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State Auditor looks to curb Mississippi’s brain drain

Shad White Mississippi
Photo courtesy of Shad White

As Mississippi’s “brain drain” continues, State Auditor Shad White is looking to do something about it.

In a report released by his office on Monday, White highlighted that as of 2020 only 50 percent of Mississippi’s public university graduates chose to work in the state three years after leaving college. That number does not include out-of-state students.

The report also shows which schools and degree programs are best and worst at producing future Mississippi workers.

Percentage of In-State Graduates Who Worked in Mississippi Three Years After Completing Degree
  1. University of Mississippi Medical Center (77%)
  2. Mississippi University for Women (76%)
  3. Mississippi Valley State (74%)
  4. Delta State (70%)
  5. Jackson State (67%)
  6. Southern Miss (65%)
  7. Alcorn State (65%)
  8. Mississippi State (57%)
  9. Ole Miss (51%)
Degree-Program of Graduates Most Likely to Work in Mississippi
  1. Kindergarten / Preschool Education and Teaching
  2. Social Science Teacher Education
  3. Mathematics Teacher Education
  4. Education, Other
  5. Dental Hygiene / Hygienist
  6. Social Studies Teacher Education
  7. Elementary Education and Teaching
  8. English / Language Arts Teacher Education
  9. Child Development
  10. Registered Nursing / Registered Nurse
Degree-Program of Graduates Least Likely to Work in Mississippi
  1. Hospitality Administration / Management, General
  2. Geology / Earth Science, General
  3. Real Estate
  4. Marketing, Other
  5. Drama and Dramatics / Theatre Arts, General
  6. Business / Managerial Economics
  7. Computer Engineering, General
  8. Chemical Engineering
  9. Chemistry, General
  10. Philosophy

White and his office recently introduced the “Stay in the Sip” Fellowship in an effort to increase the number of public university graduates who choose to work in Mississippi.

“We’re feeling the crunch. We’re feeling the pain from that trend in the auditor’s office,” he said. “The deal is if you are an accounting student and you’re going through a Mississippi university, you’ve done a couple of years, we’ll pay for the last couple of years of your accounting degree or we’ll pay for your master’s degree in accounting. In exchange, you agree to come work for me in the state auditor’s office for two years.”

To learn more about the program, visit

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