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As commencement season wraps up, study says half of college grads are expected to leave Boston

Posted by Your Town  May 22, 2013 04:53 PM

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As commencement season draws to a close, 1 out of every 2 local graduates are expected to immediately move out of Boston, according to a report by Northeastern University.

The report, which was released this spring by the World Class Cities Partnership out of Northeastern University, found that recent grads from Boston colleges and universities tend to move elsewhere for job opportunities.

Boston loses recent graduates to New York City, San Francisco, or Washington DC.

The researchers didn’t elaborate on how they conducted their study, or detail how many cities or students they polled. They did say looked at Linkedin accounts and gathered data from cities in 2011-2012.

The report says that students who live on-campus will be more likely to build professional connections in their home cities. The study found that UMass Boston students tend to be from Massachusetts and therefore stay in the area, whereas most Harvard graduates leave because the majority of them hail from other states and countries.

“Encouraging students to live on-campus, while most area universities limit on-campus housing to the school year, forces students to return to their home cities for summer work and internships,” the report says. “As a result, students build their professional networks in their home cities, rather than Massachusetts, and are more likely to leave the Boston area after graduation.”

The report says Northeastern stood out. Most students are not native, but more than 50 percent stayed in the Boston area seven years after graduation.

“A majority of co-op jobs are in the greater Boston area and many employers hire their co-op students after graduation,” the report says, touting Northeastern's co-op program. “The co-op model is a proven program that directly supports Greater Boston’s workforce value and strengthens our ability to attract businesses and jobs. In particular, this highlights the positive impact student integration into a community can have on increasing retention rates for a strong talent pool.”

Katherine Landergan can be reached at klandergan@globe.com. For campus news updates, follow her on Twitter @klandergan.

Looking for more coverage of area colleges and universities? Go to our Your Campus pages.

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