Feb 4, 2015

Madison ranked top metropolitan area in U.S. for STEM graduates

Excerpted from news.wisc.edu

The Brookings Institute on Tuesday recognized Madison, Wisconsin, as the number one metropolitan area in the U.S. for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) college graduates — the workers most likely to support the advanced industries that are driving the U.S. economy.

In the Madison area, home to the state’s flagship University of Wisconsin campus, 26 percent of college graduates earned degrees in STEM fields. That’s higher than the national average (15 percent) and even outstrips the world leader in STEM graduates, Finland (22 percent).

Among the Institute’s findings:

  • Sixty-five percent of U.S. job growth since 2010 came from advanced industries that often partner with research institutions such as UW-Madison, and employ an educated workforce.
  • Combined, these industries — which include energy production, scientific consulting, pharmaceuticals and 47 other segments — generated $2.7 trillion, or roughly 17 percent of U.S. gross domestic product in 2013.
  • The advanced industry sector has grown by 5.4 percent annually since 1980 — 30 percent faster than the U.S. economy as a whole. The average job in the advanced industry sector paid $90,000 in 2013, more than twice the average wage for U.S. workers on the whole.

“Going forward, the private, public, and civic sectors must work together in new ways to strengthen the fundamental sources of advanced industries vitality: innovation, technical skills, and dense ecosystems. If they do, the nation will have a good shot at shoring up a key pillar of an opportunity economy,” the report says.

Read the full article and view the full report.