LOCAL ECONOMIC SNAPSHOT | STEM JOBS

Science, math used in some not-so-obvious fields
By SHERYL JEAN
Staff Writer sjean@dallasnews.com

By TROY OXFORD
Staff Artist toxford@dallasnews.com

Jobs requiring some knowledge of science, technology, engineering or math are more widespread and have more impact on wages and the economies in U.S. cities than previously thought, according to a report by the Brookings Institution to be released Monday. Brookings based its findings on the level of STEM knowledge workers need to do their job. Under that classification, the number of U.S. jobs that require STEM knowledge rose from 5 percent of all jobs to 20 percent (or 26 million jobs) as of 2011. In Dallas-Fort Worth, STEM jobs make up 20.4 percent of all jobs.

What is a STEM job?
Many blue-collar and commercial jobs can be considered STEM jobs. Energy pipeline construction, industrial designers and technical writers may require engineering, math or physics skills. Top 10 STEM jobs in Dallas-Fort Worth in 2011:
Share of jobs requiring a bachelor’s degree 84.6% 36.4% 95.4% 100.0% 0.0% 9.7% 100.0% 72.5% 0.0% 17.0%

STEM jobs pay more
Pay and employment rates are higher for all levels of STEM workers. STEM knowledge gives metropolitan-area workers a real wage boost of 11 percent to 26 percent depending on the job and the level of skills.
Dallas-Fort Worth wages Non-STEM ALL JOBS $39,476 $69,784 STEM

Occupation Computer occupations Health diagnosing and treating practitioners Financial specialists Engineers Construction trades workers Health technologists and technicians Operations specialties managers Business operations specialists Metal and plastic workers Drafters and engineering and mapping technicians

Number of jobs 104,100 81,500 45,430 39,790 38,400 20,280 20,150 19,880 18,580 18,480

JOBS REQUIRING A BACHELOR’S DEGREE OR HIGHER $68,144 $87,673

Where the most STEM jobs are
Some of the biggest STEM areas in 2011 were likely places such as California’s Silicon Valley (No. 1) and the Washington, D.C., area, but others are aerospace-focused Palm Bay, Fla., and health care-oriented Baltimore. Brookings analyzed 357 metropolitan areas. Here are the Top 10 large metro areas with the most STEM knowledge per job — and Texas metro areas: #5 Seattle area #1 San Jose, Calif. #4 Bakersfield, Calif. #10 San Diego #74 San Antonio #99 McAllen #6 Houston area #3 Palm Bay, Fla. #89 El Paso #13 Austin #27 DallasFort Worth

#7 Madison, Wis. #8 Boston area #9 Baltimore #2 Washington, D.C.

NOTE: The ranking is based on a score of the average level of STEM knowledge for each occupation (736) and field.

STEM workers are educated
Under Brookings’ STEM definition, half of STEM jobs require a bachelor’s degree. Yet, only one-fifth of the $4.3 billion in federal government funding for STEM education supports training or education below the bachelor’s level.
STEM jobs with associate’s degree as percentage of all jobs San Jose, Calif. Washington, D.C. Palm Bay, Fla. Bakersfield, Calif. Seattle area Houston area Madison, Wis. Boston area Baltimore San Diego Austin Dallas-Fort Worth San Antonio El Paso McAllen 9.1% 8.1% 12.0% 10.0% 10.0% 11.8% 9.9% 10.3% 10.0% 9.3% 9.7% 9.6% 9.7% 8.5% 7.0% 4.2% 5.9% 8.7% 7.9% 15.9% 11.0% 14.1% 13.6% 13.1% 13.4% 13.0% 10.7% 19.1% 14.7% STEM jobs with bachelor’s degree as percentage of all jobs 24.1%

Who are STEM workers?
Two STEM economies have developed. One is made up of people who typically earn at least a bachelor’s degree in a STEM field and land a STEM job. The other one draws workers from high schools, vocational schools, workshops and community colleges.
33% 17%

42.9
Average age 8% Female 8% Foreign-born 10% 72%

Asian

Black

Hispanic

White

3.9
Average years of experience

$59,767
Average income

SOURCE: Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program

The bottom line
“The distribution and extraction of energy, the construction of roads and bridges, the implementation of health care, installing new technologies and even the financial management of economies is done by workers who need to know a lot about mathematics.” “We are becoming technologically more demanding as a society, and even if we have students who are not going to become engineers or scientists, math or technology is going to be a bigger part of their lives. TI is very involved in K-12 education.” “I’m a little dubious as to how much science or math goes into some protective services and entertainment jobs, but I can see how that knowledge in jobs such as architecture and construction may have been overlooked in the past. I’m surprised a business reporter doesn’t make Brookings’ list.” Sheryl Jean, staff writer, The Dallas Morning News

Jonathan Rothwell, senior research associate, Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program

Rich Templeton, chief executive, Texas Instruments Inc.

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