In a strongly competitive ranking that has not wavered for decades, Denver boasts the third most-educated workforce in the country. More than 85% of Denver adults over age 25 have graduated high school, and a striking 43% of adults here over age 25 have bachelor’s degrees, compared to 28% nationally. And 15% of Denver adults have graduate degrees, well over the national average of 10%.
The University of Colorado-Boulder, the University of Denver, and the Colorado School of Mines are ranked among the nation’s top 100 colleges, according to U.S. News & World Report.
Colorado's 13 entrepreneurial colleges and their 35 campuses set a critical pathway to individual achievement and economic vitality. Throughout the region, extensive partnerships with business, industry and local government--including Denver OED Workforce Development—ensure that students are well-prepared for tomorrow’s careers. Community colleges in Denver offer teachers who are real-world experts, degrees in high-demand careers, and campuses close to where students live.
The Denver Public School District is particularly proud of its nine Denver Schools of Science and Technology (DSST), charter locations focused on science, technology, engineering, and math.
SAT scores from Colorado students in 2014 compared very favorably to national averages. In Critical Reading, Colorado averages 582 over the national 497. Math scores in Colorado average 586 over the national 513, and our average Writing score of 567 tops the national average of 487.
Denver is striving to be a recognized leader in connecting curriculum to employers’ critical needs. We appreciate that even with a healthy roster of impressive academic institutions, our ability to directly bridge classroom curricula to real-life, real-world challenges is ultimately the true measure of success in the eyes of our rapidly growing employers.
Denver is specifically focused on cross-sector cooperation to improve pre-employment training in the fields of advanced manufacturing, IT, and healthcare. This begins with exposing students as young as 8th grade into the potential of various technical careers, delivering a range of intern and "career academy" programs for high school and undergraduate students, and continuing through our entire spectrum of supporting services for young adults, working adults, veterans, and the long-term unemployed.
In Fall 2014, the U.S. Department of Labor awarded a $6.1 million Ready-to-Work Partnership grant to seven Colorado counties to boost employment in our manufacturing and tech sectors through training/support of the long-term unemployed. Denver's Office of Economic Development (OED) is the lead administrative agency on the four-year project, which is poised to be a powerful win-win: re-engaging experienced workers back into lucrative careers and also bolstering the middle-skill talent pool that Colorado firms hire from.