At A Glance
- Metro Atlanta has more than 275,000 students enrolled in its higher education institutions.
- Atlanta’s Georgia Tech is ranked #5 best graduate and #6 best undergraduate computer engineering programs and graduates the most women engineers and second most African-American engineers with bachelor’s degrees in the nation.
- The HOPE scholarship and grant program has provided more than $9.4 billion in finance assistance for higher education beyond high school.
- Metro Atlanta has a strong track record of the business community collaborating to advance K-12 and higher education in the region.
- Approximately 27,000 public high school students are enrolled in the state’s Information Technology (IT) career cluster.
- Georgia is working to ensure every student has a chance to learn computer science skills during their K-12 education, with an emphasis on coding.
Metro Atlanta is one of America’s leading centers of education with more than 275,000 students enrolled in 70 colleges and universities. In fact, in 2016, Atlanta was named among the top knowledge capitals of the U.S. and Europe by the Brookings Institution.
Approximately two million students are enrolled at schools within a 250-mile radius.
After graduation, many alumni of these schools choose Atlanta for job opportunities in the areas of engineering, business, law, design, and medicine.
Atlanta’s rapidly growing population has fed the growth of the region’s college and university system, producing some of the nation’s fastest-growing student populations. Additionally, the HOPE scholarship and grant program has increased the quality and competitiveness of the region’s schools. Atlanta ranks as the #5 metro area for retaining college grads from two- and four-year institutions with a 73.2 percent retention rate, according to CityLab and Brookings.
Metro Atlanta’s university system is very business-facing, offering a variety of programs to assist companies with their hiring needs as well as research and development efforts. The Technical College System of Georgia ties into this ecosystem by offering a variety of customized training and certificate programs.
Along with a strong higher education system of public and private colleges and universities, metro Atlanta is home to inspiring public and private K-12 schools. Computer science and STEM/STEAM programs are also growing throughout the school systems. Atlanta’s – and Georgia’s – commitment to preparing students for the jobs of the future is powering the region’s job growth and helping the region retain and attract the talent Amazon needs for Day One.
Business and Higher Education Partnerships
Georgia has a rich history of higher education collaboration between institutions and businesses across industry sectors. Today, these partnership opportunities are as varied as the partners who form them. They fall into the following categories:
- Internships and Co-op Programs
- Corporate Partnerships
- Academic Partnerships
See “Educational Partnerships” for details and examples in each category.
Two examples that demonstrate the range of potential partnership opportunities are the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) and the Georgia Research Alliance (GRA). Founded in 1934, GTRI has grown to 2,000-plus employees supporting eight laboratories in over 20 U.S. locations, performing more than $350 million of problem-solving research annually for government and industry. GRA has developed into an internationally-acclaimed model for unifying business, research universities, and state government to create and sustain a technology-rich economy. GRA’s Eminent Scholars program, launched to draw leading scientists to Georgia by giving them state-of-the art equipment and accommodations, partners with Georgia’s research universities and private donors to create permanent endowments for every scholar.
Higher Education Institutions
The colleges and universities located in metro Atlanta are among the best in the nation, offering the mix of technology, engineering, business, and legal talent that Amazon desires. With more than 275,000 students enrolled in 70 higher education institutions, metro Atlanta’s colleges and universities fuel businesses with talent, discovery, and innovation. The area is home to six research institutions – Emory University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Kennesaw State University, Georgia State University, Clark Atlanta University, and the University of Georgia.
WalletHub named Atlanta the #1 best college city in 2016 (among large cities with more than 300,000 people) as well as the #2 metro area for quality of engineering universities in 2017.
With 22 technical colleges and 85 campuses statewide, the Technical College System of Georgia offers certificates, diplomas, and associate degrees with credits that are transferable to Georgia’s four-year institutions. In 2016, Move On When Ready made it possible for more than 17,000 students in high school and middle school to earn college credit while satisfying high school graduation requirements, all at no cost to their families.
Since it began in 1993, Georgia’s HOPE Scholarship and Grant Programs have provided $9.4 billion in financial assistance for 1.7 million students at eligible Georgia public and private colleges and universities and public technical schools. HOPE helps pay the cost of tuition at eligible Georgia post-secondary institutions as an incentive and reward for Georgia’s high-achieving students. In addition to providing higher education opportunities for Georgia students, HOPE has helped keep many of Georgia’s “best and brightest” in the state for college. This has transformed higher education in Georgia, with rising average GPAs and SAT scores among entering freshmen and increasing academic rigor at the institutions. Georgia’s HOPE Scholarship and Grant Programs offer a great advantage for relocating families with children and for companies training employees through local technical colleges.
Major Colleges and Universities
Georgia Institute of Technology
- Fall 2016 Enrollment: 26,839
- Fall 2016 Entering Freshman Average SAT/ACT: 1410/32
Georgia Tech is a public research university in the heart of the city that provides technologically-based education to approximately 27,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Georgia Tech is a national leader in computer engineering education, ranked #5 best graduate and #6 best undergraduate computer engineering programs. The institution offers the first accredited online Master of Science in Computer Science through the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC). Georgia Tech produces the most women engineers and second most African-American engineers in the nation, in terms of bachelor’s degrees. The campus has become the epicenter of Atlanta’s knowledge-based economy. Known as “Tech Square,” this part of campus houses one of the nation’s most respected and longest-serving (37 years) business incubator programs called the Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC). Many global businesses have located innovation centers at Tech Square to collaborate with students, faculty, and startups located at ATDC.
- Fall 2016 Enrollment: 14,067
- Fall 2016 Entering Freshman Average SAT/ACT: 1395/32
Emory is a private research university recognized for outstanding liberal arts colleges, graduate and professional schools, and one of the world’s leading health care systems. The university offers education through nine schools, including more than 70 undergraduate choices and dozens of graduate and professional specialties. In addition to housing excellent undergraduate programs, Emory is home to the highly-ranked Goizueta Business School and top graduate programs in law and medicine. In fiscal year 2016, Emory experts received $574.6 million in total research funding awards.
Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) – Atlanta
- Fall 2016 Enrollment: 2,158 (Atlanta campus)
- Fall 2016 Entering Freshman Average SAT/ACT: 1070/24
SCAD is one of the country’s top art and design private schools. It offers 40 accredited programs in design topics such as UX design, industrial design, motion media design, interactive design, and game development, among others. SCAD Atlanta’s interactive design and game development program has won the top prize in the E3 College Game Competition for three years running, along with receiving praise from The Princeton Review and Animation Career Review. SCAD Atlanta’s Collaborative Learning Center partners with a wide variety of businesses, brands and organizations to research and solve challenging problems by drawing on the talents of top students from SCAD’s more than 50 design disciplines.
Atlanta University Center
The Atlanta University Center (AUC) Consortium is the world’s oldest and largest association of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The AUC is composed of four member institutions – Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College, Morehouse School of Medicine and Spelman College.
- Spelman College is a global leader in the education of women of African descent and is ranked as the #1 HBCU in the nation.
- Fall 2016 Enrollment: 2,125
- Fall 2016 Entering Freshman Average SAT/ACT: 1075/24
- Clark Atlanta University is a private, coeducational institution with a predominantly African-American heritage.
- Fall 2016 Enrollment: 3,884
- Fall 2016 Entering Freshman Average SAT/ACT: 895/20
- Morehouse College is the largest men’s college in the U.S. and ranked the #4 HBCU in the nation. It is the alma mater of many African-American community and civil rights leaders, including Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
- Fall 2016 Enrollment: 2,108
- Fall 2016 Entering Freshman Average SAT/ACT: 1008/21
- Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM) is among the nation’s leading educators of primary care physicians and was recently recognized as the top institution among U.S. medical schools for its social mission.
- Fall 2016 Enrollment: 480
University of Georgia
- Fall 2016 Enrollment: 36,574
- Fall 2016 Entering Freshman Average SAT: 1240/26
The University of Georgia is a public research university with an enrollment exceeding 36,000 students. Its main campus is in Athens, Georgia, 72 miles northeast of Atlanta (about an hour’s drive from the city). At its founding, UGA made history as America’s first state-chartered university. These days, the school is known for its vibrant student community: Athens was rated the No. 16 best public university in the nation by the U.S. News & World Report. UGA’s academic programs of excellence include business, law, and journalism.
Georgia State University
- Fall 2016 Enrollment: 50,969
- Fall 2016 Entering Freshman Average SAT/ACT: 1070/23
Georgia State is a public research university in downtown Atlanta and the largest institution in the metro Atlanta area. Its total student population of 51,000 includes 32,082 students on the downtown campus. The university is a national leader in graduating students from diverse backgrounds. GSU’s J. Mack Robinson College of Business is ranked among the top business schools, according to U.S. News & World Report. Its undergraduate programs in risk management and insurance, computer information systems, and real estate are especially highly ranked.
Kennesaw State University
- Fall 2016 Enrollment: 35,018
- Fall 2016 Entering Freshman Average SAT/ACT: 1090/23
Kennesaw State is a public institution with the main campus located in Kennesaw, Georgia, approximately 20 miles northwest of Atlanta. A secondary campus is in nearby Marietta. One of the South’s most innovative institutions, according to U.S. News & World Report, it has approximately 35,000 students with more than 150 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees offered. KSU has been a Center of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity Education since 2004 and now offers an online Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity, further broadening opportunities for students to earn the skills companies need immediately to address their cybersecurity challenges.
Our colleges and universities offer the pipeline of technology, engineering, business, and legal talent that Amazon desires. For a complete breakdown of graduates (degrees awarded) in relevant programs of study at specific institutions, click here.
K-12 Computer Science Education
Georgia is working to ensure every student has a chance to learn computer science skills during their K-12 education. State standards for computer science in Georgia’s elementary, middle, and high schools are currently under development. With a recent grant awarded from the National Science Foundation, five districts in Georgia, including Atlanta Public Schools (APS) and Douglas County Schools, will be a test ground for advancements in K-12 computer science education. Approximately 27,000 public high school students in metro Atlanta are enrolled in Georgia’s Department of Education Information Technology (IT) career cluster. For a complete breakdown of high school computer science course options, high school IT career pathways, AP computer science, K-12 computer science initiatives, STEM-certified schools, as well as teacher professional development programs and student development initiatives in metro Atlanta, click here.
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