Knowledge Powers Wisconsin’s Workforce

In an economy driven by knowledge and innovation, the University of Wisconsin System is preparing a stronger workforce to fuel business success.

With enrollment topping 180,000 students, UW System institutions offer a rich menu of educational options, including more than 250 undergraduate degrees and more than 300 graduate degrees. These include a growing number of fully online and accelerated degree programs, as well as collaborative degrees tailored to specific industries and emerging workforce needs.

Beginning in Fall 2013, the first degrees will be offered via the UW Flexible Option – a competency-based degree platform designed for adult students who come to college (or back to college) with substantial knowledge and experience.

UW campuses and online degree programs now confer more than 35,000 degrees per year – a 49% increase over the past 32 years. Business, finance, management and related fields remain the most popular areas of study, and more than one-quarter of UW undergraduate degrees are conferred in critical STEM fields. Over the past 20 years, the number of degrees in STEM disciplines has increased by 46% and in health-related fields by 39%.

The majority of UW degree-holders stay in Wisconsin after graduation. Regardless of where they choose to live, however, UW alumni speak highly of their educational experiences. In fact, 85% of UW graduates say they were “effectively prepared with the knowledge and skills they needed” to succeed in the workplace.

Today’s college students are mobile, and it’s easier than ever for them to begin at one campus and finish at another. More than 17,000 transfer students enrolled somewhere in the UW System in 2012, and UW’s Transfer Information System (TIS) offers an interactive online “wizard” to help create seamless educational experiences.

Because employers want college graduates to be adaptable and flexible, every UW degree is built on a set of shared learning goals. In addition to technical knowledge and skills, UW students learn to think critically, write clearly, speak persuasively, and understand and appreciate diversity. They work in teams and bring a sense of informed citizenship to their lives – and to their jobs.

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