According to the latest U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report, STEM related jobs – those in science, technology, engineering and math – are expected to grow 8.8% from last year to 2028. All other occupations could see just 5.0% growth in the same period, suggesting that coupled with the ongoing demand for IT workers and cybersecurity pros, now might be a good time to think about a career in STEM fields.

Another factor to consider is that the median annual STEM wage is now at $84,880, compared to $37,020 for non-STEM jobs. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), software developers are among those who can expect the most job growth – with 241,500 new jobs being created from 2018 to 2018. Computer and information systems managers will also see the highest median wages at $142,530.

Where to Live

While Silicon Valley remains the global epicenter for high tech jobs, it is also among the most expensive places to live in the United States. Services average about 27% more than the national average and the median home sale price is now over $1 million.

However, Silicon Valley isn’t exclusive for good paying STEM jobs. WalletHub compared the 100 largest metro areas across 21 key metrics, with data ranging from per-capita job openings to annual median wage growth for STEM jobs.

San Jose, CA did rank first on the list with the highest average monthly earnings for new employees in STEM industries – $11,798, which is 3.7 times higher than in Tulsa, OK, the metro area with the lowest at $3,175. In addition, San Jose also has the highest share of all workers in STEM occupations at 21% –15 times higher than in McAllen, TX, the metro area with the lowest at 1.40 percent.

Among the findings from the WallHub study were that unexpected cities, such as Harrisburg, PA, offer high opportunities for STEM workers. The state capital currently has the most per-capita overall STEM job openings for STEM graduates, 114.12, which is 35.1 times higher than in Deltona, FL, the metro area with the fewest at 3.25.

Houston currently has the highest annual median wage for STEM workers (adjusted by cost of living), at $98,886, which is 2.3 times higher than in Honolulu, the metro area with the lowest at $42,293.

“Affordability is definitely a major issue when deciding on a place to live and work, and this is one of the things that make cities like Pittsburgh, Atlanta or Austin more desirable for STEM professionals,” said WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez

“Other positive factors that the top metro areas have in common include the low unemployment rate for adults with at least a bachelor’s degree, and the presence of tech summer programs,” Gonzalez told ClearanceJobs.

Top Markets for stem jobs

According to the study, Provo-Orem, UT tops the list for STEM employment growth in the coming years, along with Des Moines-West Des Moines, IA; Louisville, KY/Jefferson County, IN; Raleigh, NC; and Spokane-Spokane Valley, WA. The areas poised to have the lowest STEM employment growth include Scranton-Wilkes-Barre-Hazelton, PA; Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA; New Haven-Milford, CT; Albuquerque, NM; and McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX.

WalletHub’s Best Metro Areas for STEM Professionals

  1. Seattle, WA
  2. Boston, MA
  3. Austin, TX
  4. Atlanta, GA
  5. Pittsburgh, PA
  6. San Francisco, CA
  7. Raleigh, NC
  8. Madison, WI
  9. Minneapolis, MN
  10. San Diego, CA

WalletHub’s Worst Metro Areas for STEM Professionals

  1. North Port, FL
  2. Memphis, TN
  3. Lakeland, FL
  4. McAllen, TX
  5. Deltona, FL
  6. Toledo, OH
  7. Stockton, CA
  8. Jackson, MS
  9. Little Rock, AR
  10. Cape Coral, FL

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Peter Suciu is a freelance writer who covers business technology and cyber security. He currently lives in Michigan and can be reached at petersuciu@gmail.com.