Higher Education

The region’s top-tier higher education institutions produce top-tier talent to fuel business and industry.

UW-aerial_thumbThe eight-county Madison Region is home to six four-year colleges and four technical college systems that cultivate a highly skilled and creative workforce, provide access to lifelong learning opportunities, and connect industry with the professional, qualified labor force that enables it to prosper.

The region’s higher education institutions enroll approximately 89,000 students annually, and conferred more than 20,000 certificates and degrees in the 2014-2015 school year. These institutions impact the region’s economy and quality of life by attracting and retaining young professionals, creating value and innovation through research and development, and supporting existing businesses and industry clusters through targeted training and degree programs.

University of Wisconsin-Madison
The flagship campus of the University of Wisconsin educates more than 43,000 students from over 130 countries each year, and awards the second highest number of doctorate degrees in the nation. For more than 25 years, UW-Madison has consistently ranked among the top five universities for research & development, totaling over $1.1 billion in research investment in 2015. The university ranked 6th in patents issued among worldwide universities in 2013, stemming from the 2,000 researchers housed in more than 200 research centers on campus. Commercialization of this research has led to more than 300 new businesses launched statewide and 25,000 new jobs. With an annual economic impact of $15 billion statewide, UW-Madison is truly a powerful economic engine.

University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
UW-Whitewater has one of the largest business schools in the U.S. and the largest graduate business program in the state. In 2014-2015, enrollment topped 12,000 from approximately 40 states and 40 countries. UW-Whitewater fosters research and entrepreneurship at the Whitewater University Technology Park, which houses the Whitewater Innovation Center — a collaborative space designed to grow businesses.

UW Two-Year Campuses
The University of Wisconsin System’s regional two-year colleges — UW-Baraboo/Sauk County and UW-Rock County — offer certificate, associate and bachelor’s degree programs in a number of fields. Both schools offer online courses and an easy pathway into the university’s four-year system.

Private Colleges
Wisconsin’s oldest college and a top liberal arts college, Beloit College encourages hands-on learning experiences and provides opportunities for students to pursue research and fieldwork with potential employers before graduation. Edgewood College in Madison delivers traditional degree programming, as well as accelerated continuing education programs and online classes for working adults. Employers and students in the Madison Region also benefit from specialized private institutions such as Madison Media Institute, Herzing University, and Globe University.

Technical Colleges
The Madison Region houses four technical colleges — Madison College, Blackhawk Technical College, Moraine Park Technical College, and Southwest Wisconsin Technical College — that offers students flexible options as well as the ability to transfer to UW-System schools. These highly responsive institutions are strong in shaping curricula that adapt and evolve to meet the needs of our advancing industries.

Educating a combined total of 28,000+ students each year, our technical colleges provide the skills and training needed to fill positions along all levels of the workforce pipeline. Graduates of the Wisconsin Technical College System boasted a 93 percent placement rate in 2015, while 81% of Wisconsin’s technical college alumni stay and live in the state to help drive our economy.

The Madison Region’s educational system prepares well-educated workers for the changing technological landscape. The result is a smart, driven workforce that embodies a globally recognized, Midwestern work ethic.