A button to "active" innovation illustrates the idea of the most innovative states.

Can the nation’s most innovative states help higher ed?

A new ranking outlines the factors that make the nation's most innovative states stand out

Colleges and universities in the most innovative states could leverage that innovation to strengthen internship and career opportunities for their students, and now, a new ranking lays out exactly which states are at the top of innovation.

The WalletHub ranking of the most innovative states compared all 50 states and the District of Columbia across 24 innovation indicators, including share of STEM professionals and tech-company density.

Read more: 4 insights about higher-ed innovation

The findings carry weight as many university leaders say innovation is among their top focuses as they seek to strengthen student retention and produce graduates who are well-prepared for today’s workforce.

Ninety-one percent of all administrators say innovation is a top strategic or academic priority, but just 40 percent say their institution has a dedicated university innovation budget, according to The State of Innovation in Higher Education: A Survey of Academic Administrators.

Laura Ascione