A new analysis of the nation’s best metropolitan areas for workers in the STEM professions has Hartford ranked just outside the top 10 at number 13. New Haven is ranked at number 55, Bridgeport/Stamford/Norwalk at number 80. The comparison of the 100 largest metropolitan areas in the country by financial services website WalletHub, included 20 key metrics, ranging from per-capita job openings for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) graduates to annual median wage growth for STEM workers.
According to the latest U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics analysis, STEM — science, technology, engineering and math — professions grew at over twice the rate that non-STEM jobs did between 2009 and 2015, according to WalletHub. Most types of STEM jobs are expected to expand faster than all other occupations until 2024.
The top 10 in the new analysis were Seattle, Boston, Pittsburgh, Austin, San Francisco, Madison, Atlanta, Salt Lake City, Minneapolis and Cincinnati. Just ahead of Hartford were San Diego and Columbus, and following Hartford in the rankings were Springfield and Worcester, MA.
While Hartford ranked 24th a year ago, the criteria were slightly revised for this year’s analysis. WalletHub’s analyst explained that “An addition to this year's methodology is the presence of tech summer programs within a given metro area, which Hartford ranked well for. In these programs students start developing skills in coding, game development, robotics or design. Other new metrics that were added this year and contributed to Hartford's overall better ranking are utility patents and the number of tech meetups per capita."
In addition, “the unemployment rate in [metro] Hartford for adults with at least a bachelor's degree is the lowest in all the metropolitan areas analyzed, whereas last year, it was in the middle of the pack.”
The nearly two-dozen metrics were divided into three overall categories: professional opportunities, STEM-friendliness and quality of life. Hartford ranked tenth in quality of life category, 14th in professional opportunities, and 17th in STEM-friendliness, which included the quality of engineering universities, research & development spending and intensity, and mathematics performance.
The Quality of Life category included housing affordability, recreation and family friendliness, and singles friendliness. The Professional Opportunities category included median wage, wage growth, STEM employment growth and job openings for STEM graduates.
Among the various individual metrics, the Bridgeport/Stamford/Norwalk metropolitan region ranked third nationally with among the highest annual median wage growth for STEM workers. New Haven was eighth nationally in STEM-friendliness. The overall rankings for Bridgeport/Stamford/Norwalk and New Haven were relatively unchanged from a year ago.