SimCity Strategy Guides
This article attempts to explain what tech levels are, what the difference is between educated and skilled workers and how education and industry work to create and require different types of workers. It also covers the differences between the Community College and university.
The following sections can be found in this article:
There is a great deal of confusion and annoyance amongst SimCity players when it comes to the matter of industrial buildings whining about lack of educated workers, or lack of skilled workers. The game is abysmally lacking in explaination of what these issues actually mean and how educated and skilled workers are created (beyond placing a school or two). Hopefully this will help!
Educated workers are created when the students that occupy a residential building have arrived there from a school of ANY type within the city or the region. The quantity of educated workers will depend on what proportion of students had attended a school, if all students came from a school at the end of the previous school day cycle then the building will have the 'educated' status and thus all of it's workers will be educated. If only 50% of the students came from a school then the education level of the building will be half as much and only half the workers generated in that building will be considered educated.
Skilled workers ARE educated workers, but they must come from medium or high wealth residences. Skilled workers are demanded by industrial buildings which have a tech level of 2 or 3. The game does NOT distinguish between different schools when it comes to deciding if a worker is educated or not, or skilled or not. So it doesn't matter at all whether or not you have a Community College or a university in your city - at least not from the point of view of supplying the correct type of workers.
If you have good education levels in your city, but industries moaning about lack of either educated or skilled workers, then I recommend approaching it as a zoning problem initially, creating more appropriate residential zoning around areas with complaining factories. If a medium tech factory wants more skilled workers then create a small area of medium wealth residential nearby, high residential for high tech.
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My city has no community college or university. The purple line in the tech level data map shows the influence of educated workers commuting in from other cities, which is why these nearby factories have developed to a higher tech level than the rest of the town's low tech industry
Tech = technology, which is a property of industrial buildings. Just like wealth levels for residential and commercial zones, tech levels fall into either low, medum or high. Low tech industries create lots of toxic pollution and reduce local land value significantly. Higher tech industries have less negative impact on land values, they pay proportionately more taxes than lower tech industry at the same tax rate, and they pollute less. High tech is better still in these respects.
When you look at the tech level data map you may notice in addition to industrial buildings being shaded in green as they increase tech level, and colored blocks which represent their current tech level progress, there is also a purple line that follows some of your city streets. This purple line shows the flow of educated and skilled workers, or more accurately, the source of technological influence. If you have some purple eminating from your regional highway, but none in your city, this shows that any industry which is increasing it's tech level, is doing so because educated workers are communiting in from a nearby city which has sufficiently high education. It is also useful to observe how the influence of your own educated workforce works within your city, if there are areas without purple lines but with higher tech industries, this demonstrates that you have areas with shortages of educated workers.
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A Community College placed in your city will spawn medium tech industries, a university will spawn high tech industries. Obviously there isn't much point in maintaining both schools in your city, so which you pick will most likely depend on your budget or what type of town you want to create. If you just want 5 medium tech factories to unlock the electronics specialization processor factory, then the college will do just fine. If you want a gleaming high tech city, or to do some of the research projects then obviously you will need the university.