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The Madison Region Offers Abundant Career Opportunities and a Lifestyle You’ll Have Time to Enjoy

Madison, Wisconsin, offers that perfect marriage of work and play.

By Bill Lewis on September 9, 2021

However you describe it – a “millennial magnet,” a destination in the tech migration from California or a place where business is conducted with an international accent, the Madison Region’s diverse economy is creating career opportunities for talent of all ages.

“Major companies like Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Zendesk, Promega Corporation, Exact Sciences, Epic Games and John Deere have chosen to locate and expand or acquire businesses in the Madison Region because of the quality of our talent. We attract and retain that talent by offering an exceptional quality of life, consistently topping notable lists of Best Places to Live,” says Jason Fields, president and CEO of the Madison Region Economic Partnership (MadREP).

A number of organizations, such as Realtor.com, Apartment List and Curbed, have all declared Madison one of the best places to move to or stay after college. And Livability.com ranked Madison No. 1 on its 2021 Top 100 Best Places to Live list.

“Additionally, talent moves here from all over the world for our quality of life. We’ve been dubbed a ‘millennial magnet’ by experts like the National Association of REALTORS®, Emsi and CBRE,” Fields says.

We attract and retain that talent by offering an exceptional quality of life, consistently topping notable lists of Best Places to Live. … We’ve been dubbed a ‘millennial magnet’ by experts.

Jason Fields

CEO, Madison Region Economic Partnership

The Most Opportunity

The Madison Region ranked in the top 10 metro areas with the most opportunity for job seekers in a study by LinkedIn. An analysis of data collected by LinkedIn in 2020 found the Region with the highest amount of tech in-migration was Madison, and at a significantly higher rate than popular tech hubs like Austin.

The presence of four campuses of the University of Wisconsin (UW) System and research assets such as the Morgridge Institute for Research are drawing highly educated talent to the Region from all over the world.

The University of Wisconsin’s flagship campus, UW-Madison, is a world-class, public research university with 40,000 students. It is one of the top-ranked research universities in the U.S.

Moraine Park Technical College, which has a campus in Dodge County, offers more than 100 career programs. The college awarded more than 14,000 degrees and diplomas in 2019-20.

Based in Grant County, Southwest Wisconsin Technical College offers degree programs, technical diplomas, and apprenticeship and career programs in a range of fields.

With four campus locations in Rock and Greene counties, Blackhawk Technical College has provided educational opportunities to the community for more than 100 years.

They find opportunities in technology-driven sectors, such as life sciences, advanced manufacturing, video game development, financial services and agriculture and food production.

Madison is home to businesses with household names, including American Family Insurance, Epic Systems, American Girl, Sub-Zero, Trek Bicycle, Lands’ End, Little Potato Company, Shopbop, Colony Brands and John Deere. International companies with major operations in the Region include Saint-Gobain, Fujifilm, Eurofins Scientific and Kerry.

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International Staff

At the Morgridge Institute for Research, more than a dozen countries and 15 states are represented among its employees. The organization is a private, nonprofit biomedical research institute affiliated with the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

“We have approximately 150 salaried employees and another 100-plus affiliates. Affiliates are researchers or students from UW-Madison who also work with the Morgridge Institute. We have a total of 16 principal investigators who lead laboratory teams,” says Brian Mattmiller, the institute’s chief communications officer.

The Morgridge Institute’s research focus areas include bioethics, medical engineering, metabolism, regenerative biology, research computing and virology.

The Region’s educational institutions provide a full pipeline of talent for employers of all sizes. The University of Wisconsin’s flagship campus, UW-Madison, is a world-class, public research university with 40,000 students. Equally as important and robust is the network of technical schools, including Madison College, Blackhawk Technical College, Moraine Park Technical College and Southwest Wisconsin Technical College, Fields says.

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A skateboarder rolls along University Avenue, which runs through the heart of the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus.

What They Say

People come to the Region for educational and career opportunities. They stay for the unparalleled quality of place.

“We’re a community with something for everyone. Our average commute time is about 22 minutes, and we have urban, suburban and rural communities in close proximity to the city center. But don’t just take my word for it,” he says. “Yahoo ranked Madison one of the best cities on earth for cycling, USA Today ranked us No. 1 in their list of Ten Best College Football Towns and Fox News ranked Madison on their shortlist of Unlikely Foodie Cities.”

The trend toward home offices and remote work makes the Madison Region an even more attractive destination for workers who can live wherever they choose.

“And with all that commute time saved, residents have ample opportunity to get out and explore 200-plus miles of biking and hiking trails and the state’s largest and most visited state park, less than an hour outside the city,” Fields says. “With mounting evidence that the future of work will be more remote, the proximity to the things we enjoy will become even more important when deciding where to live.”

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