and universities, an attribute that attracts thousands of students each year.

Sounds great, but there’s a downside – half of them earn their degree, then exit to the left.

That’s why a coalition of city and educational leaders will hold a Mass Talent Retention public hearing Thursday on how to convince local talent to stay put after graduation.

“We want to make sure that we keep the young, vibrant talent here,” said Boston City Councillor Tito Jackson, who is spearheading the push. “The paradox of being a hub is that it is something that everyone goes to, but also something that everyone leaves.”

More than 50 percent of college graduates leave Boston each year, although roughly 90 percent of graduates who originate from the area stay, according to Jackson.

There are roughly 160,000 college students in Boston and Cambridge, and about 6.5 percent of Boston’s workforce are employed at colleges and universities throughout the cities.

Some of the issues that drive Boston students out of town relate to employment, transportation, housing and lifestyle, according to Michael Lake, executive director of World Class Cities Partnership.

“Historically it’s been about cost of living issues,” said Lake. “But we’re losing talent to cities that are far more expensive than Boston. So the question then becomes, what is the reason?”

The public hearing will run from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Cahners Theater in the Museum of Science.

Follow Morgan Rousseau on Twitter: @MetroMorgan
Follow Metro Boston on Twitter: @MetroBOS



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