Seeking a job in science, technology, engineering, or math? According to a recent study, Sacramento is one of the best cities in the nation to find a diverse workforce in any of those fields, known collectively as STEM.
A study by SmartAsset that examined STEM diversity in the areas of racial, ethnic, and gender variability ranked Sacramento #3 in the nation. This means that STEM workers will, according to SmartAsset, be part of an inclusive atmosphere, and STEM employers will find the benefit of a greater range of perspectives and ideas.
The study looked first at the racial and ethnic makeup of 210 U.S. cities with the largest STEM workforces. It gave the highest index scores to cities with the most evenly distributed workforce across eight of the nation’s primary racial and ethnic groups according to U.S. Census Bureau.
The next index score looked at cities with the highest gender diversity, giving workforces with an equal split of men and women a higher score than workforces where men dominated the field. Cities in which the STEM workforce is made up of less than 10% women received an in index score of 0.
The weighted average of those two scores found that women make up 35% of Sacramento’s STEM workforce (compared to the national average of 26%) and that no racial or ethnic group comprises a majority among STEM jobs. These findings gave Sacramento the #3 spot in the nation, with only Memphis, TN (#1) and Stockton, CA (#2) scoring higher due to a larger percentage of women in Memphis (39%) and a larger and more even spread of Asian, Latino/Hispanic, and/or African American populations.
SmartAsset says that diversity is valuable in a nation where Census data shows that 74% of the U.S. STEM workforce is male and 69% is White. The study found that the most diverse workforces are either in California or the mid-Atlantic states, where 9 of the top 10 diverse cities are located. Of the nation’s top 50 cities, 22 are located in California alone.
Interestingly, the Bay Area’s STEM hubs of San Francisco and San Jose didn’t make the top 10 list due to their workforce being largely male (above 70%) and minimally African American (below 5%). San Francisco made the #29 spot and San Jose #61.
Elk Grove also made the list, earning the #20 spot for its 30% female workforce and large Asian (44%) and Latino/Hispanic (10%) populations. The national average for Asian STEM professionals is 15% and for Hispanic/Latino is 7%.
Having a strong STEM workforce is important because not only do STEM jobs lead the way for advances in technology and science, but, according to the U.S. Bureau of Statistics, STEM employees also receive a higher average salary at $80,000. That compares to the national average of $47,000.
The U.S. Department of Education also reports a projected 14% increase of STEM jobs nationwide by 2020.
To read the full study and to see what other cities made the list, visit smartasset.com.