The website Nerdwallet has come up with the metro areas that are best for graduates in STEM fields. Here they are:

1: San Jose--Sunnyvale--Santa Clara, CA (that’s Silicon Valley).

2: Washington, D.C.

3: Huntsville, AL

4: San Francisco, CA

5: Trenton, NJ

6: Boulder, CO

7: Seattle, WA

8: Boston, MA

9: Ann Arbor, MI

10: Kennewick--Pasco--Richland, WA


The 10 Best U.S. Cities To Launch Your STEM Career

Today, science, technology, engineering, and math are being touted as the future path to career success. Once you have that degree, there are lots of cities with booming STEM-related industries—even if you don’t want to work in the Valley.

So you’ve picked up on today’s economic trends and realized that a career in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) may be the safest and most lucrative choice. Now you just have to find a place to live. And guess what? It doesn’t have to be Silicon Valley.

Personal finance website Nerdwallet has crunched all the numbers for cities across the U.S.—percentage of total jobs that require a STEM bachelor’s degree, average salary of STEM workers with at least a bachelor’s degree, unemployment rates, overall salaries—and came up with a list of the top 10 best metro areas for STEM graduates.

Here they are:

It’s true—the San Francisco Bay Area gets two spots (#1 and #4) in the top five. But there are other options. The Washington, D.C., area has major STEM employers like the Marine Corps Base Quantico and Micron Technology in Virginia. Huntsville, Alabama, has the Marshall Space Flight Center. Boston has Massachusetts General Hospital, as well as dozens of higher education institutions that need STEM talent.

Today, STEM jobs make up 20% of the job market. Even if you don’t want to live in any of the 10 metro areas listed here, you probably won’t have too much trouble finding a position.

Add New Comment


  • Ozz12

    It's surprising that Houston is
    not mentioned in the Top 10, considering:

    Houston’s share of jobs in STEM-focused fields exceeds that of the nation.

    About a third of Houston’s jobs are in STEM-focused fields whereas a quarter of
    jobs in the top 100 U.S. metros are STEM-focused. (Source: Brookings Institute)

    Houston’s job growth is twice that of the nation.

    From May ’12 to May ’13, Houston added 91,600 jobs, a 3.4 percent growth rate.
    This more than doubles the U.S. growth rate of 1.6 percent during the same
    period. Houston’s job growth rate also exceeds the U.S. across the majority of
    industry sectors.

    Houston is home to a high concentration of engineers.

    Houston has more than 86,380 engineers and architects of all disciplines, the
    most numerous being, civil, industrial, petroleum, mechanical,
    electrical/electronic and aerospace.

    Houston has almost double the concentration of engineers than the U.S. For
    every 100,000 workers in the Houston MSA, there are 3,271 engineers. In
    comparison, for every 100,000 workers in the U.S., there are 1,809 engineers.

    Even better, the cost of living here is among the lowest of any large metro
    area in the country. In fact, according to the First Quarter 2013 C2ER Cost of
    Living Index, when compared to the 21 most populous metros, housing costs in
    Houston are 37.3 percent below average and overall costs are 18.0 percent below

    You can find your STEM job in Houston AND live the lifestyle you desire.