Analysis: Honolulu near bottom of list of best metro areas for STEM professionals

With the governor striving to help build Hawaii’s innovation economy and workforce, Honolulu is currently lagging as a market for STEM workers.

STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and math.

With STEM jobs expected to grow 1.7 times faster than non-STEM professions in the coming years, the personal finance website WalletHub has released an in-depth analysis of 2017’s Best & Worst Metro Areas for STEM Professionals.

Out of 100 cities nationwide, Honolulu ranks 95th.

To identify the best markets for STEM workers, the website’s analysts compared the 100 most populated metro areas across 17 key metrics. The data set ranges from “per-capita job openings for STEM graduates” to “annual median wage growth for STEM workers.”

With 1 considered best and 50 as average, the STEM job market in Honolulu ranks:

  • 72nd – Percent of Workforce in STEM
  • 85th – STEM Employment Growth
  • 68th – Math Performance
  • 62nd – Quality of Engineering Universities
  • 100th – Annual Median Wage for STEM Workers (Adjusted by Cost of Living)
  • 41st – Annual Median Wage Growth for STEM Workers
  • 100th – Housing Affordability
  • 71st – Job Openings for STEM Graduates per Capita
  • 79th – Projected Demand for STEM Jobs by 2020

Gov. Ige announced an initiative early last year to build the state’s innovation economy and workforce. Twelve Hawaii schools are scheduled to expand science, math, engineering and technology education for their students as the first recipients in a multi-year, $2.2 million grant program to increase students’ readiness for college and careers.

By 2017, Hawaii is projected to need 16,000 more workers with STEM skills each year, but the state currently ranks 47th in the number of STEM-related degrees awarded per 100,000 residents.

Data used to create the rankings were collected from the U.S. Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Center on Education and the Workforce, National Center for Education Statistics, National Science Foundation, United States Patent and Trademark Office, Center for Neighborhood Technology, Council for Community and Economic Research, Indeed, U.S. News & World Report and WalletHub research.

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