Minnesota has crept back into the top 10 of a national ranking of states by tech and science business prowess after a 12-year absence.
The Milken Institute ranked Minnesota seventh in its State Technology and Science Index 2016, released Tuesday, thanks to the state’s strong tech workforce and strong investment in human capital.
Minnesota last found itself in the top 10 in 2004. The study has been conducted every two years since 2002.
The index measures 107 indicators. Minnesota’s strongest were the average SAT scores of high school students, the percentage of graduate students in science and engineering programs and the number of computer and information scientists per 100,000 civilian workers.
Computer scientists and software developers have been in steadily rising demand in Minnesota as the state’s largest companies lean more heavily into technology. The state has added 21,300 professional, scientific and technical jobs over the past five years, representing 11 percent of all new Minnesota jobs over that period.
The Milken Institute bills its index as “a benchmark for states to assess their science and technology capabilities as well as the broader ecosystem that contributes to job and wealth creation.”
Massachusetts ranked first in the index, followed by Colorado, Maryland, California, Washington, Connecticut, Minnesota and Utah.
Gov. Mark Dayton, in a statement reacting to the ranking, said it is “a testament to the investments we have made in education and job training, and to the exceptional leadership of the science and technology businesses who train and employ thousands of people across our state.”