Austin, Pittsburgh and Boston challenge West Coast tech dominance
- Seattle, Boston, Pittsburgh, Austin, Texas and San Francisco topped WalletHub's 2019 ranking of the best metropolitan areas for STEM professionals. WalletHub ranked cities on a scale of 100, with 1 being the highest, across 17 metrics relating to professional opportunities, quality of life. 'STEM-friendliness,' another metric, was calculated from gender parity, R&D spending intensity, tech meetups and summer programs, and share and quality of engineering universities in the area.
- Within those five cities, Seattle, San Francisco and Boston had the highest rankings for professional opportunities and STEM-friendliness. Yet the three cities scored much lower on quality of life rankings, coming in at 20, 60 and 74, respectively.
- Pittsburgh was the only top five overall leader to break into single-digit rankings for quality of life.
Best cities for STEM professionals, 2019
|Rank||Overall||Professional opportunities||STEM-friendliness||Quality of life|
|1||Seattle, WA||Seattle, WA||Boston, MA||Dayton, OH|
|2||Boston, MA||Washington, DC||Springfield, MA||Youngstown, OH|
|3||Pittsburgh, PA||San Francisco, CA||Seattle, WA||Syracuse, NY|
|4||Austin, TX||Raleigh, NC||Los Angeles, CA||Scranton, PA|
|5||San Francisco, CA||Boston, MA||San Francisco, CA||Pittsburgh, PA|
Silicon Valley will remain the heartland of American technology for the foreseeable future, but emerging technology hubs are steadily reshaping the landscape and distribution of STEM, especially technology, workers.
Sky-high costs in big cities such as San Francisco, Seattle and New York are incentivizing workers to move to areas such as Austin, Raleigh, North Carolina, and Boulder, Colorado, for lower costs of living, competitive pay and new opportunities.
While New York and Washington, D.C., scored high in some fields, they were noticeably low in WalletHub's overall rankings.
New York ranked No. 10 for STEM-friendliness, yet low scores of 82 in other fields pulled the city down to the No. 60 overall ranking. Washington cinched the No. 2 spot for professional opportunities, but a low 80 on STEM-friendliness and 42 on quality of life.
Both of these cities are worth keeping an eye on as incoming Amazon headquarters change the tech workforce landscape in the area in coming years.
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