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Universities are actively working to...

Universities are actively working to combat brain drain

By: Mark Keenum - September 25, 2023

Mississippi State President Mark Keenum says the university is working hard and taking care of what matters, focused on solving problems and meeting needs.

Rankings, reports, and rhetoric never fully tell the true story of what a university like Mississippi State is doing. 

As Mississippi’s leading research university, we take pride in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics – along with high-performance computing, data science, cybersecurity studies, agriculture and forestry, and business. But MSU, likewise, is proud of our faculty and staff who help our students excel in the humanities. 

Our students reap amazing benefits from the many different opportunities available on our campus. They can develop the skills they need to land a great job. They can learn about civic engagement, public service, and logic, debate, and reason. They can explore literature, music, art, theater, and more – experiencing the remarkable creative works of the human imagination. 

Employers are actively seeking graduates with technical proficiency, communication skills, and the ability to think critically. That’s what a well-rounded, comprehensive higher education is all about, and that’s what we strive to provide on our campus.

Mississippi State graduates are entering a workforce that is rapidly changing, and we are preparing our students for these many changes. 

As a leader in precision agriculture, seed development, and commodities production, we are driving innovation and preparing the leaders we need to feed the world.

We are an engineering leader, with many of our programs nationally-ranked and internationally-recognized as among the very best at producing high-quality graduates. We are a national leader in uncrewed aircraft systems (UAS) too. 

Our meteorology program is one of the top programs in the nation, and chances are the weather professional you’re watching is a Mississippi State graduate. 

We are educating the teachers, social workers, veterinarians, entrepreneurs, mental health counselors, health care professionals, and many other highly-skilled professionals our state and nation need.

In its latest First Destination Survey, our Career Center found that 94% of 2021-22 graduates reported being employed or that they are pursuing advanced degrees within the first six months after graduation. More than half of our graduates who went directly into the workforce remained in Mississippi. 

The majority of respondents choosing to further their education after graduation are staying in Mississippi too – with 74% attending in-state colleges and universities. These results confirm that Mississippi State students are gaining the knowledge and skills they need to compete and succeed. 

It is clear that Mississippi is benefiting from the talent of our graduates and their many contributions to their communities and our state.

At Mississippi State University, we are working hard and taking care of what matters. We are focused on solving problems and meeting needs. We are serving the people of Mississippi and working to ensure that our state is always going to be a great place to live, raise a family, and have a great life. 

We want to help create jobs and economic opportunities so our best and brightest remain here in our state and people from around the country want to call it home. We are focused on working with state leaders who share our priorities to attract new business and industry, enhance quality of life, and make Mississippi the very best it can be for all Mississippians. That’s what we’re doing at Mississippi State.

About the Author(s)
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Mark Keenum

Dr. Mark E. Keenum became Mississippi State University’s 19th president on Jan. 5, 2009, following a distinguished public service career in which he served as Chief of Staff to the late U.S. Senator Thad Cochran in Washington, D.C., and as Under Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. During Keenum’s tenure, Mississippi State has completed or initiated capital improvements of $1.1 billion including student housing, dining and recreational space, athletic facilities, research and classroom facilities including a public Partnership School, a convention and conference center, and a U.S. presidential library. Keenum’s leadership fostered record enrollment growth and generated more than $1 billion in private support. He chairs the College Football Playoffs Board of Managers and is a former president of the Southeastern Conference.
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