Which U.S. cities boast the highest percentages of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) jobs? According to a new report from the Brookings Institution, some 23 metropolitan areas feature workforces with sizable concentrations of workers in advanced industries, including San Jose (16 percent), Wichita (15.5 percent), and San Francisco (14 percent).
The Brookings Institution groups more than 50 industries under the umbrella of “advanced industries,” including computer systems design, data processing, information services, software building, and telecommunications. For good measure, it also groups chemical production, boat building, motor vehicle parts, and “general-purpose” machinery in that category, too.
Although advanced industries contribute at least one out of every 10 jobs in those 23 metro areas, the United States as a whole lags behind other nations such as Germany and Denmark when it comes to the percentage of population working in advanced industries. “The U.S. share of global R&D and patenting is falling much faster than its share of global GDP and population,” the report stated, “meaning that U.S. slippage cannot simply be attributed to demography or macroeconomic convergence.”
The report goes on to complain that only a “narrow” educational training and education pipeline exists for workers in these advanced industries: “The U.S. education system graduates too few college students in STEM fields and does too little to adequately prepare children in mathematical and scientific concepts.”
This isn’t the first time that an institution has questioned the nation’s educational pipeline. In May 2014, for example, U.S. News and Raytheon released an index showing that the number of STEM degrees had barely ticked upward since 2000, even as the need for skilled STEM workers has increased.
But not all sources suggest that the education system is to blame for a lack of STEM workers. According to data released over the summer by the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly 75 percent of those who held a bachelor’s degree in a STEM discipline didn’t actually work in a STEM job. (The Census Bureau based its data on a survey of 3.5 million homes.)
Whatever the cause of those pipeline issues, the Brookings Institution feels that this country needs to radically increase its number of STEM-skilled workers in order to meet rising demand.
- The Highest-Paying States for Tech Pros
- Tech Firms Focus on Cities in Pursuit of Younger Workers
- Developers, IT Still Racking Up High Salaries
Image: Brookings Institution