Monday, May 6, 2013

STEM Employment in Portland and Qualified Workers

STEM -- science, technology, engineering, and mathematics -- occupations have frequently been a topic of discussion these days among policy makers, businesses, educators, and others. As noted in a article recently published by Amy Vander Vliet, the regional economist for the Portland metro area, STEM occupations "play a vital role in scientific and technological innovation, and are viewed as a cornerstone for economic success as we shift towards a more knowledge-based and globally-competitive economy."
In the Portland metro area there are about 72,000 STEM jobs, representing 7.2 percent of total employment. Computer-related jobs account for seven of the 10 largest occupations due to the high concentration of employment in semiconductor manufacturing and software companies in the Portland area. STEM occupations are relatively high paying with most STEM workers earning between $20 and $50 an hour. Thus these jobs also require high levels of education and training with more than a majority of STEM jobs in Portland  requiring a bachelor's degree or higher.
Oregon Business also recently published an article on STEM occupations that reports on the demand for STEM occupations in Oregon and the concern over finding qualified workers for these occupations. The article notes the demand for workers with STEM backgrounds in high-tech companies, but also states that "STEM workers are also vital to many manufacturers, whose automated, computerized and robotic systems require much more technical savvy than before."

For more information about STEM occupations in the Portland metro area, you can find the full article written by regional economist Amy Vander Vliet on For more information about the concern over finding qualified workers with STEM backgrounds, check out the full article from Oregon Business.

No comments: