Grand Rapids ranks 49th best metro area for STEM professionals

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A new report says greater Grand Rapids is in the middle of the pack when it comes to the top metro areas for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers.

WalletHub last week published a ranking of 2021’s Best Metro Areas for STEM Professionals, and Grand Rapids is at No. 49 out of the nation’s 100 largest metro areas.

To determine the best markets for STEM professionals, WalletHub compared the 100 most populated metropolitan statistical areas across three key dimensions — professional opportunities, STEM-friendliness and quality of life — using 20 key metrics including number of best engineering schools, math performance, per-capita job openings for STEM graduates, median wage growth for STEM jobs, and the recreation- and family-friendliness of the area.

Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale with a score of 100 representing the most favorable conditions for STEM professionals.

WalletHub determined each metro area’s weighted average across all metrics to calculate its overall score and used the resulting scores to rank-order the sample.

Grand Rapids was ranked 68th for professional opportunities, 65th for STEM friendliness and 26th for quality of life with a total score of 48.45.

Top 10 Best Metros for STEM Professionals

  1. Seattle
  2. Boston
  3. Atlanta
  4. Austin, Texas
  5. Minneapolis
  6. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  7. Raleigh, North Carolina
  8. Salt Lake City
  9. San Francisco
  10. Madison, Wisconsin

Bottom 10

  1. Scranton, Pennsylvania
  2. Stockton, California
  3. Oxnard, California
  4. North Port, Florida
  5. Toledo, Ohio
  6. Little Rock, Arkansas
  7. Cape Coral, Florida
  8. Memphis, Tennessee
  9. Deltona, Florida
  10. Jackson, Mississippi

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