STEM jobs growing in lesser metro areas

In the information age, technology has become the guiding light in employment. The explosion of high-tech consumer electronics, software used for business and the overall emphasis placed on technological innovation has made tech jobs some of the most sought after in the country.

While economic recovery has been spurred largely by job creation in major cities like Chicago, Los Angeles and New York City, the best jobs in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) have actually emerged in cities with lesser profiles, according to new data from Forbes. Businesses that have a hard time recruiting STEM talent in their city can consult with engineering recruiters to improve their chances of attracting skilled workers.

D.C. tops the list
In the discussion of STEM jobs, Silicon Valley usually garners the most attention. However, San Jose employment in STEM fields actually decreased 12.6 percent from 2001 to 2012, according to new research by Praxis Strategy Group and released by Forbes as a top 10 list. Contrary to popular belief suggesting trendy and densely populated metropolitan areas are home to the greatest growth in STEM employment, research found the increase is actually taking place outside of the largest cities in the U.S.

Washington, D.C. had the biggest uptick in STEM hiring during the past decade, up 21.1 percent from 2001 to 2012, according to the study. The Washington-Arlington-Alexandria region in the capitol, Virginia, Maryland and West Virginia also saw gains of 3.7 percent in STEM jobs during the last two years.

Even without the help of the Silicon Valley, California still proved to be a leader in STEM hiring. The Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario area saw a 10-year growth in tech employment of 18.6 percent and an increase of 2.2 percent in the last two years.

The rest of Forbes’ top 10 STEM employers list suggests engineering recruiters all over the nation are busy filling positions for tech companies. San Antonio-New Braunfels was ranked third with 18.3 percent growth since 2001 and 4.5 percent since 2010. Baltimore-Towson STEM employment increased 17.9 percent and 3.9 percent from two years before. Raleigh-Cary rounded out the top five and tied with Baltimore with a 17.9 percent increase in STEM jobs in the last 10 years, with 6.2 percent growth occurring in the last two.

Las Vegas-Paradise had a 17.2 percent growth over the decade and just 0.8 percent in the last two years. Salt Lake City growth in STEM jobs reached 16.3 percent since 2001, with 7.4 percent growth since 2010, enough for the city to rank fifth best in the nation during that time. Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown’s 10-year growth was 15.7 percent and 6.6 percent in the last two years. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue was ninth with 15.4 percent since 2001 and 6.7 percent since two years ago. Jacksonville rounded out the list with 13 percent growth in 10 years and 2.4 percent growth in the last two.