D.C. Ranks 3rd in Nation for STEM Job Seekers

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    A close-up of computer chip. A new report says D.C. is a great area for job seekers in science, technology, engineering and math.

    If you’re a recent STEM graduate seeking a high-paying job in a city teeming with research opportunity, you don't have to think "Boston." Or "San Francisco."

    A recent report by personal finance site NerdWallet ranked D.C. as the third-best major city in the country for STEM majors

    to live post-graduation.

    The site ranked D.C. two spots higher than San Francisco, an area generally considered to be a major hub for opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math.

    The Silicon Valley area ranked first in the study, followed by the Greater Seattle area.

    The average wage for STEM jobs in DC is more than $99,000. STEM jobs make up about 12 percent of the D.C. job market.

    The study used data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the U.S. Census Bureau to analyze income levels for STEM jobs, the size of the STEM industries, and the median gross rent in the 75 largest U.S. metropolitan areas, as a way to measure cost of living.

    The report’s analyst, Sreekar Jasthi, told News4 that he was not surprised by D.C.’s high ranking. Despite the city’s reputation as a destination for graduates pursuing jobs in politics and government, Jasthi said there are many research opportunities in D.C. for STEM grads.

    Most importantly, there are plenty of jobs.

    A new report from the Brookings Institute revealed that American employers are struggling to hire skilled workers in science, tech, engineering, and math openings. The researchers analyzed 3.3 million job ads during the first quarter of 2013 from around 52,000 companies. The results showed that, compared to jobs outside of the STEM industry, job openings for STEM related jobs take about twice as long to fill.

    While there was a smaller disparity in STEM and non-STEM help-wanted ad duration in DC, the numbers were still significant. The average ad duration for a STEM job opening requiring some college education was about 51 days, while a non-STEM job remained open only 40 days.

    The Brookings Institute found that there were a total of more than 47,000 listed STEM job openings in DC in the first quarter of 2013 alone.

    Forbes and Indeed compiled a list in July of last year indicating the ten companies with the most STEM job openings. At least half of the companies listed had locations and job openings available in D.C., including Amazon, which was ranked second.

    SAIC, a defense company which serves the U.S. Department of Defense, the intelligence community, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, was listed at number three. At the time, they were seeking to fill 1,380 STEM positions.

    In response to the high demand and low supply of STEM grads in the job market, some universities in the D.C. area are seeking to enhance their STEM programs. None of the D.C.-area graduate universities ranked within the top 25 for U.S. News and World Report’s ranking of best science grad programs.

    George Washington University is trying to change that. In its 10-year strategic plan, entitled Vision 2021, GW stated that they hoped to create an undergraduate STEM academy by hiring faculty prominent in STEM education, recruiting high-quality students interested in the field, and building additional studio teaching spaces.

    In doing so, the school hopes to “further [its] positions of leadership in STEM fields.”