The Triangle Region is a hub for exceptional talent due to the region’s academic institutions. The region is home to three tier 1 research universities –  North Carolina State University in Raleigh, Duke University in Durham and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill – and was ranked by Forbes as the second most educated city in the country. These universities help attract nearly $3 billion in federal R&D funding each year and have spun off hundreds of start-up companies.


There are a total of 12 colleges and universities and 8 community colleges in the Triangle Region. The academic institutions work closely with local economic developers and businesses to ensure course offerings align with industry needs and prepare students for the jobs of tomorrow. Our highly educated workforce is one of many reasons so many businesses come to the Triangle Region.

12 Colleges and Universities

8 Community Colleges



Highly Skilled Talent


Region's population has a bachelors degree or higher


Students Study Here


Graduates with a bachelors degree annually


Highest concentration of PhDs in the country

North Carolina School of Science and Math

North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics (NCSSM) is a two-year, public residential high school located in Durham, that focuses on the intensive study of science, mathematics and technology. The school accepts rising juniors from across North Carolina and enrolls them through senior year. Though NCSSM is a public school, enrollment is limited, and applicants undergo a highly competitive review process prior to admission.

NCSSM began in 1980 as something of an academic experiment: What would happen if some of the state’s most motivated students came together to learn alongside a world-class faculty? Nearly four decades later, it’s built a reputation as a public education powerhouse, annually serving some 2,500 intellectually gifted students from all corners of the state through a residential diploma program and virtual and summer offerings. 

Globally known.

NCSSM is the #1 high school worldwide for student winners of the Siemens Competition in Math, Science, and Technology, a foremost global competition and annually is one of the top schools in the world for having students selected as  semifinalists in the Regeneron Science Talent Search Competition.

For each of the last 9 years, NCSSM teams have won at least one award of distinction in the Singapore International Mathematics Challenge, and in 2012, NCSSM was named grand champion. During that time, NCSSM students have also won or placed in the Conrad Spirit of Innovation Award Competition, Moody’s Mathematics Challenge, and scores of other contests — proving that NCSSM students can compete and win globally.

Locally grown.

All our students are North Carolinians and represent each of our 13 U.S. congressional districts. Every NC county is represented by our 10,000-plus alumni, a majority of whom remain in the state to work and live, contributing more than $500 million to the state’s  economy and 140,000 volunteer hours to non-profits every year.

Nearly 1 in 5 of graduates earns a National Merit Scholarship. Approximately two-thirds of alumni earn undergraduate STEM degrees, nearly three times the national average. About half of alumni hold a graduate degree.

Massive Military Presence

North Carolina is home to about 23,000 transitioning veterans each year providing another huge employment pool for companies. Many Triangle Region companies recruit veterans including Novo Nordisk in Johnston County whose workforce is made up of 20% veterans.