Top Cities for STEM Careers

STEM careers (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) have taken precedence over the past years. It is projected that it will continue to grow even more. By 2018, STEM occupations will account for about 8.6 million jobs in the U.S. economy, up from 7.3 million in 2008. STEM jobs have an annual mean wage of $79,395 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. As one of the fastest growing occupations, STEM graduates must factor which cities are best suited for them. Good news is, that many cities have become a mecca for STEM jobs for a couple of reasons. NerdWallet conducted their research and came up with the best places for STEM graduates by looking at the following factors in the 75 largest U.S. metropolitan areas:

Income levels for STEM jobs: They took a look at the annual mean wage of STEM occupations in each metro area. Additionally, they took into account the median gross rent as a cost of living metric to see how far the average incomes goes in each place.

Size of STEM industries: They included STEM occupations as a percentage of all jobs in each city to measure the density of the STEM industries and estimate the availability of STEM jobs.

The top 10 best cities for STEM graduates are as follows:

1. San Jose, California

San Jose is the hub for technology companies. This city comes first because its annual average STEM wage is of $111,746 and has the most volume of STEM occupations in the U.S. Companies like Cisco Systems, Adobe Systems, and Intel employ the largest amount of STEM graduates.

2. Seattle, Washington

Seattle is the home for aerospace, information technology, clean tech and life sciences industries. The top employers in this region are Boeing, Microsoft, and Amazon.

3. Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C. welcomes many jobs in technology and scientific research. They promote interest in the STEM fields by hosting events such as the USA Science & Engineering Festival.

4. Houston, Texas

Texas employs many in the fields of advanced manufacturing and technology, aerospace, biotechnology, and life sciences and energy. STEM jobs average income in Houston is on the high end of the scale, an annual average of $94,766.

5. San Francisco, California

San Francisco is most notably known for housing technology startups like Facebook, Google, Twitter, Oracle, and many more. San Fran is second in offering the highest average annual wage for STEM occupations.

6. Austin, Texas

Austin has substantially grown over the past years in the technology sector. Dell’s headquarters are located in Austin as well as regional offices of Google, IBM, and Intel. Many of its contributions are due to the University of Texas at Austin.

7. Boston, Massachusetts

Boston is one region that draws much attention into the STEM fields, especially in the areas of health care and research. Its top employers are many hospitals and research institutions at Harvard, Boston University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Additionally, The Boston Area Girls STEM collaborative works to promote young women’s education in STEM fields.

8. Raleigh, North Carolina

Raleigh is a great place for those with STEM degrees. North Carolina State University has departments of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics that encourages education in those fields in the Raleigh areas.

9. Denver, Colorado

Denver focuses on aerospace, energy and health care industries that attracts many students pursuing STEM degrees. The University of Denver just launched a STEM initiative that will help develop and support education in these fields.

10. Dayton, Ohio

Dayton has a high demand for STEM jobs; specifically in areas of aerospace, health care and information technology. Their low cost of living has a median of $714, the lowest of all 10 cities in this list.


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