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Atlanta named 7th best city for STEM professionals

Careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics are rapidly growing in popularity across the United States, thanks to their high salaries and fewer threats to job stability. But being a STEM professional doesn’t mean you have to restrict yourself to Silicon Valley.

» RELATED: How far will a salary in tech take you in Atlanta? Hint: Way further than in most US cities

Analysts over at personal finance website WalletHub sought to find America’s best STEM markets in the country’s 100 most populated metros. They compared the cities across three key dimensions: professional opportunities, STEM-friendliness and quality of life.

The dimensions were further evaluated using 17 relevant metrics, such as job openings for STEM grads, demand for STEM jobs by 2020, annual median wage, housing affordability, disparity of women and men in STEM and more.

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Of the 100 cities researchers studied, Seattle earned top honors, followed by Boston and Pittsburgh.


The worst of the lot: Cape Coral, Florida; North Port, Florida and Jackson, Mississippi.


» RELATED: Atlanta named top U.S. city for startups outside of New York, San Francisco

The Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell metro came in seventh on the list. Here’s more on how the area fared:

  • Overall rank: 7
  • Professional opportunities: 7
  • STEM-friendliness: 27
  • Quality of life: 24
  • Job openings for STEM graduates per capita: 1
  • Quality of engineering universities: 2
  • Percentage of workforce in STEM: 23
  • Annual median wage for STEM workers adjusted for cost of living: 24
  • STEM employment growth: 26
  • Annual median wage growth for STEM workers: 43

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The metro’s 2019 rank is a nice bump from WalletHub’s best and worst areas for STEM professionals ranking last year, when it placed 10th overall.


Atlanta was also previously named one of the top 5 up-and-coming tech meccas in the nation by Forbes Magazine and was listed among America’s “Tech 25” by global firm Cushman & Wakefield. It’s also one of the five U.S. metros where tech salaries tend to go furthest, according to Indeed’s Hiring Lab.


» RELATED: Two Georgia schools among America’s 50 ‘smartest colleges’

The metro is home to the fourth largest tech hub in the United States (Atlanta Tech Village) and multiple prominent universities within a 400-mile radius, including Emory University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Georgia State University and University of Georgia.

Explore the full ranking at wallethub.com.

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