The number of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) jobs are projected to grow nearly 11% between 2021 and 2031, compared with less than 5% for other occupations.
With STEM workers in fierce demand across the country, WalletHub compiled an index of the best (and worst) metro areas for those looking for a career in these fields, comparing the 100 biggest metro areas across 21 key metrics.
The data set ranges from per-capita job openings for STEM graduates to median wage growth for STEM workers.
The Texas capital city of Austin, for example, placed second overall — just behind Seattle —ranking highly due to the quality of engineering universities in the area and the presence of tech summer programs, both of which contribute to the city's STEM friendliness.
"In addition, Austin's affordability and the fact that it's a great place for both families and singles are what draws STEM professionals to it," explains WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez.
Farther down the list is San Francisco, which has been beset by social problems and a hollowing out of the downtown business core, but which tops the other cities in terms of research and development spending, has a large number of invention patents per capita, a lot of tech meetups per capita, and tech summer programs.
Similar to San Francisco, another California city, San Jose, ranks high for research and development spending and intensity, has a large number of invention patents and tech meetups per capita, as well as tech summer programs.
All the top-ranked cities had particular attributes that make the area a bigger draw for certain groups or those with specific skillsets — Boston, for example, tops the others in terms of mathematics performance and also has a low disparity of women versus men in STEM occupations as well as the highest number of invention patents per capita.
Here's a look at the top-ranked places for STEM professionals across the United States, including one that didn't officially make the list but we felt was worth including in light of current employment trends.
About the authorNathan Eddy is a freelance writer for ITPro Today. He has written for Popular Mechanics, Sales & Marketing Management Magazine, FierceMarkets, and CRN, among others. In 2012 he made his first documentary film, The Absent Column. He currently lives in Berlin.