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The Minneapolis/Saint Paul region ranks fourth among the 30 largest U.S. metros in education attainment. According to the 2008 Education Power Index, more than one in four adults, 25 years and older, earn a bachelor’s degree – the second highest rate in the nation.

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Colleges and Universities

With 33 colleges and universities, The Twin Cities has a remarkable concentration of higher learning institutions. The University of Minnesota alone is the largest regional public university and the fourth largest in the nation. In 2011, it enrolled 65,000 students system-wide. The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system is the largest single provider of education in Minnesota. The Minnesota Private College Council represents seventeen nonprofit higher education institutions that share a liberal arts focus.

These colleges and universities actively partner with industry to train the next generation of workers, many of whom invest heavily in R&D.

  • Minneapolis Saint Paul academic institutions spent more than $688 million in R&D in 2008, ranking 14th among the 30 largest US metro areas. Their standing jumped to 10th when based on R&D per capita.
  • University of Minnesota reported the largest R&D expenditures ($683 million). That’s more than MIT, Berkeley or Yale.

Source: Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, 2008

Minnesota’s Flagship Research University

The University of Minnesota has a long history of innovation and discovery. Its Office for Technology Commercialization works to get revolutionary technologies into the hands of the public. It helps entrepreneurs and researchers report an invention, license a technology, find available technologies or start a company.

U of M files 50 to 100 new US patents every year in four primary industry groups:

Technology Jobs & Internships