Even if you never enroll as a student, higher education touches your life.

Think about it:  Physicians, pharmacists, nurses, dentists, law enforcement, firefighters, EMTs – and of course, teachers – all make a difference in our lives.

And they all need varying degrees of training.  In many cases, that training comes from our public colleges and universities.

We decided to find out just what percentage of various professions in North Carolina is produced by the UNC and NC Community College systems.  In many cases – particularly teachers, doctors and nurses – North Carolina faces a shortage of these professionals.

The results might surprise you – our public colleges and universities produced:

  • 79% of North Carolina’s dental hygienists.
  • 60% of its licensed practical nurses (LPNs);
  • 57% of registered nurses;
  • 56% of newly licensed CPAs;1
  • 49% of dentists;
  • 38% of pharmacists;
  • 38% of nurse practitioners;
  • 37.5% of K-12 public school teachers;2
  • 28% of physical therapists;
  • 27% of lawyers;3 and
  • 14% of North Carolina’s physicians.4

So yes, if you’ve ever been to school, seen a doctor or dentist, had a prescription filled, needed help with your taxes or driven across a bridge, public higher education in North Carolina has made a difference in your life.


1NC State Board of CPA Examiners; percentage of certified public accountants newly licensed in 2016 who graduated from UNC System schools.
2“Preparation” tab, https://ung4.ondemand.sas.com/SASVisualAnalyticsViewer/guest.jsp?appSwitcherDisabled=true&reportViewOnly=true&reportPath=/UNG/External%20Content/Reports&reportName=NCTeachers.
3NC Board of Legal Examiners. Three-year average of lawyers licensed in North Carolina who attended UNC or NC Central Schools of Law.
4North Carolina Health Professions Data System, Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  Data include active, licensed health professionals in practice in North Carolina as of October 31, 2016. For physicians only, data include active, licensed physicians in practice in North Carolina as of October 31, 2016 who are not in residency training and are not employed by the Federal government. Health professional data derived from the license and re-registration files from the NC State Board of Dental Examiners, NC Board of Pharmacy, NC Medical Board, NC Board of Nursing, NC State Board of Physical Therapy Examiners.

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