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The Best and Worst Cities for STEM Professionals in 2017

Where does your city rank when it comes to STEM-friendliness?

Source: WalletHub

Personal finance company WalletHub has released its 2017 list of the Best & Worst Metro Areas for STEM professionals, a list it made by comparing 100 of the most populous metro areas in the U.S. with the use of 17 different metrics.

According to WalletHub’s research, the best cities for STEM professionals include: 

  1. Seattle, WA
  2. San Jose, CA 
  3. San Francisco, CA 
  4. Boston, MA 
  5. Springfield, MA 
  6. Austin, TX 
  7. Minneapolis, MN 
  8. Atlanta, GA 
  9. Washington, D.C.
  10. Pittsburgh, PA

The worst, on the other hand, are as follows: 

  1. Birmingham, AL 
  2. Lakeland, FL 
  3. Bridgeport, CT 
  4. North Port, FL 
  5. Honolulu, HI 
  6. Cape Coral, FL 
  7. Memphis, TN 
  8. Deltona, FL
  9. McAllen, TX
  10. Jackson, MS

Other interesting findings, WalletHub says, include Washington, D.C. being projected to have the highest number of STEM jobs per capita needed by 2020, Houston, TX having the highest annual median wage for STEM workers and Dayton, OH offering the most affordable housing to STEM professionals.

The 17 metrics WalletHub used to come to its conclusions include a blend of metrics that analyze the kinds of professional opportunities each city offers in combination with how STEM-friendly the respective environments are.

When considering professional opportunities, WalletHub experts analyzed things like how many job openings each city offered STEM graduates, each cities' projected demand for STEM jobs by 2020, how many utility plants each city hosts and both the annual median wage for the city's STEM workers as well as their annual median wage growth.

When considering how STEM-friendly a city is, WalletHub took a look at the quality of universities and colleges in each city, how affordable housing is, how accessible workplaces are via transit, and how family-friendly each city is.

For cities that ranked towards the lower end of being a good place for STEM professionals, STEM education professor Christopher J. Childs urged local leaders through WalletHub's study to understand the importance of making changes.

"Local authorities need to embrace innovation and change. Many localities focus on historical decisions and rationale for appealing to STEM graduates. Typically citing 'we have always done things this way.' Localities must understand STEM graduates have been exposed to technology and innovation their entire lives and are seeking cities that can continue to provide this exposure."

To read WalletHub’s findings in full, see here.

Nicole Gorman, Senior Education World Contributor


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