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GRDadof3

West Michigan College Grads

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What brain drain? College grads nesting in West Michigan

The article states that based on exit interviews done by the two big universities in West Michigan, college grads from WMU and GVSU are staying in the area in much greater numbers then what was portrayed in an article that appeared in the Detroit News: BRAIN DRAIN.

I wondered what recent college grads were seeing with classmates. When I went to Western back in the day, everyone wanted to go to Chicago or Atlanta, but many of those people have come back to Michigan since.

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I have stayed but most of my friends and classmates have moved on. I have friends all over the place now but Chicago seems to be the most popular place to move. I'm 2 years out of school now and I don't know what my friends will do in the future but I know at least 1 who says he wants to come back when he finishes med school.

I've found that most of the people that I know that have left moved because they've lived in MI most or all of their lives and wanted to see something new. I would have been willing to move anywhere as long as I found a job, it just happens I found a good one here in GR.

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I would say that about half my friends stayed in West Michigan and half have moved. I wanted to stay in GR and was fortunate enough to get a job pretty quickly after graduation.

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I graduated from a small liberal arts school in West Michigan 10 years ago this past June (yikes, I'm old).

I just ran through my closest friends from college. We all were born and raised in Michigan (about 75% from the Detroit area and 25% from West Michigan). Here are the stats:

Left West Michigan for Detroit - 4

Left West Michigan for Lansing - 1

Left West Michigan for Chicago - 7

Stayed in West Michigan - 2 (including me)

Left the USA to work abroad - 1

Left Michigan for other locales (west coast, east coast, great plains) - 5

On the contrary, my wife graduated from a religious school here in west michigan. We ticked off a list of her friends last nigth and have these stats:

Left West Michigan but since returned: 2

Stayed in West Michigan the entire time : 3 (including my wife)

Left for Madision, Wisconsin: 1

Left for the west coast: 1

Drastically different numbers don't you think? Not sure why or what that means, but clearly not everyone is leaving.

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I think a lot has to do with what you major'd in. Without adding everything up here's what I've seen based on degree

Engineering (Mech, Civil, Elec) - Stayed in MI (except for 2 friends I have with VERY specialized degrees), many around west mich (many who came from the East side are still here)

Computer Science/IS - Stayed in MI, pretty good split on staying here on the west and moving east.

Teaching - Out of the 15 or so people I know with a teaching degree, I can think of only 2 have been fortunate to find a job and stay in MI, the rest are out of state, or doing something not teaching related.

Business - 2/3 stayed in MI with a pretty even West/East split. Others have moved to NY/Chi/Dall/SoCal.

Nursing - Stayed in MI, most here in GR.

Just my observations. I graduated in 2001 from GVSU and have friends who are still graduating.

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My wife and I are recent Calvin grads. I'm from California and she's from Pittsburgh, PA. We're both sticking aroung Grand Rapids for at least the next few years: Grand Rapids is just a good place to be.

Most of my friends are sticking around, too.

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I stayed, but that was 25 years ago.

Actually I was planning on moving to Mobile, Alabama after graduation for a job I had already accepted but my father passed away 1 month before I graduated so I hung around to take care of family issues and business and 25 years later I am still here, and not regretting it.

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I did my undergrad at WMU in teaching. Of course there were no jobs when I graduated, but after sticking it out here (I had too many friends and family to move away) and doing the whole long-term sub thing for quite awhile, I finally landed that elusive teaching position in an excellent suburbian district. However, most of my friends in teaching had to either move away, or switch careers.

Still, most of my College friends who were not teachers were able to land jobs stretching from Portage/Kzoo up to GR.

One more thing: my friends who got jobs right away were either in computers or accounting...they all stayed in GR, with one in Kzoo.

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I stayed here after graduating but I am from the area originally. Most of my friends in school went back to the area that they grew up in such as Detroit, Lansing, etc. The couple that didn't do that are still here in the area.

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In the last 5 years of relatives going to college from the Western side of the state it looked like this:

1 - Ann Arbor

1 - Lansing

1 - Grand Rapids - dropped out of college, I don't know if he counts or not.

1 - Texas

Most of my older relatives have left the state, but that wasn't the question.

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I graduated with my doctor of pharmacy just over a year ago, and finished my post-grad training this summer. I'm currently still here in GR, but the sad fact is that the area has no (good) jobs for me. I'm currently job hunting and my best prospects right now are in Muskegon and Lansing/Jackson. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for the MKG job so I can live in GR and commute. I grew up in Muskegon, hardly ever visited GR. But since moving here to finish school I've fallen in love with it. I'll do everything I can to stay here but for me at least, the jobs ain't here.

EDIT:

Forgot my buddies from school:

#1) IT - Nashville, TN

#2) IT - Washington, DC

#3) IT - Baltimore, MD

#4) Pharmacy - Caro, MI (hometown)

#5) Accounting - Farmington Hills

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Brain Drain? Not here.

Posted in the Michigan forum. I thought it was relevant to this topic. Amongst some of the findings behind Michigan's continued population INCREASES (yes, the population is still increasing), between 1975 - 1980, 8300 immigrants with 4 year degrees immigrated into Michigan. From 2001 - 2004, that number has leapt to 61,800.

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Amongst some of the findings behind Michigan's continued population INCREASES (yes, the population is still increasing), between 1975 - 1980, 8300 immigrants with 4 year degrees immigrated into Michigan. From 2001 - 2004, that number has leapt to 61,800.
That's pretty incredible. I've noticed a lot of immigrants in Grand Rapids in recent years. Most, I believe, without degrees, but a significant development to say the least.

The accompanying graphic:

4ifa33k.jpg

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I'm from Northern Michigan and the Grand Rapids area is a big destination that people from there flock to.

Here's a cool website I found a while ago:

http://www.gryp.org/

Maybe some of you are a part of this organization.

There is also one for Holland:

http://www.behyp.org/default.asp

I've been to a few meet and greet gatherings downtown. Lots of cool people.

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That's great that GVSU grads are staying in the area, but what about all the people that left for school? Out of a handful of my closest friends, only one stayed around for college, and I went to high school downtown.

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