New Study Reveals the Least Educated City in New York

The state of New York has a lot of history and culture, and it has a lot of different kinds of people living in it. There are also some of the world’s best and most famous schools there, like Columbia University, Cornell University, and New York University. In spite of this, not every part of the state has the same opportunities and level of schooling.

An research and news website called 24/7 Wall St. recently did a study that found the Watertown-Fort Drum metro area to have the fewest educated people in New York. Eleven important metrics were used to look at the 150 largest metropolitan statistical areas in the United States. These included the percentage of people with a bachelor’s degree or higher, the quality of public schools, and the education gap between men and women.

The study found that only 22.4% of adults in the Watertown-Fort Drum metro area, which is in northern New York close to the border with Canada, have a bachelor’s degree. This is the lowest percentage of any metro area in the state. This is a lot less than the average for the state (36.8%) and the country (32.1%). The metro area also has low scores for other measures of educational quality and achievement, such as the percentage of students who graduate from high school, the percentage of students who are ready for college, and the typical wage of workers.

What is the reason for the low level of education?

One reason the Watertown-Fort Drum metro area may not have a high level of schooling is that the Fort Drum military base is there. It is the biggest employer in the area. The U.S. Census Bureau says that 18.4% of people in the metro area are veterans, compared to 6.1% of people across the country. Many of these soldiers may not have gone to college after their time in the military, or they may have had trouble getting into or finishing college.

Another reason could be that there aren’t enough job chances or financial incentives in the area for people to go to college. The average family income in the Watertown-Fort Drum metro area is only $54,475, while the average for the state is $67,844 and the average for the country is $62,843. There are also a lot of poor people in the metro area—14.4%, compared to 13.6% in the state and 12.3% across the country. Because of the economy, some people may not want to go to college or may not be able to afford it. Instead, they may have to look for work in low-skill, low-paying fields.

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What does the low level of schooling mean and what problems does it cause?

There are not many educated people living in the Watertown-Fort Drum metro area. This could hurt the social and economic health of the area and its people. For example, studies have found that going to college is linked to better health, fewer crimes, more political participation, and easier social mobility. On the other hand, less schooling is linked to worse health, more crime, less civic engagement, and less social mobility.

The area may also not be able to compete or grow economically because of its low level of education, especially as technology and globalization change quickly. Getting into high-skilled, high-paying, and in-demand jobs and fields like science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) often requires a college degree. On the other hand, people with less schooling may have to work in low-skill, low-pay, and low-demand jobs like retail, hospitality, and agriculture. These fields are more likely to be affected by technology, outsourcing, and bad economic times.

How can the level of schooling be raised?

It might take a broad, collaborative effort from many groups in the Watertown-Fort Drum metro area to raise the level of education. These groups could include teachers, lawmakers, employers, community groups, and residents. Some methods and programs that could be used or made bigger are the following:

  • Giving more scholarships, grants, loans, and other forms of financial aid to students, especially those from low-income or underrepresented backgrounds, to help them pay college.
  • More academic help, mentoring, counseling, and job advice could help students do well in college, especially first-generation students, non-traditional students, and students who are likely to drop out.
  • Making higher education more accessible and flexible by offering online, hybrid, or accelerated programs to meet the needs and desires of a wide range of students, especially those who are working, parenting, or in the military.
  • Creating more partnerships and ways for businesses and colleges to work together, like co-ops, apprenticeships, and dual-enrollment programs, to help students get the skills, experiences, and credentials they need for the job market.
  • To meet the needs of society and the economy now and in the future, higher education programs and curricula need to be better and more varied, especially in STEM areas.
  • Employers and workers should be encouraged to keep learning and growing professionally. This can be done through programs like retraining, continued education, and certifications that help people adapt to the changing needs and opportunities in the workplace.

In conclusion

A new study by 24/7 Wall St. says that the metro area of Watertown-Fort Drum has the fewest educated people in all of New York. A low number of people in the metro area have a bachelor’s degree or higher, and the area scores poorly on other tests of educational quality and attainment. The low level of education could hurt the social and economic well-being of the people in the area and make things harder in the future. To raise the level of education, many people may need to work together and take part in a wide range of strategies and projects that aim to make higher education in the area easier to get into, more affordable, more successful, more relevant, and of higher quality.

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