San Antonio: America’s New Leader in College Graduation Growth

If you thought San Antonio was a good place for job growth and recreation, well, you’re right. But if you’ve overlooked the brainpower, you’re most assuredly missing out on what is fast becoming the city’s newest claim to fame.

According to the San Antonio Express-News, San Antonio now claims the largest increase of college graduates in the country. Between 2007 and 2012, the city saw a 20-percent increase in people obtaining bachelor degrees. In raw numbers, the overall number of college graduates in San Antonio during those six years, the Express-News reported, grew by 76,313.

San Antonio shares the distinction with New Orleans, which reported similar numbers.

The news might come as a surprise to some. San Antonio has not traditionally been a haven for the college bound. As large metros go, the city is not as wealthy with colleges as other areas of Texas, such as Dallas, which houses several large schools. The only major bachelor’s-level schools in San Antonio are the University of Texas and Trinity University.

But according to Forbes, San Antonio’s rich culture and growing amenities, including ever-better restaurants and a bustling nightlife, are starting to win over college-educated workers and attracting more students to the area. What’s also attracting the college bound and degreed alike is San Antonio’s growing energy and technology business base, Forbes reported. Good jobs and an improving economy, it seems, are excellent lures for professionals.  

In February, San Antonio Magazine dubbed the city Texas’ newest tech hub, citing the innovative work taking places at growing corporations such as Rackspace, which develops cloud-hosting technology; SecureLogix, which develops unified communications and VolP security; CYFOR Technologies, which conducts cyber security and information technology consulting; and Futurex, which develops data-encryption security.

One reason for the tech concentration is the proximity of Lackland Air Force Base and Fort Sam Houston Army Base, just outside city limits. As the “Gateway to the Air Force,” Lackland holds much appeal for tech companies, which seek to work with the branch of service most typically linked to advanced technologies. And Fort Sam Houston is the “Home of Military Medicine,” making it an ideal client for healthcare technology companies.

And while the stodgy image of military hierarchy and the freewheeling, jeans-and-T-shirt nature of tech startups may seem anathema to such a partnership, the magazine reported, San Antonio seems to have developed the right mix of leadershoip and breathless innovation that’s attracting the college-educated.

Tech hub or not, there’s no doubt that San Antonio is ramping up its braintrust. And the city shows no signs of backing down from its new throne any time soon.

Posted by Richard Soto on
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