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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.

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

<p>1: San Jose--Sunnyvale--Santa Clara, CA (that’s Silicon Valley).</p>
  • <p>2: Washington, D.C.</p>
  • <p>3: Huntsville, AL</p>
  • <p>4: San Francisco, CA</p>
  • <p>5: Trenton, NJ</p>
  • <p>6: Boulder, CO</p>
  • <p>7: Seattle, WA</p>
  • <p>8: Boston, MA</p>
  • <p>9: Ann Arbor, MI</p>
  • <p>10: Kennewick--Pasco--Richland, WA</p>
  • 01 /10

    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).

  • 02 /10

    2: Washington, D.C.

  • 03 /10

    3: Huntsville, AL

  • 04 /10

    4: San Francisco, CA

  • 05 /10

    5: Trenton, NJ

  • 06 /10

    6: Boulder, CO

  • 07 /10

    7: Seattle, WA

  • 08 /10

    8: Boston, MA

  • 09 /10

    9: Ann Arbor, MI

  • 10 /10

    10: Kennewick--Pasco--Richland, WA

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.