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Highly-educated immigrants find opportunity in California

On Behalf of | May 12, 2023 | Immigration

Robust demand for skilled workers in numerous industries in California continues to attract people from outside of the country. As a result, the immigration of people with bachelor’s or graduate degrees has surged over the previous decade.

Education rates among immigrants

Approximately 10 years ago, the percentage of immigrants with college educations began to rise. Among working-age newcomers, 52% possessed college degrees. Before that period, only 29% of immigrants to the state had obtained college degrees. The presence of highly-educated immigrants demonstrates how they are supplementing the demand for skilled workers. Employers cannot find enough of them in the U.S. born population in the state that has a college education level of 41%.

The U.S. immigration system includes several paths for foreign-born people to enter the country and fulfill the demand for an educated workforce. Employment-based immigration programs come in two varieties. Some are for people who want to work here for a short period of time. Others are intended to supply work visas to people with special skills who may want to continue living here permanently.

Industries that are hiring immigrant talent

As the population ages, more people will be needed to work in the healthcare sector. This sector already employs many people with medical training.

Other industries that employ immigrants include:

  • Information and technology
  • Manufacturing
  • Professional services

The technology and manufacturing sectors tend to hire large numbers of educated immigrants. Software developers often come from outside the United States. The majority of the college-educated workforce employed in computer-assisted manufacturing are immigrants.

With so many educated immigrants already working in the state, the economy clearly relies on talented people from all over the world. Economists anticipate that more immigrants with college degrees will be needed to run the technology, healthcare and manufacturing industries in the future.