Teaching That Generates Talent

The UNC System partners with businesses and industries across the state to train young professionals, support budding entrepreneurs, and inspire future leaders. Our graduates drive North Carolina’s thriving economy. Their leadership helps the state navigate a constantly evolving economic landscape.

More students than ever are studying and researching in fields vital to our economy. In the last five years, we have seen a 24-percent increase in the number of undergraduate or graduate degrees in health sciences. Growth in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) has been even more impressive: the UNC System awarded 30 percent more degrees in STEM in 2018-19 than five years earlier.

These valuable degrees help our graduates find pathways into rewarding careers. The deep pool of talent coming out of the UNC System keeps North Carolina’s businesses competitive in the global economy.

Research That Generates Economic Growth

Our institutions generate more than just talent. Healthcare and high tech industries thrive in North Carolina, thanks in part to the groundbreaking research and technology transfer taking place at UNC System universities. In fiscal year 2019, the System as a whole brought in over $1.65 billion in sponsored research from government, industry, and private philanthropy. This represented a 23 percent increase over 2013. That research resulted in 126 new patents, 83 start-up companies, and $13 million in licensing income.

North Carolina’s $12 billion agriculture sector is the eighth largest in the nation, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Economic Research Service. UNC System extension work and engagement supports this vital component of the NC economy, helping local farmers improve their yields. Other engagement efforts help North Carolina’s small businesses expand their sales.

This expertise—readily accessible to entrepreneurs, businesses, and industry—is indispensable to North Carolina’s efforts to remain an attractive economic partner of choice.

Higher Education … An Investment That Pays for Itself

In short, the UNC System is one of North Carolina’s greatest assets.  It spurs innovation, attracts startups, and trains workers for jobs in growth areas within the state. The System helps generate economic investments and business partnerships, playing a critical role in attracting new businesses, creating more jobs, and expanding North Carolina’s tax base.