By S.E. Slack
Everyone knows high-tech jobs are available in California’s Silicon Valley and Silicon Beach, but Ohio is starting to make the news as a high-tech hotspot, too.
Dayton was just named as one of the Best Cities for High-Tech Jobs by investment firm 24/7 Wall Street. The firm compiled its list based on a report from the Brookings Institution, which reviewed the concentration of jobs requiring knowledge in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) by metropolitan areas.
A great number of jobs requiring high levels of STEM knowledge don’t even require a bachelor’s degree, according to Jonathan Rothwell, associate fellow at the Brookings Institution. Manufacturing and construction fields, for example, are using more technology than in the past. Workers in those fields often have an associate’s degree or less.
“The STEM workforce is much broader and more diverse than many people might think,” he told 24/7 Wall Street.
Many STEM jobs might be considered blue-collar, he said, but they do require a high level of skill. Along with the skill and knowledge comes good wages. In Dayton, the average wage for a STEM worker is $66,705. Non-STEM jobs pay approximately $30,000 less.
STEM jobs comprise nearly 23 percent of the jobs in the city. More than 10 percent of those STEM jobs are considered "super-STEM" jobs, which require high levels of research and are usually held by very well-educated individuals. The city has a more than 15,000 health diagnosing and treating practitioners, a common STEM field.
The U.S. Department of Commerce recently noted that growth in STEM jobs has tripled nationally in the last 10 years. STEM occupations are projected to grow by 17 percent between 2008 and 2018, adding fuel to the overall national economy. But most STEM workers of the future will be expected to have a college degree. Those without a degree will still be employable in that cluster of occupations, but will be at the lower end of the pay scale.