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Seattle tops the other metro areas in terms of professional opportunities. It has the largest share of job postings in tech, over 50%, the second largest share of the workforce in STEM — 13%, and the highest average monthly earnings for new employees in STEM industries. Other factors that make Seattle STEM-friendly include the quality of engineering universities and the presence of tech summer programs.
2. Austin, Texas
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Gonzalez calls Austin is a "great city" for STEM professionals that has a positive outlook for the future. The city has the third largest share of job postings in tech, almost 27%, and more than 11% of the workforce is in STEM, sixth largest in the country. It also boasts high annual median wages for STEM workers, high average monthly earnings for new employees in STEM industries, and the median wage growth for STEM workers was almost 13% in the past years.
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The Boston area has five engineering universities in the top 100, as well as tech summer programs. These are just two of the factors that make it friendly and attractive for STEM professionals. Gonzalez adds that almost a quarter of Boston's job postings are in tech, and nearly 11% of the workforce is in STEM.
"We also know that new employees in STEM industries have the fifth highest average monthly earnings," she adds.
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Atlanta has the most job openings for STEM graduates per capita, and 24% of job postings are in tech. Other important factors that attract professionals to the city, according to Gonzalez, are the high annual median wage and wage growth for STEM workers. Atlanta also has high-quality engineering universities as well as tech summer programs.
5. San Francisco
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Gonzalez says while it's true that the San Francisco area is below average in terms of quality of life, the city still has the largest share of job postings in tech — almost 36% — and nearly 13% of its workforce is in STEM. Other strengths include high average monthly earnings for new employees in STEM industries and the quality of its engineering universities.
6. San Jose, California
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San Jose metro includes Sunnyvale and Santa Clara and the STEM employers from Silicon Valley. San Jose has a large share of job postings in tech — 26.5% — and more than 22% of its workforce is in STEM, highest in the country. The area continues to be attractive due to offering the highest average monthly earnings for new employees in STEM industries and having the biggest median wage growth for STEM workers over the past years, more than 22%.
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The main factors that make Pittsburgh attractive for those in STEM include the large number of job openings for STEM graduates per capita, as well as high-quality engineering universities. The city also hosts tech summer programs, where students get inspired and start out their long-term skill development pathway in coding, game development, robotics, or design.
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Minneapolis offers high annual median wages for STEM workers. Judging by the good mathematics performance of eighth graders, the STEM outlook is great for the city. Plus, Minneapolis is very friendly toward families and singles. Gonzalez adds that these all make the city a good candidate for growth in the near future.
9. Madison, Wisconsin
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The University of Wisconsin–Madison provides high-quality education, which Gonzalez notes is an important factor contributing to making Madison a good place for STEM professionals. STEM employment makes up almost 11% of total employment in Madison, and the city has the lowest unemployment rate for adults with at least a bachelor's degree, 1.2%.
"This is an indication of the STEM opportunities that are available here," she says. "Plus, Madison boasts a low disparity between women and men in STEM occupations and high mathematics performance for younger students."
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OK, OK, maybe you don't live in the snug environs of the Cotswolds in England, but in the minds of many, the idea of the home office conjures up images of comfort, coziness, and ease. A recent Hired report found remote roles for software engineers commanded higher salaries than local roles, especially in smaller markets. This suggests experienced STEM professionals in general will have the option to stick as close to home as they want — and choose the city that best suits them.