echnology plays an important role in the personal and work lives of all Americans, and there’s no doubt that in order for the U.S. to continue to be competitive on the global stage, companies will need to continue innovating.
This decade is already gearing up to be dominated by autonomous and electric vehicles, artificial intelligence and automation, advances in medical sciences and cybersecurity, the expansion of the cloud and the internet of things, and property tech and wearables.
The label attributed to the industries that research and develop these incredible technologies is STEM, which stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Of course, the people whose occupations focus on creating these technologies are already of growing importance, and the cities that are able to attract companies with STEM jobs are likely to flourish for the foreseeable future with population, wage and job growth, making them potentially sound locations for real estate investments as well.
STEM jobs are certainty on the rise. Roughly one out of every 10 new jobs created in the U.S. between 2018 to 2028 is expected to be in STEM fields, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). BLS also projects that STEM occupations will increase by 8.8%, or more than 858,500 jobs nationwide, to 10.6 million during that same period. This would vastly outpace the 5% growth rate of non-STEM jobs over the same period.
STEM employees run the gamut of industries from finance, food processing, and manufacturing, to healthcare, defense, and pharmaceuticals. Specifically, they can be mathematicians, biomedical researchers, electrical engineers, scientists, data analysts, information technology specialists, and much more. Since these employees are in high demand and require technical skills, they typically earn much higher wages than jobs in other fields. The median annual wage of STEM employees in 2018 was $84,880, which was more than double the median income of non-STEM jobs of $37,020, according to BLS data.
The demand for STEM jobs is likely to intensify as there is currently a shortage of qualified workers in the STEM fields, which was estimated to be 2.4 million jobs in 2018, according to the Smithsonian Science Education Center. This leaves room for millions of additional potential jobs to be added to the field.