Houston, Austin Best Cities For STEM Professionals

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Most people think of California as the high-tech hub of the U.S., but it is no longer the best state for science and technology professionals to work. In fact, the state of Texas dominated WalletHub’s 2015 Best and Worst Metro Areas for STEM Professionals list, with Houston and Austin respectively taking first and second place (also with Dallas at 23rd and San Antonio at 48th). The highest-ranking California city on the list was San Francisco at 38th.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) professions will grow 1.7 times faster than other professions between 2008 and 2018.

Not surprisingly, STEM careers are among the highest-paying in the country, and STEM professionals also enjoy a very low unemployment rate relative to non-STEM workers. In fact, the annual average wage for all STEM jobs was $79,640 in 2013, according to the BLS. Of note, that’s 71% higher than the national annual average wage of $46,440 for all jobs.

Best cities for STEM professionals to work

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, Texas (greater Houston area) came in first place in WalletHub’s 2015 Best and Worst Metro Areas for STEM Professionals list. Austin, the capital of Texas and the live music capital of the world, came in second place on the 2015 Best Metro Areas for STEM Professionals list. At third place on this year’s list was Raleigh, North Carolina, followed by Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, Colorado in fourth place and Omaha-Council Bluffs, Iowa was fifth.

Worst cities for STEM professionals to work

Coming in at 96th place on WalletHub’s 2015 Best and Worst Metro Areas for STEM Professionals list was Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, California. Fresno, California was awarded 97th place. 98th place on the 2015 list went to North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, Florida, and Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, California came in 99th place. Coming in at the bottom of the heap this year was Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, Florida at 100th place.


In determining its rankings, WalletHub looked at the 100 largest cities in the U.S. analyzing 11 job satisfcation-related metrics. Metrics included job openings per capita for STEM graduates, annual median wage growth for STEM jobs and the projected number of STEM jobs in the U.S. 2018.

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